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Video Game Cases – Bully

Bully is a video game currently under development by Rockstar Games. Rockstar, who is also known for their Grand Theft Auto series, describes the content of Bully as following:

Bully takes the Rockstar tradition of groundbreaking and original gameplay and humorous tongue-in-cheek storytelling to an entirely new setting: the schoolyard. As a troublesome schoolboy, you'll stand up to bullies, get picked on by teachers, play pranks on malicious kids, win or lose the girl, and ultimately learn to navigate the obstacles of the fictitious reform school, Bullworth Academy. Bully is the brutally funny debut title from Rockstar Vancouver and is expected to hit retail shelves in October 2005.

[source: Gamespot]

Jack Thompson joined forces with the Washington activist group Peaceoholics and organized a protest against Bully on August 5, 2005 outside of the Rockstar Headquarters [1].

Following the protest, Jack Thompson also mailed Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft:

Dear Mr. Gates:

You have fifty-four (54) days in which to stop the release of Bully on XBox.

Govern yourself accordingly.

Sincerely, Jack Thompson

[source: Gamepolitics]

He also petitioned a Florida court to block sales of Bully, claiming it was a "public nuisance".

[Bully] will be used by school-age children to rehearse varying levels of retributive violence in their schools, and that there will be a heightened likelihood that such retributive violence will occur in the Miami-Dade schools as a result...Plaintiff has, in writing, asked the defendants not to sell Bully...The defendants refuse to respond to this plea. Once the game Bully is released to the public, 'the horse will be out of the barn' and it will be too late to close the door...Sales...of Bully will constitute a public nuisance, because the sale of this game will..."tend to annoy the community or injure the health of the community, or become manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the people."

[source: Gamepolitics]


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