Official: Rockstar's Bully Does Not Portray Bullying

You work it out...

Posted by Staff
Official: Rockstar's Bully Does Not Portray Bullying
The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a TV ad for Rockstar's Bully: Scholarship Edition does not realistically portray bullying. The advert received 31 complaints.

It featured:

* - The 'hero' (Jimmy Hopkins) " in a headmaster's office. The headmaster said "Ah, so you must be Hopkins. You're quite the nastiest little boy I have ever encountered" to which Hopkins replied "I'm just trying to fit in". "

* - Jimmy kicking a wooden box apart, firing a catapult and shielding himself from a burning substance in a science classroom.

* - Students running away from a mouse.

* - Hopkins emerging from a locker, creeping around the school and skateboarding (!)

* - Two other characters were shown lifting another student up by his underpants.

* - Jimmy kisses a girl.

The issues raised by 31 complaints about the advert included:

1. Several viewers, some of whom had experienced bullying, complained that the ad was offensive and distasteful.

2. Most viewers complained that the ad glorified, trivialised and encouraged bullying and violence. Some of them were concerned that the ad gave the wrong message in the current climate of bullying, suicides and violent crime amongst young people.

3. Some viewers complained that the ad was scheduled inappropriately because it could be seen by children.

The ASA also quotes Clearcast ("the company responsible for the pre-transmission examination and clearance of television advertisements") as follows, "the scenarios seemed to depict a school from the past when catapults were the most dangerous weapons in the playground.

"...older pupils' ideas of bullying went only as far as the hackneyed idea of lifting people by their underwear.

"(Clearcast) agreed with Take Two's view that it had attracted complaints because of its name rather than any depiction of cruelty or harm."

Clearcast also went on to state that, "far from glorifying bullying, the aim of the game was actually to beat the bullies. They believed the characters were not shown in a sympathetic or glorified light. They said the one scene of actual bullying did not encourage violence and the aim of the game was to stamp out that activity. They argued that the bullies were shown as contemptible characters dressed in the style of "Jocks", as the American educational system would label them, with the association of stupidity that went with that stereotype"

Also in Take-Two's favour are that it pulled the ad and has no intention of showing it again - and, according to Clearcast, "Take Two had taken great care in the scheduling of the ad and had erred on the side of caution whenever the suitability of a programme was in doubt."

The ASA has, therefore, ruled that, "We noted the character of Hopkins was not intended to be a bully and would often be tasked with overcoming bullies. We considered that the ad did not contain explicit or graphic violence and that young people would see the lifting of a boy by his underpants as comic and exaggerated, rather than as realistic or condoning intimidating behaviour. We also considered that viewers were unlikely to draw a direct analogy between the computer-generated, stereotyped school setting and contemporary society. We concluded that the ad did not glorify or encourage bullying and violence among young people."

The issue of ratings came up as well in the ASA's refusal to uphold complaints. The organisation stated that, "We noted the game carried a 15 rating and the ad had an 'ex-kids' restriction, which would help prevent younger children from seeing it.

"Although some complainants reported viewing the ads in prime-time programmes and football matches, we considered that the ad was unlikely to present a problem if seen by older children and adolescents. We concluded that the ad had been appropriately scheduled and the 'ex-kids' restriction was sufficient."

There is no news yet as to whether any authority has declared that Manhunt 2 doesn't realistically portray... man hunting (unlike, say, Sex and the City, which quite obviously does).

Source: ASA

Comments

Andronix 9 Jul 2008 12:05
1/6
Common Sense prevails.
I read all of that, and that was a fair judgement.
deleted 9 Jul 2008 12:52
2/6
Well i would consider Sex in the City very offensive it takes no interest in current issues with men, and how these issues can affect lifes and relationships and shake them to the very core,

Sex in the City(s) shameless use of this issue as a joke to contribute to the broadcasters ratings and profits to which it is taken even further and put into movie format to continue the humiliation of men and this problem, Sex in the CIty shows no remorse or it does not apologise in any way for the continued fun poking of this male issue, an issue that affects thousands of men and the fact the Series offered no support or at least guidance to the support of this issue just shows the total lack of respect for men it has,

The Issue i am talking about is of course

`Funky Spunk`!
more comments below our sponsor's message
ozfunghi 9 Jul 2008 15:39
3/6
I take it you guys are talking about

Sex AND the City?

??
Emma-Jane Cross 10 Jul 2008 16:29
4/6
Beatbullying is disappointed at the decision not to take action. It is irresponsible to advertise and promote a game to children that glorifies and encourages youth violence. We should not be sending young people the message that violence is the way to resolve bullying. A video game like this, which encourages, glorifies and rewards child on child violence, does nothing but undermine all of Beatbullying’s hard work.

www.beatbullying.org
deleted 10 Jul 2008 16:39
5/6
Emma-Jane Cross wrote:
Beatbullying is disappointed at the decision not to take action. It is irresponsible to advertise and promote a game to children that glorifies and encourages youth violence. We should not be sending young people the message that violence is the way to resolve bullying. A video game like this, which encourages, glorifies and rewards child on child violence, does nothing but undermine all of Beatbullying’s hard work.

www.beatbullying.org


have you played the game?, i take it you havent as if you read the article it would of told you that Bully objective and rewards are for stamping out Bullying, Bully does not promote or encourage the bully, which i agree is very seriuos issue at schools and work places, but it instead takes the reverse role and shows how bullys are cowards and if you had of played the game you would see it defeats no work by beatbully.org, but uses the premise of bullying to show its humility, also how can you judge this game how would you rate a movie, like the American Pie, The Waterboy or Superbad? each of these shows quite heavy bullying and also shows it in a fun and positive light.

do you work for or represent beatbullying,org? how are you able to judge this game and its relation to this organisation?
Tim Smith 10 Jul 2008 18:08
6/6
Emma-Jane Cross wrote:
Beatbullying is disappointed at the decision not to take action. It is irresponsible to advertise and promote a game to children that glorifies and encourages youth violence. We should not be sending young people the message that violence is the way to resolve bullying. A video game like this, which encourages, glorifies and rewards child on child violence, does nothing but undermine all of Beatbullying’s hard work.

www.beatbullying.org


Hi, I'm going to assume that you are Emma-Jane Cross. So, firstly thank you for coming on to the SPOnG forum and airing your opinion. Beatbullying is obviously attempting to provide some decent resources to stop bullying.

Secondly, I'd be more than pleased for you to provide a detailed criticism of Rockstar's Bully: Scholarship Edition, which we will print as editorial on the site.

As we noted in the news item, however, the advert was not aimed at children and Rockstar was even exonerated for its scheduling.

I look forward to your response.

Regards

Tim Smith
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