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Rockstar's Bully Displays Homosexual Tendencies

Some interesting twists are showing up in the controversial and much-hyped video game from Rockstar, Bully.

Bully_1The game, while widely forecast to be overly violent by industry pundits, instead gets a rave for creativity from the San Francisco Chronicle. Here's the premise: "You play tough kid Jimmy Hopkins, who enters Bullworth Academy as a last resort after numerous expulsions from better places. Bullworth turns out to be a totalitarian state, where the jocks, bullies and teachers rule with no mercy, and the nerds live in fear. Will Jimmy emerge as their leader and hero?"

But gay gamers have discovered an additional facet to the game that reveals its creators may have thought about the latent homosexual tendencies of those who bully more than you thought.

Alexander Sliwinski wrote about the twist for Joystiq, a gaming site, and notes that "Bully hero Jimmy Hopkins is bisexual, or just experimenting, based on videos starting to surface."

The game was just released last Tuesday, and since I haven't had a chance to see it in person, I asked Sliwinski to explain a bit: "Bully is actually a satire of prep school, like Grand Theft Auto is a satire on the decade it takes place in. The main character is Jimmy Hopkins and he is not a bully, he actually fights them. Well, not fight. He's mostly just trying to get by. Each clique at the school has a boy that can be kissed, but this isn't confirmed yet. To get them to kiss you give them a present. I don't know if each one requires something different, but from the video you can see that Trent, from the bully clique, takes flowers."

They always say the most virulent bullies are using violence to mask something in their own character. Apparently that theory hasn't been lost on Rockstar.

Video Proof: Bully's Jimmy Hopkins Likes To Kiss Boys! [gay gamer]
Boy on boy kissing in Bully [joystiq]

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  1. Hot!

    Posted by: GM | Oct 24, 2006 9:30:21 AM

  2. That was, er, kind of arousing. Why didn't he drop the hand though!?!?

    Posted by: Kevin | Oct 24, 2006 9:34:10 AM

  3. If this is true, then it would be the next major video game I know of that features gay behavior as a significant part of gameplay.

    I remember how cool it was when I realized that the guy Sims would make out with each other, and now they can even get married!

    The video game industry is a largely male dominated industry (if i'm not mistaken), so any positive portrayal of gay or bisexual characters is commendable.

    Posted by: mark m | Oct 24, 2006 9:34:59 AM

  4. Wow, I totally disagree with the people quoted in this post. Just because a few gay gamers found the kissing option to be a positive experience doesn't mean the broader gaming population will. If you know anything about Rockstar Games and the audience they market to, I think it becomes pretty obvious that the kissing option is there to incite further violence. They should have just called the game "Smear the Queer."

    Posted by: chrisb | Oct 24, 2006 9:59:26 AM

  5. Joystiq is not a gay gaming site, is.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 24, 2006 11:37:05 AM

  6. Yay!

    Posted by: Alex | Oct 24, 2006 11:52:30 AM

  7. Loves it!

    Posted by: yum | Oct 24, 2006 11:58:24 AM

  8. Hey ChrisB why don't you do some research first before exposing everyone to your ignorance on the topic?

    "and the audience they market to, I think it becomes pretty obvious that the kissing option is there to incite further violence. They should have just called the game "Smear the Queer."

    Ok - then please take a look at the Joystiq site and the comments about this story and you'll see that the MAJORITY of posters have no problem with the same-sex kissing.

    A quick example:
    "As a very secure heterosexual male who has had several homosexual male (and female) friends while at college (Art School) this doesn't realy surprise me in the least. I played the Sims, this is nothing new.

    To be honest, I actually WANT politicians and Jack Thompsonites to go nuts on this game more because it will only serve to out them as being unfathomably ignorant. Bully isn't a "Columbine Simulator" and it will not turn America's youth into a bunch of pink-shirt-wearing, lisp-speaking stereotypes.

    Get with the times you close-minded geezers, this really isn't going to hurt anybody!"

    So to echo this poster, get with the times CHRISB and see that your persecution complex is just that and bravo to the gamers posting their pro-gay comments at over Joystiq!

    Posted by: Justin... | Oct 24, 2006 12:04:40 PM

  9. Sex and violence!

    Since gay guys get bullied, is this a way to market to them?

    This is one of the few games to get ads all over cable.

    Posted by: Anon | Oct 24, 2006 12:17:27 PM

  10. User controlled soft core porn! I love it!

    I am not a video game fan; after Ms. Packman fell out of vogue in 1978, I more or less ignored the genre all together. So question: Are there gay, X-Rated video games? Could inspire me to buy an X-Box!

    Posted by: Rad | Oct 24, 2006 12:24:15 PM

  11. A video game almost gave me a chubby.

    Christ, I need to get out more...

    Posted by: Dan | Oct 24, 2006 12:37:19 PM

  12. Justin,
    Considering I worked in the gaming industry for nearly five years, I feel confident I don't need to do any research.

    The fact remains that Rockstar creates products for young males. Kudos to the commenters you quoted at I do not believe they are representative of the typical Rockstar audience. I can guarantee you that video will soon appear on the internet of players performing the kiss scenario and then beating up the homosexual characters.

    Had this been a scenario presented in Warcraft, EverQuest, The Sims or nearly any other gaming franchise, I would gladly join you in applauding this game.

    Posted by: chrisb | Oct 24, 2006 1:40:22 PM

  13. Furthermore, you conveniently failed to point out the negative comments on Joystiq:

    "I hate to say it, but Jack Thomson was right, this game needs to be banned, immediately!"

    "I cannot be alone in saying that this is a sad day for games, and entertainment itself by having a boy kissing another boy. thats disgusting, and wrong, and really just dosent belong in a video game."

    Posted by: chrisb | Oct 24, 2006 1:49:34 PM

  14. "Furthermore, you conveniently failed to point out the negative comments on Joystiq:"

    I said, MAJORITY, correct? In fact, I capitalized it.

    OF COURSE there are homophobes in the gaming community (there are over 288 comments under the Bully post!) but suggesting that Rockstar is advocating or encouraging gay-bashing by putting kissing boys in their game is absurd, paranoid and frankly doesn't help further the struggle against homophobia (oh and at it's heart your post had a strong pro-censorship sentiment and pretty much sums up how Jack Thomson feels about gaming and gamers - 'This will lead them to rob/kill/maim' or in your case 'This will lead them to violence against gays' so if you are, in fact, working in the gaming community I find it odd that you would be so pro-censorship and anti-gaming and anti-gamer).

    Posted by: Justin... | Oct 24, 2006 2:29:58 PM

  15. If it's homophobic then why is the bully the first to initiate contact?

    Posted by: Anon | Oct 24, 2006 2:38:23 PM

  16. There was nothing remotely in my comments to suggest that I think the game should be censored. Now you're just making shit up!

    All I've said, and I stand behind it, is that I don't think we should be falling all over ourselves to applaud a company whose past products allow the player to steal cars, murder gangsters and beat up prostitutes, and now they produce a game that includes the POSSIBILITY of beating up gay adolescents.

    Come on, this is not rocket-science... which option do you think the car-stealing, ho-bashing, young males who play Rockstar games are gonna choose when they discover that they've been kissed by another male character?

    Posted by: chrisb | Oct 24, 2006 3:07:24 PM

  17. One last note about this: Per your suggestion, I have gone to other gaming and tech sites to read more comments about the kiss scenario. You are correct... the vast majority think it's no big deal. I sincerely want to believe this is indicative of the gaming community as a whole, but the cynic in me still believes a lot of young gamers are going to find it fun to beat up the fags.

    Posted by: chrisb | Oct 24, 2006 3:18:49 PM

  18. ChrisB:

    I share your views on the majority of games produced by Rockstar. I find the ammoral qualities of the Grand Theft Auto series to be detestable. But until I see an example of how homosexual behavior is punished in the game Bully, or treated as something to be mocked by other characters in the game, I can't condemn the creators just yet.

    What gamers do to these characters is in their hands and isn't the responsibility of the designers.

    Take the Sims for example... you can seduce a male character and then arrange to have his house burn down with him inside. Does that make the creators of the Sims responsible for encouraging violence against gays?

    It all comes down to how the other characters in the game respond to the kissing, if at all. But I can see your point of view concerning Rockstar's track record. The jury is still out.

    Posted by: mark m | Oct 24, 2006 3:30:24 PM

  19. This is not new. This sounds similar to The Sims, a real life-simulating computer game where the player commands their sim to do certain activities, but the outcome is somewhat uknown. I own the game and have made two male sims to make out and even fall in love many times.

    Posted by: Victor | Oct 24, 2006 4:01:57 PM

  20. to Dan:

    I was just going to post the exact same thing before I read your comment.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Posted by: Marco | Oct 24, 2006 4:29:02 PM

  21. The game even goes so far as to throw in a main character, who is often alluded to being homosexual. He's introduced as the most effeminate boy in the entire academy, only to be defended by the main character. Yes, he's picked on during just about every scene that he's in, but the hero of the game does a good job of sticking up for him in times of need.

    Posted by: Christopher | Oct 24, 2006 6:57:23 PM

  22. @ChrisB:

    The scenario you're speaking of is not even possible in the game. GTA violence, violence in general, is not possible in Bully aside from some minor things. Also if the player continues to harras a non- playable character they are punished. Not only that, but a "young straight male" would have to go out of his way to end up in the situation in the first place.

    Posted by: Seann | Oct 24, 2006 8:21:56 PM

  23. I personally don't think video games are influential in whether or not one were to go out and be violent to a gay person...

    You either hate queers and wanna kill em, or it doesn't bother you.

    A videogame doesn't decide that.

    Posted by: Paul | Oct 24, 2006 8:49:15 PM

  24. "which option do you think the car-stealing, ho-bashing, young males who play Rockstar games are gonna choose when they discover that they've been kissed by another male character?"

    Me thinks you're the one having trouble differentiating between real life and game play, CHRISB.

    Posted by: Justin... | Oct 25, 2006 1:36:07 AM

  25. I don't necessarily agree with Chris's assesment but I do believe violent video games is a sign of the times.

    Posted by: Damon | Oct 25, 2006 2:38:48 AM

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