3. Jimmy Hopkins – Bully, also known as Canis Canem Edit
At some point, we were all snot nosed, street rat children, running around thinking we knew everything about everything and talking about how gross girls/boys are. It’s okay, we all were, so you can stop calling yourself “mature for your age.” But eventually, something downstairs tingles in the right way, and suddenly those icky girls/stupid boys seem a bit more tolerable.
Jimmy Hopkins, protagonist of Rockstar’s Bully, crosses our path at that magical/terrifying age. A loveable, strikingly average, and rather mean spirited teen, Jimmy has been expelled from all the half decent schools and finds himself at Bullworth Academy. Over the course of the story and Shenmue style gameplay, he punches, kicks, and stinkbombs his way through the school’s cliques, with the occasional trip to class or a romance along the way. Like many of us at Gay-nerds.com, he has a thing for kissing boys…if you want him to. Jimmy will gladly give a moist embrace to anyone he can flatter with a few flowers and a bit of bullying protection.
“Wait, Jimmy Hopkins is just another character that can be gay if you want him to be, not explicitly gay in the story. What makes him any different from a Sim or something?” Context and the exaggerated realism of being a punk kid, of course. Jimmy is a fifteen year old in high school. Do I need to elaborate on the difference between that and a Sim?
What other game let’s you bring same-sex attraction into the life of a teenager, let alone any sexuality at all? Most video games shy away from anything more than a crush or some childish representation of how kids actually
get boners deal with suddenly realizing that girls/boys aren’t that icky after all. While (fortunately) not a dating simulator, Bully does allow players to pursue, romance, and have sloppy face-sucking time with not just one, but a variety of different boys in between setting off fire alarms and tackling greasers in the hallway.
Furthermore, said face-sucking happens within the context of high school. People talk, they poke fun at each other for being different, and yes, harass the gay kids. But Jimmy takes zero crap from anyone, standing up for the abused kids (while not abusing them himself, of course) and punching everyone in the dick. And aren’t dick punches what rainbow colored high school vigilante justice is all about?
Bonus fun: Rockstar even encourages Jimmy’s bisexuality/homosexuality/whatever on the Xbox 360 version, rewarding players with the “Over the Rainbow” achievement for kissingtheir way through the school’s boys. See, being a little curious and slutty does have advantages!