Bully Comes Under Fire from Petition

Rockstar's upcoming video game won't hit the market for months, but a teen suicide is already prompting protest over the title...

Rochelle Sides, the parent of a teen who committed suicide after being bullied, has started an online petition addressed to Rockstar President Sam Houser, pleading with him not to release the video game.

Source: BusinessWeek Online

I am sorry that this kid took his life, but this is not the way to memorialize your teenager. I don't know what this lady is going through, but I do not think she is going about things in a healthy manner. If anything this is going to galvanise this release, and probably give it more sales then it might get otherwise. So much for trying to get the game canned.

"We the undersigned would like for you to understand the ramifications of your soon to be released video game titled 'Bully'. The game depicts scenes of violence in a school setting directed at students, teachers and staff. The premise of the game is that the child that has been bullied gets his/her revenge. Bullying is a very serious issue, which should not be taken lightly," states the petition...
That's all find and good. Bullying is a serious issue, but so is murder. There are a heck of a lot of video games (movies, music, books...) released that depict murder that do not cull such petitions. I don't see the parents of murdered kids putting up petitions. Why? Those people seem to have some dignity for the dearly departed.
Currently we have an epidemic of schools shooting by victims of bullying. We as adults don't need to give them violent solutions; we need to STOP THE BULLYING through education and awareness... as a parent of child lost to bullycide, as a grandparent, I implore you to reconsider the release of this game," it continues.
This is a good point. We do need to stop the bullying through education and awareness. This is put squarely on the shoulders of parents, and not on the video game industry. Video games are entertainment. I don't play San Andreas because I plan on moving to South Central LA to start a gang war. I play it because it is a fantasy; it is entertainment. Children who cannot make the distinction between reality and fantasy have no place picking up Bully. When the ESRB releases a rating for this game, I would bet it is not going to be rated T for Teen. My guess is it will get a M, that means 17+ for those of you who still to this day do not know what this ESRB thing is all about.

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