Bully

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Bully Game Poster Image
Intimidation game in a high school setting.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 73 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Most violence in game is sparked by others (such as bullies); but there's quite a bit of mischief, too.

Violence

Mainly fistfights, but you can also use weapons such as a slingshot, baseball bat, fire extinguisher. There is no blood or killing.

Sex

Sexual innuendos and remarks, kissing, homosexual kiss -- but nothing graphic.

Language

Some occasional swearing, lots of taunting, but not gratuitious.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters, such as a homeless man, are inebriated in the game.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is about bullying behavior in a school setting. There is plenty of psychological brutality and physical violence. Weapons include a baseball bat, garbage can lid, and fire extinguisher but there are no guns, blood, or gore. The game contains some sexual remarks and alcohol references; depending on the path taken, the main character can kiss another boy. The game does include consequences for misdeeds.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPtotheMtotheJ November 21, 2009
This game is awesome. The story mode is pretty long and entertaining. There's lots of stuff to do and things to collect. The only issue parents could have... Continue reading
Adult Written byStormLordOfAllParent February 18, 2015

Be Careful

When I heard about the premise of this game I was a bit on the worried side. I thought that this game had some messages that I wouldn't want my kids to he... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymaglev581 January 2, 2011

GTA for kids

Great game, just as long as kids can handle it and not emulate it in the real world. The "bullying" is no worse than what occurs in a typical high sch... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 16, 2015

perfect for 8 and up

It's a very good game with a lot of educational content and good role models some swearing but not near as bad as a typical schoolkid with some violence bu... Continue reading

What's it about?

BULLY follows a troubled teenager, Jimmy Hopkins, who's been expelled from every school he's ever attended; his mother and new stepfather decide it's best he spend a year at the toughest boarding school in the country. Fifteen-year-old Hopkins must survive at Bullworth Academy by climbing up the social ladder, avoiding bullies or confronting them with moves or pranks of his own, and outsmarting the corrupt Bullworth faculty and student body. Bully lets the player roam around a huge map (bustling with people you can interact with) and take on dozens of missions as you work your way up to ruling the school. As you protect yourself from bullying students who don't like the new guy, you can use fisticuffs or a slingshot or other weapons you may find on the grounds; the game contains no blood and victims, who usually instigate these attacks, lie moaning on the ground when defeated.

Is it any good?

Hoopla aside, Bully is an extremely well-produced debut title from Rockstar Vancouver, but one main issue is the frequent and sometimes lengthy load times. This, however, is likely due to the technical limits of the aging PlayStation 2 platform.

Overall, Bully is a fun, fresh, and lengthy single-player adventure for older teenagers and adults. This "Teen"-rated game does contain some violence, as well as foul language and crude humor -- so it's not for young children -- but those overly concerned about this PlayStation 2 game need not be. While the game isn't as controversial as many feared it would be, it will still push a few buttons for its rebellious attitude. But, after all, this is what Rockstar Games does -- and does well at that.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about school violence. How should you deal with bullies in the real world? Should you walk away or fight back? If you try to be a good person in a world full of bullies, are you rewarded? You can ask your kids why they want to play a game that simulates rough behavior when bullying is a real part of daily life. Does it help them cope or give vicarious pleasure?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Rockstar Games
  • Release date: October 27, 2006
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T for crude humor, language, sexual themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, violence

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