Journalist: Teacher Group's Bully Bashing Deserves an F

March 6, 2008 -
Steve Tilley, who covers games and gadgets for Canada's Sun newspapers, writes that he is disheartened by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation targeting of Bully: Scholarship Edition.

Steve, we feel your pain.

As reported by GamePolitics earlier this week, the teachers' group called for retailers to be responsible - whatever that means. Usually it means following the rating guidelines, and Bully: Scholarship Edition is rated T, suitable for those 13 and older. Said Tilley:
What’s really unfortunate is seeing the people responsible for teaching the importance of critical thinking to this country’s kids making attacks on something they clearly haven’t taken the time to fully experience or understand.

Tilley took issue with Emily Noble, president of the CTF, who said, "This is a game that glorifies bullying and glorifies violence and we’re saying that is not the way to do it."
I’d certainly agree with Ms. Noble that glorifying violence and bullying is a bad thing. Thing is, Bully, in fact, does neither... Doing well in your classes is essential for getting ahead in Bully...

The game doesn’t glorify the serious issue of bullying in schools any more than the movie Heat endorses bank robbery or Star Wars encourages civil insurrection...

Just because a piece of entertainment is about a thing doesn’t mean it condones that thing. Why does this even need to be said, especially to teachers of all people? And why do we give kids so little credit for being able to distinguish between fiction from reality?

For that matter, why do video game opponents get away with calling for bans on games they’ve never played? Why do we not treat them with the same scorn aimed at people who try to ban books they’ve never read?...

One can sense Tilley's righteous indignation in the Sun piece. He really gets on a roll, making excellent points which are too numerous to list here. It's definitely worth a full read.

REAL Bully problems: We note reports of freezing and frame rate problems in the Xbox 360 version of Bully: Scholarship Edition. In fact, GP's own copy locked up on an early mission to hack a bully's combination lock. Rockstar is said to be "horrified" by the tech issues and working on a fix.


Hello DrJohn Hello

Hello my friends :) ;)

thank flying spaghetti monster, finally someone who understands!

Yay! Real journalism! Was this printed in a newspaper, though, or only published on Tilley's blog? I'd imagine that the readership of his apparently game/tech-themed blog is mostly the game-literate minority.


I Guess you are right about that.. It would be better though if they actreally had some good points that could not just be knocked off as pointing the blame at something else. Being biased makes someone seem uneducated... if you could at least address the otherside, it would at least look better...

"And why do we give kids so little credit for being able to distinguish between fiction from reality?"

to people like that, the only reality that exists for us is the fantasy. they feel that to us, their is no distinction. the fantasy IS the reality. which is downright stupid and defys any sort of logic because thats basically saying we are a bunch of mimes with no individual though whatsoever and we imitate everything presented to us even if we dont understand it.

Steve, i applaud thee.

Its really depressing that a Teacher Group sinks to this level, and it hardly bodes well for the mentality that is being passed on to the younger generation.

"The game doesn’t glorify the serious issue of bullying in schools any more than the movie Heat endorses bank robbery or Star Wars encourages civil insurrection…"

Brilliant passage, right there.

@ Xen

This guy is a games journalist. Of course he is going to be a critical thinker.

I would like to say that I think that these adults who claim that kids and teenagers can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality are themselves forgetting what it was like to be a kid.

My son who is just two months shy of four years old knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He has a great imagination, but I don't think he really believes he is a dog. After all, he turns back into a boy when it is time to eat dinner.

Props to Mr. Tilley... A teacher group that must call attention away to their poor teaching skills! Oh wait, I never experienced their teaching methods, so how do I know how they teach? Isn't that hypocrisy? Probably not, since they surely aren't spending it teaching kids anything, but rather doing something out of their job description by calling attention to an imaginary horror. I think teachers are supposed to teach kids to not judge a book by its cover, not commit the act.

As for Bully problems, its seems to be a hit or miss thing. I'd say a batch of games weren't pressed properly by a bad image or a lag during the writing process. It'd be a major problem if this has happened because it means GTA4 may have similar problems... I hope the problem is fixed since it'd be a PR disaster, and their company is basically riding on GTA4's release...

Wierd...Steve Tilley's writings usually get circulated among other papers, this morning all I got in my local paper was a round-up of future console games. I would've much rather read this article over my breakfast.

Glad I didn't buy it yet, with all the problems.

Hopefully, by the time I can put it on my list of things I can buy, it'll be fixed with an update or something. But, yeah, I DO want it.

NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

That's a relief. I thought my disc drive was about to croak. I had several lockups and read errors playing.

The QA guys are your friends.

Give that man a medal. Give him two.

Seriously, he hit the nail square on the head, while people like Jack Thompson continually hit themselves in the thumb.

No bugs in the Wii version, right?

Anyway, keep in mind that the vocal component of a group isn't always the majority. I don't think all teachers would trash the game without playing it. Just ones like english teachers and most history teachers. Science teachers will play it first, as well as most math teachers. Art teachs won't care one way or another, and physed teachers don't play games.

I grew up in the school system, and teachers are all pretty different, but gravitate to certain fields. I've known pretty cool english teachers that might play it (but he was married to a science teacher, so he is liek a english teacher v2.0, Hi Mr and Mrs Bell!)

So just because some stupid teachers got the mic, don't hate on all teachers.

"For that matter, why do video game opponents get away with calling for bans on games they’ve never played? "

My mother in law (a very religious type) recently refused to watch "The Golden Compass" with us. She said that her priest had asked the congregation not to watch it. Now, asside from the fact that this is EXACTLY the message the movie states, I found it almost insulting that someone who hadn't watched the movie, would tell others not to watch the movie, because he'd "heard" that it was bad for religion.

This is the same thing, almost to the letter.


Excellent.F-cking excellent.


Good show man! Good show!

Why don't they spend this time and effort on dealing with REAL bullies at school?


That'd mean actual work. Oh noes we can't have that.

Man, this man makes a great point... And it always makes sence... critics never even play the game or understand it. They just make stupid assumptions without even watching anyone play the game through. Its being completely biased.. They can barely support themselfs with proper evidence.. Whenever they make stupid claims like that lady did, they just can not justify their statement well enough for it to hold its own water without being quickly disproved.

@ Overcast
They are too afraid of the real thing duh

@ Jonnyboy

Lets be honest proof is necessary to make a claim. As long as you are trusted people will believe you regardless of the truth.

@ SeanB

Well, this IS a little worse, since the Golden Compass (the book; haven't seen the movie, but it's based on, so assuming here) actually DOES poke at religion quite disdainfully and evidently, so much that some would say it "preaches" against religion in general. That being religion, the institution, primarily. Nice real-world irony there, though, with the pastor telling his flock what to think about a subject matter ostracizing religions for telling people what to think (or not to think at all).

But this is categorically worse. This is people who are supposed to teach us critical thinking and enable us to examine reality in a manner that lets us come up with our own conclusions telling us not to play a game because they've assumed, based on the title and hearsay, that it must glorify bullying. This is teachers crying "she's a witch! Burn her!" and book-burning and chest-thumping instead of doing the minimal amount of research constituted by following the links in a Google search.

I have to admit, though, I like the irony of this more. The people who are supposed to teach us critical thinking are giving in to reasonless instincts of bleating and burning ideoclastic principles that the very "classic literature" one would assume they've at least glossed over (or read the Sparks Notes) decries and warns against. Such blatant and ignorant (not to mention, very public) hypocrisy just enhances the amusement factor.

I read the Golden Compass and yes it's filled with atheism but I got bored before it did.

This is ironic, because my copy of Bully works perfectly and I was one of those mysterious players whose Halo 3 didn't work on their system. Quite nice to be on the other side for a change.

P.S. - Teachers were educated to TEACH, not to give out opinions on video games and popular culture. So, GET BACK IN THE CLASSROOM!
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james_fudgere: MP, i've sent tech support a note - thank you :)09/23/2014 - 3:14pm
IanCNah that wasnt directed at you Andrew :)09/23/2014 - 3:00pm
Papa MidnightRe: SIEGE 2014 Keynote: oh dear...09/23/2014 - 2:44pm
MaskedPixelanteDear GP, something called "doubleverify" is causing some nasty browser issues on my end. Probably one of your ads.09/23/2014 - 2:36pm
Andrew EisenOh hell no. No, it took Nintendo a dog's age just to get to the point its competitors have been at for a while! (And it's still not there yet, in a lot of respects.)09/23/2014 - 2:26pm
IanCSame as PSN handles it, fi you are trying to say only nintendo do that.09/23/2014 - 2:23pm
Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am

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