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Taking on the Bully

There were stories on the new PS2 video game Bully in the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel today. And their takes couldn't have been more divergent. The Post story, by Laura Green, was about the PBC's Superintendent Art Green's take on the game:

"The game rewards everything real schools advise against. Superintendent Art Johnson is so concerned that Bully might undo the district's six-year effort at fighting bullying that he's sending a mass voice mail to parents warning that the game could harm their children. Johnson has not played the game or watched anyone else play it. And, he acknowledged, there are

plenty of other games that could be damaging to children."

Key line: "Johnson has not played the game or watched anyone else play it."

In the Sentinel, Harford Courant game critic Scott Jones has a wholly different take on the Rockstar game.

"Let me make one thing clear: Bully is not the raunchy glorification of child-on-child violence that critics might expect. Sorry to disappoint them, but beneath the game's edgy veneer, there's a sad, semisweet story about a lonely, misunderstood boy trying to make his way through adolescence."

Jones, however, has actually played the game and knows what it's all about rather than the knee-jerk reaction by a bureaucrat. Which one are you going to listen to?

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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