Rockstar’s Bully and the brilliance of casual interactions

Bully is a game most remembered for the controversy it generated before its release. From initial hysterics claiming that Rockstar was developing a "Columbine simulator" to cries that the game was promoting bullying behaviors (it wasn't) or trivializing them (which was maybe a more legitimate criticism), Bully may have received more attention in the media before its release than after. Once people had a chance to experience the game and evaluate it for what it was, they found a competent translation of the Grand Theft Auto formula in a different aesthetic that was maybe a little rough around the edges. In truth, there wasn't a whole lot about the game that was controversial once people had a chance to play it.

Do Japanese developers really need to westernize their games?

It feels like just yesterday that I was sat in my living room watching my brother play Sonic 3 and Knuckles on the Mega Drive as a wide-eyed child. The tropical colors of Angel Island and mood-lifting music were simply mesmerizing. What made Sega's console truly amazing to me, though, was that this machine had been created in a place that was literally on the other side of the world; it was mysterious. That sense of wonder obviously diminished as I got older — not just because the enigma of foreign technology had been lifted but also because in the 18 years since that day, the rest of the world has had time to catch up.