Rockstar is at the centre of mainstream criticism again for its upcoming Wii and 360 release of Bully: Scholarship Edition.

Critics ranging from teachers to charities to MPs all aired their views in a recent article in The Telegraph, which rather predictably focused on the title of the game and the implications that surround it.

"We're disappointed this game was created in the first place," rued Niall Cowley from the BeatBullying charity.

"Some mindless people thought this was a fun, interesting piece of software to create, but it undermines all the hard work that organisations like ours are seeking to do."

The PS2 original was renamed to Canis Canem Edit for the UK and given a 15 rating by the BBFC; a decision it stuck by, claiming, "Often the truth is far less dramatic than the myth that's put around it."

But the article in The Telegraph claims this version will be "even more realistic" and let Wii owners physically replicate the actions, prompting retailers Currys and PC World to already decide not to stock the game.

Even Labour MP Keith Vaz is campaigning against it. Again.

"The idea that people should be glorifying bullying is just tasteless. It is hardly encouraging good social values for our children. Just the name Bully is going to attract young people to buy it," said Vaz.

Rockstar was eager to defend its corner, rightfully stating it was about combating bullies in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, and not about flushing heads down toilets or stealing lunch money.

"It is not a game about playing a bully. It is about the trials and tribulations of a boy in his first year at school," said a spokesperson for Rockstar. "He protects children against other characters. People have to be able to make their own decisions and to judge for themselves, with an open mind."

Bully may have been an ill-advised title, but the content was far from appalling, earning itself a whopping 9/10 on Eurogamer on PS2.

Head over to our Canis Canem Edit review for a closer inspection.

Bully: Scholarship Edition is due out for Xbox 360 and Wii on 7th March.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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