Parents' Guide to

Bully: Scholarship Edition

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

More bad behavior in expanded high school sim.

Game Xbox 360 , Nintendo Wii 2008
Bully: Scholarship Edition Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 11+

One of the best games of all time!

Masterpiece, work of art, perfection, this game is the definition of pure fun, the soundtrack is magnificent. Violence: Beating up kids, punching kicking, stink bombs, firecrackers all that stuff, doing some things like harrasing girls, authority and kids can fill your trouble meter, the most violent moment of this game (in my opinion) is boss fight between Norton Williams in Chapter 3, the character uses a sledgehammer which may be considered a little extreme but not too bad. Blood: No blood in all versions of the game except the Wii version, which contains animated blood during boxing matches. Biology class has occasional green blood. Alcohol/Smoking/Drug References: Characters can often be seen smoking on the alleyways, no drug use only references, a teacher named Galloway likes to drink during cutscenes of the game Profanity: ass, crap, damn, hell, bitch, whore, slut are words can be heard throughout the game Sexual Content: Kissing girls and boys, references to sex (eg- "i don't know how i got mayoneese on my pants" "i'll show you what i know about chemistry and biology haha") in a mission, you have to tresspass through the girls dorm to pick up "laundry" for a perverted teacher, he can also be seen getting out of an adult shop but no detail of nudity is shown.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
age 13+

Liked it

Good game but is weird and has a few curse words

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (34 ):

Thanks to the game's wide gamut of bullying behavior, both physical (fistfights) and psychological (taunts, insults, and humiliation), some parents will be tempted to ban Bully on principle. But in the end, there's little here that most teens won't witness at some point in their day-to-day school lives. In fact, standing up to these video game bullies might even prove somewhat cathartic for kids who suffer bullying in their real lives. Yes, Billy uses excessive violence to accomplish many of his objectives, but he never goes too far--there are no guns, bombs, deaths, or serious injuries in the game. And he does end up accomplishing plenty of good. By the time the game's credits roll, there's peace at Bullworth Academy; all of the school's cliques are friends with one another and the game's most immoral characters have been suitably punished (the main bully is expelled, and a perverted and abusive teacher is fired). Of course, players are free to experiment outside the narrative and start bullying innocents, but there are consequences to these actions--such as being "busted" by ever-present school prefects, losing mission progress, and being forced back to class to play learning mini-games.

Just keep in mind that Bully isn't a game intended for younger kids. While most teens will be able to handle the game's events, younger kids aren't prepared to deal with some of the psychological bombshells this game unleashes (prominent among the high jinx are missions that see the player going on a panty raid for a perverted teacher, shoving an occupied outhouse down a hill, and taking a picture of a bathroom in which a girl is taking a shower – though all we see is steam). It's also worth noting that, thanks in part to the game's spot-on high school humor and surprisingly engaging story, many gaming parents might want to check Bully out -- especially those who remember having been on the receiving end of many a high school prank (and who wouldn't mind a little fantasy payback).

Game Details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360 , Nintendo Wii
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Release date: March 3, 2008
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T for Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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