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New UK Bully title causes controversy

Mon 21 Jan 2008 4:45pm GMT / 11:45am EST / 8:45am PST

Rockstar is moving ahead with plans to release Bully: The Scholarship Edition in the UK despite a call for a ban on the game

Rockstar is moving ahead with plans to release Bully: The Scholarship Edition in the UK despite a call for a ban on the game.

According to a Telegraph article, the PC World and Currys chain has decided not to stock the game.

"We don't think this is suitable for sale in our stores," said a company spokesperson. "We are careful about what we sell and this is something we have decided not to list."

The original Bully was released for the PS2 in the UK under the title Canis Canem Edit - Latin for "dog eats dog." The new version, for the Xbox 360 and Wii, will revert to the original name.

The National Union of Teachers has called for a ban on the game due to concern over bullying in schools.

"The dialogue about the pernicious effects of bullying appears to have been ignored," general secretary Steve Sinnott told The Telegraph. "It is an encouragement to violence and intimidation, and those things have a major impact on schools."

Niall Cowley, of the charity BeatBullying, was disappointed that the game was created in the first place.

"Some mindless people thought this was a fun, interesting piece of software to create, but it undermines all the hard work that organisations like ours are seeking to do," said Cowley.

Labour MP Keith Vaz also weighed in on the controversy.

"The idea that people should be glorifying bullying is just tasteless," he said.

"It is hardly encouraging good social values for our children. Just the name Bully is going to attract young people to buy it."

A Rockstar spokesman responded to controversy over the game, which will be rated for ages 15 and up, by pointing out that it is not a game about playing a bully.

"It is about the trials and tribulations of a boy in his first year at school. He protects children against other characters. People have to be able to make their own decisions and to judge for themselves, with an open mind."

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