Brazil judge bans video game 'Bully'
The Associated Press
Published Friday, April 11, 2008 7:50AM EDT
SAO PAULO, Brazil - "Bully" has taken a beating in Brazil, where a judge suspended sales of the video game on the grounds it is too violent for young children and teenagers, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Judge Flavio Rabello prohibited the game from being imported, distributed, sold or promoted on Web sites or in stores in Latin America's largest nation, said Rio Grande do Sul state prosecutor Alcindo Bastos. Companies have 30 days to comply with the judge's order.
Bastos said the judge found the game was inappropriate for children.
"The aggravating factor is that everything in the game takes place inside a school," Bastos said. "That is not acceptable."
Made by Rockstar Games and mainly distributed in Brazil by JPF Maggazine, the game lets players act out the life of a 15-year-old student and decide how to deal with teachers and cliques at a boarding school.
A local youth support center had requested the ban.
"We have not been notified of the judge's decision," JPF Maggazine's attorney Diogo Dias Teixeira said. "When we are, we will decide if we will appeal."
He said the company advised retailers not to sell the game to anyone under the age of 18.
A spokesman for Rockstar was unaware of the ban and could not immediately comment Thursday.
Rockstar, a unit of New York-based Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., is known for "Manhunt 2," in which players fight violently to escape from a psychiatric institution, and for the popular "Grand Theft Auto" game series, in which players can hijack cars and run down pedestrians.
Bully is rated "T" for teenagers age 13 and older in the U.S., not of "M" for mature players 17 and older. It launched in October 2006 in the U.S. for Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 gaming console. In March, it became available for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii, according to the Rockstar Web site for the game.