Sunday, October 22, 2006

XBOX Bully = the End of Civilization?

Well...its here. The game guaranteed to turn a generation of mindless gamers into an army of gun wielding moral despots. Nevermind that most gaming publications are hailing Rockstar's latest as a near masterpiece, it's called 'Bully' man. Bully. Can you even wrap your head around the sheer horror of it all? Truly, this XBOX abomination is the beginning of the end.

(Warning: Scenes of Extreme Violence)

But ... let me start again.
Today was birthday recon day. While Marijana finished off her costume shopping in Wal-Mart, I snuck into EB Games to get a little list going for the big occasion (3 weeks and counting for anyone who cares). I won't lie, I was caught up in the Bully hype - especially after reading tome after gushing tome of online praise. So I was ready for the posters - the displays - the gleaming EB geeks ready with their Bully sales pitches.

Nothing. Nowhere. Mortal Combat? Yes. Gears of War? You bet? Super Hardcore Fighter: Blood Edition? Uh-huh...but no Bully.

"You guys got Bully in, right?" I asked the nearest EB Geek
"Yeah. We have to keep them behind the desk," she responded with a blush - as if I just asked her where they kept the weed.
"We aren't allowed to display them. You have to ask. Federal legislation or something."

Federal Legislation? Or Something?? Surely, I had entered Bizzaro EB Games...where hookers, gangbangers and gut-ripping aliens were standard fare but a Teen rated video game about the life of a schoolkid was definately contraband.

Confused, I pointed to Mortal Combat Annihilation, asking: "So you guys can put this out."
"But no Bully."
"Yeah. Stupid, eh?"

'Stupid, eh' indeed. Before radio, I had worked at a videogame shop for two years, and at Roger's for another 2 (both for more pay I'm sure). I was there when WWF 2000 almost got banned and when GTA received its ill press. The most that happened in both these times is that we were made to ask for ID. That was the extent of the madness. Even Manhunt, a game the endorses hunting and killing human prey was granted immunity to this kind of idiocy.

To be fair, I understand the sensitivity of the subject and I can see where some talking heads may think the concept of a game called 'Bully' to be in poor taste (even if said concept is just that - an uneducated assumption). I also think we can all admit that the name 'Bully' was a dumb move for Rockstar considering recent events.

What bugs me though is that those who have actually played the game have reported content far tamer than half the games out there. Sure there are elements of 'bullying', but you do not (contrary to popular political opinion) play a Bully. Reversely, going to class is a key element of the game. So too is making friends, socializing, joining teams and getting exercise. I won't deify the game as it does sport a ton of other less 'school sanctioned' fun, but nothing I have seen or read would lead me to believe that this anywhere more moral corrupting than an episode of Wonder Years. There aren't even any guns!

What saddens me most is that those most against Bully won't see past the rare instances of wedgies and broken windows and not the other 99% of the game. It also bugs me that EB Games folded to this absurd benchmark for censorship. Its too easy to list the volumes of other games that may actually deserve the bad press so I won't.

Needless to say, I'm upset. Now, when I give Marijana my list it will have to say: 'Bully for XBOX- ask behind the counter'.

Oh, and I'll make sure she takes a brown paper bag.

1 comment:

Scribe of Dreams said...

What about the man love in the game? havnt you heard boy's kissing boy's...truely the end of life as we know it (boys kiss boys, not girls makes no kids, duh)

just kidding pretty rediculas if you ask me (the behind the counter thing)