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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Judge clears Bully game release
Canis Canem Edit
The game is set in an American private school
A US judge has rejected attempts to ban videogame Bully in Florida, after complaints it was a "public nuisance".

Judge Ronald Friedman said that violence in the school-based game did not mean it was a nuisance.

The attempt to ban the title was made by lawyer Jack Thompson, a well-known campaigner against what he believes are violent video games.

"There's a lot of violence," Judge Friedman said. "A whole lot. Less than we see on television every night."

A spokesman for developers Rockstar said the game, called Canis Canem Edit in the UK, had a teen-only rating in the US and a 15 rating in the UK.

The BBC News website was shown an unfinished copy of the game. In it, the main character has to defend himself from school bullies as well as form alliances with different cliques in the school.

Tackling the bullies and stopping them from picking on other children is a key feature of the game.

'Columbine simulator'

Mr Thompson said the game should not be sold to young teenagers, calling it a "Columbine simulator", in reference to fatal shootings carried out by two students at a high school in Colorado in 1999.

The judge did not offer a ruling, saying he would consider the matter further if Mr Thompson wanted a hearing after the game was released.

The game goes on sale in the US on Tuesday and in the UK on Friday.

Mr Thompson told Miami newspapers that he did not plan to continue his campaign against Bully.

On Wednesday, the judge ordered the game's publisher Take-Two to give him a copy of the game, along with someone to play the game for him to watch before he made a decision.

''You did not see the game,'' Mr Thompson told the judge at Friday's hearing. "You don't even know what it was you saw."

Mr Thompson criticised the decision to have an employee take him through the game, arguing he could have avoided making violent choices.

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