Is it a smart thing to do?
Even if it falls within the standard guidelines of a "T" (Teen) rating, should game developer Rockstar's controversial video game Bully be given anything less than the "M" (Mature) rating? Given the state of the industry, the rampant (and horribly uninformed) critics, and the way the game has been billed in the media, it doesn't seem like a smart move on the ESRB's part to give the game a lenient rating as Gamepolitics.com has reported.
Truthfully, long before details of the game slipped out, opportunist and outspoken critics ripped the company for the creation of the game. They protested, wrote letters, and slapped it with the absurd title of "Columbine Simulator." That was what the media reported.
Now, as the game nears its October release date, we know slightly more about the title and its probable rating. The game is lighthearted in nature, letting players control a frustrated child in a private academy who finally decides to stick up for himself. Yes, there's punching, kicking, and a few swirlies. No guns, no murder, and as far as anyone knows, no blood either. It's obviously a game that strays from the company's Grand Theft Auto in terms of style.
The Xbox version of the game has recently been cancelled due to the rapidly declining sales of the console as its successor, the Xbox 360 takes over. The game now resides on Sony's Playstation 2 as an exclusive.
However, the damage has been done. Those few who were vocal enough managed to get their message out. A group known as the Peaceaholics publicly protested the title before they even knew what it would entail, with of course an opportunistic anti-game attorney Jack Thompson tagging along. The latter member of the protest also made his way onto supporting radio and TV stations, proudly proclaiming — incorrectly of course — that the company was releasing a Columbine Simulator.