[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK
'Bully' video game hits the shops
Iain Mackenzie
Technology reporter, BBC Radio 1

Canis Canem Edit
Jimmy Hopkins beats up bullies at Bullworth Academy
A controversial video game about bullying is going on sale despite calls for it to be banned.

Canis Canem Edit is the latest title from Rockstar, which also makes the controversial Grand Theft Auto series.

Players of the game take-on the role of Jimmy Hopkins, a new student at Bullworth Academy.

He tries to protect weaker students from the school's resident bullies, punching them or beating them up with a baseball bat.

Campaigners against video game violence, including the Leicester East Labour MP Keith Vaz say it should be stopped from going on sale.

He told BBC News: "It has some very dodgy scenes which if watched by young people may have an affect of what their perception of violence is."
Canis Canem Edit is in a rich tradition of other forms of entertainment that have taken a comedic and funny look at school life
Rockstar

The game is rated 15, but Mr Vaz said: "It will definitely find its way into the hands of those under 15.

"They are borrowing these games, they are seeing these games, and there is no control."

DSG group which owns PC World and Dixons in the UK has already said it will not be stocking Canis Canem Edit.

It was responding to similar controversy in the United States, where the game is known as Bully.

Rockstar changed the name for its UK release in response to pressure from Playstation owner Sony.
Rockstar would have a lot of thinking to do and a lot on their conscience
Beat Bullying

The company admits there is violence in the game, but says it is tongue-in-cheek.

Rockstar spokesman Hamish Brown said: "Canis Canem Edit is in a rich tradition of other forms of entertainment that have taken a comedic and funny look at school life, whether it be Grange Hill or the Harry Potter books and films."

Rockstar also points to the fact Jimmy is only using violence to protect other students.

However the charity Beat Bullying said that was a dangerous message to send out.

Spokesman Niall Cowey told BBC News: "If there is an incident of a young person who attacks their bully and it ends up in a violent circumstance and it is proved that young person had access to the Rockstar game, I think Rockstar would have a lot of thinking to do and a lot on their conscience."


SEE ALSO
Gaming gets in shape
22 Aug 06 |  Technology
Shoot first, ask questions later?
23 Aug 06 |  Technology
Games industry is 'failing women'
21 Aug 06 |  Technology
Brain games aim to boost your IQ
24 Apr 06 |  Technology
US pupils to dance themselves fit
27 Jan 06 |  Technology
Best foot forward for dance game
03 Oct 03 |  Mid Wales
Playing games on the dance floor
03 Feb 04 |  Technology
Computer games on exercise bikes
26 Jul 06 |  South East Wales

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific