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Playing at bullying: The postmodern ethic of Bully (Canis Canem Edit)

Author(s): Clare Bradford

Journal: Digital Culture & Education (DCE)
ISSN 1836-8301

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 67;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Youth | video games | postmodernism | ethics | ideologies

This essay discusses Bully (Canis Canem Edit), considering the game’s antecedents (narratives involving young people in school settings) and the features which set it apart from other teen texts. It discusses the controversy surrounding the game and comes to the conclusion that the principal reason for unease on the part of parents and educational authorities is that Bully’s postmodernist ethic evades the binaries of liberal humanism and calls into question the foundations on which conventional ethical systems are based. The paper considers several episodes from the game to flesh out its arguments about how the game manifests features of postmodernist textuality in its propensity for simultaneously deploying and interrogating references to historical and contemporary cultural practices.
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