Take-Two Interactive/Rockstar, a controversy magnet for its Grand Theft Auto game, has unveiled a new game called Bully, set at a boarding school. Despite the predictions of some anti-game activists that the new production would glorify bullying, a reviewer for the New York Times says it does nothing of the sort: “the entire point of the game is that bullies (noticeable at a distance by their distinctive white shirts) are everyone’s enemies”. (Seth Schiesel, “With Bully, Rockstar Looks to Beat the Grand Theft Auto Rap”, New York Times, Aug. 10). None of which stopped Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson (Jul. 24, Jun. 25 and many others) from firing off a letter to Take Two and Wal-Mart vowing to file suit to stop the game’s Oct. 1 release unless they provide him with an advance copy to criticize. Bit-Tech has the gory details (Brett Thomas, “Jack is back to beat up on Bully”, Aug. 15). And now it’s reported that Thompson having gotten no satisfactory answer to his demand letter, he’s proceeded to sue under Florida nuisance law to demand such an advance copy (Eric Bangeman, “Jack Thompson sues over upcoming “Bully” title”, Ars Technica, Aug. 16). Update Oct. 14: judge demands to inspect the game.
More: Steve Chapman, as usual, has a relevant observation: “Like adults, who can enjoy murder mysteries without ever feeling the need to commit murder, adolescents apparently can separate the fantasies of mass entertainment from the realities of how they want to live their own lives.” (“Teens’ lives don’t always imitate art”, syndicated/Chicago Tribune, Aug. 10).