Target Australia Pulls GTA V Due To Depictions Of Violence Against Women

Target Australia Pulls GTA V Due To Depictions Of Violence Against Women
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Target Australia has announced it will be pulling all copies of Grand Theft Auto V from stores after an online petition demanding that the retailer withdraw the game acquired over 41,000 signatures.

According to Target Australia’s general manager corporate affairs Jim Cooper, it was this feedback that directly influenced the decision to remove Grand Theft Auto V.

“We’ve been speaking to many customers over recent days about the game, and there is a significant level of concern about the game’s content,” Mr Cooper said. “We’ve also had customer feedback in support of us selling the game, and we respect their perspective on the issue. However, we feel the decision to stop selling GTA 5 is in line with the majority view of our customers.”

The petition was launched by a group of women who have suffered directly from sexual violence and abuse.

“We have firsthand experience of this kind of sexual violence,” reads the petition. “It haunts us, and we’ve been trying to rebuild our lives ever since. Just knowing that women are being portrayed as deserving to be sexually used by men and potentially murdered for sport and pleasure — to see this violence that we lived through turned into a form of entertainments is sickening and causes us great pain and harm.”

The fact that the petition focused on one single outlet, on one single game, resulted in a singular point of pressure that, for Target, was impossible to ignore.

Despite the fact that it will be removing the game from shelves, Target will continue to sell other R18+ rated content.

“While these products often contain imagery that some customers find offensive, in the vast majority of cases, we believe they are appropriate products for us to sell to adult customers,” explained Cooper.

“However, in the case of GTA 5, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell.”

New Zealands’s largest retailer, NZ Warehouse Group, previously removed all copies of Grand Theft Auto V from shelves. That decision was made after the Stop Demand Foundation approached the group. According to founder Denise Ritchie, the first person mode in the new, updated version of the game was the reason why her group decided to act.

GTA has always been a deeply misogynistic, hyper-masculine game that reduces women largely to strippers and prostitutes,” she said. “However, the new 1st person interactive mode released globally last week significantly ratchets up gamers’ experiences.”

There is no mention in the petition regarding the first-person mode being a catalyst for the ban. However, in an interview with news.com.au, one petition founder, Nicole, mentioned the first-person view specifically, claiming it had “upped the ante”.

“You get to feel what it feels like to do this to somebody,” she said.

As a former sex worker and a victim of violence Nicole found Grand Theft Auto V desensitised people to violence against women.

“[T]his is about torturing and the ritualised murder of women,” she told news.com.au. “It’s frightening that people are desensitised to it.”

Grand Theft Auto V was initially classified in 2013, receiving an R18+ rating. It was re-rated in 2014 for the HD re-release, although this rating wasn’t the result of in-game violence but rather the use of drugs within the game, which was deemed “high impact” by the Classification Board. The latest version of the game also received a high impact rating for its ‘themes’, but it received only a ‘strong impact’ for its violence. If Grand Theft Auto V was to be rated on its violence alone, there is a good chance the game would have been rated MA15+. It’s worth noting that before the R18+ rating came into effect most Grand Theft Auto games managed to make it past the Classification Board at MA15+.

Reaction to the news was swift:

But there were also tweets from people who approved of the decision:

On Target Australia’s Facebook page the debate was more heated with a 4000-strong comment thread.

A large number of petitions have emerged as a result of the decision, but the situation is fragmented. Some are playing it straight, like this one; others are petitioning Rockstar themselves to “not give in“. Other petitions are claiming that Grand Theft Auto provides players with the choice to perform “equal opportunity violence”. Some took a different tack, demanding that if Grand Theft Auto V was removed from stores, the book 50 Shades Of Grey should also be taken off-sale.

Grand Theft Auto V‘s publisher, Take-Two, expressed disappointment at the decision.

“We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto V — a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software. “Grand Theft Auto V explores mature themes and content similar to those found in many other popular and groundbreaking entertainment properties. Interactive entertainment is today’s most compelling art form and shares the same creative freedom as books, television, and movies. I stand behind our products, the people who create them, and the consumers who play them.”

Comments

  • It’s a shitty position for Target to be in.

    This is an instant lose from a PR standpoint, and the second this hits morning tv… and it will, this becomes another “murder simulator that teaches kids to assault women”.
    Mainstream press isn’t going to suggest that parents supervise their own children, because that’d piss off their target audience. They’re not going to suggest not buying games for children under the age rating, because that’d be telling their audience off.

    Target really had no option… poor bastards.

    • There’s also the fact that coming to the discussion with ‘facts and logic’ won’t get the papers or morning shows nearly as many ratings as a big fat controversy will, so time to jump on the band-wagon, “Orgasmic Rape Simulation” it is.

    • They had the option to have some debates with industry leaders in interactive entertainment in Australia. Yet they didn’t.

      Whilst I whole heartedly agree with preventing violence against women, the women saying the game “promotes” violence and/or sexual violence towards women have clearly never played it.

      Given there is a scene in which you torture a man in the game, why is that considered ok? Is it that men can handle torture and women can’t?? There are no female military or police officers in the game, also not discussed. There are sexist stand points all over GTA, most are deliberate because it’s a very satirical game.

      The fact that this game has been out for over a year now, and it’s the ~12th game branded with a GTA title almost makes this argument redundant.

      Some are saying Target has made an admirable move by addressing violence against women over profits, yet the bulk of money R* and Target made with GTA V would have come and gone already. This looks to me like a “we’re the good guys here” PR stunt that achieves very little.

    • What do you mean the had on options?

      Simply stating that that the game does not, in any way actually force its Adult R18+ audience to commit violance agianst any specific gender or race and that they are comfortable with the game being sold to an adult audience along with their range of R18+ movies and books like Fifty Shades of Grey?

      Sensible well thought out public response > kneejerk reaction to femists playing victim game.

  • Who the hell buys games at target anyway?? If its cheaper there just take proof and get eb to price match. This way you save the money and stick it to those price gouging bastards in the process!

    • I have not brought a game from target since 1998. I was living in the country and target was the only place to buy video games at that time.

      • Actually
        I don’t have a problem with GTA5 but as a father of a little girl I do have some concerns about the length of girls shorts………they should fix that problem too.

      • Return it immediately. It clearly depicts violence against men, women, children, pets, pokemon and whatever the heck Kirby is.

    • I do.
      A lot of people do, actually. My friend who worked at eb games tells me Target usually sells out much faster than they do, which is fine for EB as they refuse to price match while Target doesn’t have any stock. They spend most of the day checking hour-to-hour calling Target to see if they have stock and the price changes dramatically based on it.

        • ..but it is actually true. I’m not making this up for the fun of it. Sure, this probably varies from store to store but I have no doubt there have been countless consumers who have run into this.

          • Hmm. That is unfortunate then. My local EB has fantastic staff, and they never question anything related to price matching. Obviously some inconsistencies there, maybe there are in Target too! Perhaps there is one Target out there with some secret copies of GTA V left for sale….

        • It is true. We were denied a lower price on The Last of Us PS4 edition initially as Forest Lake Target was out of copies of TLOU. I then remembered DSE, got it for 58 lmao.

    • This is really the main point: Target could stop selling games altogether and no-one would care. It’s not gonna start a domino effect; JB and EBGames are looking on going “You idiots…” for them refusing to sell one of the best-selling games in history. Fail by Target, I could name at least 10 other games they sell that discriminate against women and promote VAW.

    • EB never price match anything.. thats why all their versions come with dlc like and exclusive pair of pants!

      that way they wont price match because it is different.

      • Mine price match everything…

        I’ve even had instances where I’ve asked them to price match one retailer (say JB), and they’ve told me that it’s cheaper again somewhere else (BigW for example)… and then they’ve matched the lower price.

          • yep 5+ hours and 440km one way haha 🙁 lucky you tho i remember when i brought starcraft 2 for PC and it was $69 at dicksmith and $99 at EB and they wouldn’t price match because it was to low -_-

  • Violence against women has been around since the beginning of time.
    The game is aimed as adults who generally have the maturity to know that you don’t treat women in real life like you do in games. I think it’s a stupid decision that will only lose them money.

    • But the point is that the game never ever alerts you to the fact this is possible or forces you into killing women, prostitute or otherwise. There is no mission in the game from memory which says to go out and pay for a prostitute and then murder her. The violence in GTA is largely against males; the narrative itself has you torture a man and of course kill hundreds of them over the course of the game.

      Never are you rewarded for killing a woman in this game. These people have no frame of reference, they haven’t taken the time to play the game, they have only gone out and cherry picked content on the internet which fits their stance and have then pressured a retailer to stop selling it.

      The head of Target sounded reasonable in yesterdays article and then seemed to do a full 180 and go the other way.

      • This is my argument too. Some of these ‘activists’ involved in the petition have claimed that, through the killing of women the player can earn added health points or other rewards/incentives. What nonsense. If that were the case, the OFLC would probably have refused the classification of this game.

  • Idiots.

    Meanwhile the actual sources of domestic violence are still alive and well and this decision will have no impact.

    • I agree there are much better ways to stop violence against women. A PR stunt on a game that would have made Target enough money by now serves only to make Target look good, nothing more.

  • Well, it’s not like you can’t get the game anywhere else.
    Target is (to generalize) more of a mum shop anyway, so… good for them, i guess?
    I dunno….

    • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Socialist.
      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      First it’s removed from Warehouse NZ, then from Target. How many more stores will be pressured to pull the game before we draw the line? Yes, this is Target, but it represents something far worse and far more sinister – momentum. This has a serious risk of snowballing into being pulled from sale everywhere, or worse, reclassified and banned. All on the basis of misinformation and lies told by people who don’t understand what they’re protesting against.

      I don’t know if it’s ‘good for them’ or not, but it is absolutely not good for us.

  • I sent this petition into Kotaku days ago and NOW they run the story? Do you think after this victory, this merry band will stop here? Expect the government to be petitioned to make this game RC.

    • If they do watch a few hundred petitions pop up to ban their petition as well as numerous death threats..it’ll only open up a new pandoras box of gamergate vitriol

      • Perhaps it needed a dose of common sense instead of just ignoring it. If these ignorant people (I’m hesitant to use the term SJW, but it fits) push it further, what did we fight for an R18+ rating for?

      • whilst i agree to an extent with you mark, that you are indeed giving it more exposure then it deserves, there’s two sides to it.

        I also sent this petition in hoping you guys would cover it on the basis that a very large ammount of those signatures, are from people who didnt sign it because they agree with it, but solely for the sake of making contructive conversation about the inaccuracies of the petition.

        a quick glance over the first few pages of comments and id say a good 60%-75% of the comments are from p0eople who disagree with this petition for numerous reasons.

        you cant leave a comment without signing the petition. might want to read more into it.

        • Are you telling me that people signed the petition just so they can voice their opinion that they disagree with the petition? God dammit, we deserve stupid decisions like this if we have this many morons on our side.

          • exactly. read the comments. TBF i dont think anyone believed for a split second that this petition was going to go anywhere, and just wanted a voice in this entire ordeal.

          • Exactly. I saw the petition yesterday, and I too noticed that a large amount of people which signed it did so just so they could comment on how stupid it was.

            I had a chuckle and carried on with my day.

            My jaw hit the flaw when I saw the news this morning….. oh, the amount of stupid hurts my brain

  • Granted I played GTA5 with a 40 decree temperature and a vomit bucket close at hand but I can’t remember the violence against women level. I remember robbing banks and a mildly interesting story about manhood and dealing with middle age………maybe the rape level is in the ps4/Xbone version??

    • It’s because you can hire a prostitute then kill her and take the money which is odd to be defining that as the games main message, you can rob and kill anyone in that game it isn’t singling out women or sex workers at all.

    • I dunno, there’s the implied rape of Johnny Klebitz from Trevor… But that’s violence against men, so it doesn’t matter..

  • “[T]his is about torturing and the ritualised murder of women,”

    The fact that people are so willing to believe these kinds of things without doing any research for themselves really, really scares me.

    Looks like I’m boycotting Target from now on.

    • Just knowing that women are being portrayed as deserving to be sexually used by men and potentially murdered for sport and pleasure…

      So… Clearly never actually played the game and get the entirety of their information from FOX ‘news’.
      I guess these kind of people also consider that the game venerates America’s obsession with fame and wealth instead of lampooning it for some sometimes affectionate – but usually not – criticism.

      The whole fucking thing is an exercise in gross exaggeration to parody or criticize. No matter who you are. That’s the POINT. Liberals and Conservatives, radio shock jocks, trophy wives, gangsta wannabes, everyone gets an unflattering caricature in that game. Just because something is present, portrayed, doesn’t mean it’s endorsed. You’re forced to go through an unbearable torture scene which all but beats you over the head with a brick wrapped in a note that says it doesn’t actually endorse ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

      And if they’re complaining about what people CAN do inside a sandbox, such as picking up hookers then murdering them afterwards… you can also fire rocket launchers at buses, but the game isn’t portraying public transport patrons as deserving of fiery auto death.

  • “It’s worth noting that before the R 18+ rating came into effect all Grand Theft Auto games managed to make it past the Classification Board at MA 15+.”

    Nope.

    GTA III
    Banned (RC). (late 2001)
    http://bit.ly/1wt0IbA
    http://bit.ly/1tFdyxe (appeal fails)
    Censored version rated MA 15+ (2002) :
    http://bit.ly/12vaZqY
    More info:
    http://bit.ly/1tNMWJo

    GTA Vice City
    Distributor censored version rated MA 15+ in 2002:
    http://bit.ly/1ylRuNw
    Then in 2010 it was rated MA 15+ again:
    http://bit.ly/1zknBeN
    Potentially misleading term “Modified”.
    Google says it’s uncensored.
    More info:
    http://bit.ly/1w2sL1Y

    GTA San Andreas
    Uncut version rated MA 15+ in 2004:
    http://bit.ly/1yhqZVL
    Then the hot coffee mod hysteria happened, so..
    Revoked (2005) :
    http://bit.ly/1wt8UbP
    After removing the hidden ‘hot coffee’ sex scene, re-rated MA 15+ (the following month) :
    http://bit.ly/1pV2y2m
    Classified MA 15+ again just last month:
    http://bit.ly/1ylWtOm
    More info:
    http://bit.ly/1tNNvCY

    GTA IV
    Distributor censored version rated MA 15+ (2007) :
    http://bit.ly/1vlnr2L
    Uncut version rated MA 15+ (2008) :
    http://bit.ly/15PhAOx
    More info:
    http://bit.ly/1Belf5r

    Grand Theft Auto Advance
    Rated M (2004)
    http://bit.ly/1AgWjGX

    Grand Theft Auto (said to be Colour Game Boy version)
    Rated M (1999)
    http://bit.ly/1wtlo3a

    • Ah just correcting you there but they eventually got released as MA rated. That was their main point.

      • Modified or not, the fact of the matter here was that the previous GTA games were available in the market at a lower rating than most of the western world. In the UK most if not all of these had an 18 rating.

        The whole argument for having 18+ classifications in Australia was not to flood our market with murder and rape simulators, but it was to ensure games that are meant to be for adults are rated appropriately.

  • I must’ve played the game wrong on PS3. It seemed the vast majority (99%) of characters I killed in the game were male. But that’s not a point worth focusing on?

    • you mean you intentionally avoided killing women in game, and not treating them equal?
      You sexist pig!

  • Is this where everyone pats Target on the back for being so socially sensitive?

    We need to break this warped mentality- banning games which depict so-called ‘violence against women’ will not stop violence against women in real life.

    • Its not about stopping it in real life tho. Groups like this are about the total removal of it from society, witch includes video games, movies, books and so on. The main reason people go after games most of all is that they are interactive.

      Yes, video games are not real life, but if you had a bad experience that scared you for life in such a way that you would not be able to think about it without remembering exactly how it felt, then you would probably be pitty pissed if they made a game that did not really tell you that it is wrong.

      Nicole, if you even read the articular, had been a sex worker, and from the sound of it, ended up in a bad situation because of it. Now, the whole ‘Shes a sex worker, what do you think would happen’ argument just proves her point.

      As smart as video gamers are, it amazes me at how insensitive and stupid they can be.

      As for target, really, its there loss. People will just go to EB, BW, Kmart and so on instead. So, why bother boycotting them? They are already shooting them self in the foot.

  • Just outlined the censorship history of the GTA games in Aus. I realise that whenever I mentioned a GTA game getting a MA 15+, regardless of cut status, then you are actually correct so the “Nope” doesn’t apply 🙂

  • Or they could have gone down the smarter route and donated some profits to the white ribbon campaign or something.

  • I kind of wish the gaming community will just go “okay target, it’s your business and that’s fair if you want to remove the game from sale” but I suspect the community will just get angry.

    • It is their business, but the reason the gaming community will get angry is because this means a can of worms has been opened. What is stopping them from creating a petition to stop other games, such as the evil within, or even smash bros. I know it sounds ludicrous, but a lot of the people objecting to these games don’t actually know anything about what they’re opposing, aside from maybe the gist of it.
      The reason I included Smash bros is because you beat up female characters. It’s technically violence against women. It’s also the fact that these people can’t seem to understand that adults can differentiate between fiction and reality. It’s insulting to insinuate that.
      It’s Target’s decision, yes, but it’s also the gamers decision where they buy the game. Same with the women that were offended. They didn’t have to shop at target, but if a game like that offends them, well, it’s kind of their problem.

    • It’s not that Target has pulled a game; of course thats their decision. Its the fact that now people who are ill-informed and have no actual facts or idea of what the real content of something is can shout as loud as they can and call VAW on something that really has nothing to do with it and still get their way. Which then influences more fools into thinking the same way.

      Instead of focussing on the actual issues of VAW it turns it into a “video games create violent misogynists who torture, rape and murder women” issue when that is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Obviously the last 2 GTA games I mentioned, the M rated Gameboy ones, are not part of that ‘censorship history’. But they’re not MA 15+ so they’re relevant to include..

  • I see the green leftie dogooders are at it again. The game has an R rating, so don’t let your children play it. This is not a game for children. But the 38,000 people who pushed the petition are bad parents.

      • I am not. It’s a simple stereotype. But with the Green telling people to boycott Barbie for girls and Zerf guns for boys as it incites domestic violence and a gender divide two days ago, I do think that there is a bit of political play in this, as in everything in life.

  • Sometimes I wish we could take back the power that the internet has given fringe groups to make their voices heard…

    Still, at least it’s only target. If they start trying to take away other peoples toys at a federal level based on mis-information then I’ll be properly upset.

  • Wonder if they’ll pull Eminem’s new album where he threatens to rape Aussie musician Iggy Azalea? Huh?

  • Tough situation. As mentioned above, shitty position for Target to be in, especially since it’s image has always been a ‘family friendly’ store – a lot of mums/families shopping there with kids.

    But is anyone really that surprised? It sucks because this is such a hollow, token gesture that’s really not going to do anything to address the real social issues behind violence against women, and domestic violence as a whole. It’s just the usual scapegoating, and as always, what easier target (no pun intended) than video games, movies and music? Just skip addressing the elephant in the room and point your guns at the bad guy.

    I’m not going to boycott Target, because I think that’s just as hollow a gesture as their decision to remove GTAV. I mean I only go in there once or twice a year to maybe grab a cheap pair of shorts or undies or something, I’m not fussed.

    • Sometimes they have games cheapest, so I might grab something from there, or Christmas decorations, but I don’t actually shop there often. I used to buy clothes from there, but it’s all crap now.

      • I’ve heard that they sometimes have cheap games – never really looked though. Few times I have they’ve always got stock that’s like 18 months old with it’s full price on it.

      • Their clothes are pretty good, actually. Target are getting better at following current fashion trends and the quality is often very similar to that of “branded” clothing.

  • Tin foil hat conspiracy time! (as in completely unfounded and wrong but don’t let that stop anything)

    Target were selling it for $64 forcing price match outlets to sell it for nearly half price. Retailers start the petition that is focused solely on Target to stop it.

    Think about it! (please dont)

    Seriously though, as I’ve said elsewhere before, they’ve already made the bulk of their sales and it’s incredibly weak to take this stand now after they’ve made most of the profit they were going to make.

  • I’ve spend way to much time writing and deleting this post this morning where I’ve now gotten to where I don’t see the point anymore. It’s crap like this that clouds the real issues. There are clearly serious problems with sexism and the way women are represented in the game, but going to far like this and making unbased claims ends up being a distraction and discredits the entire argument.

    This is just stupid. The whole situation. Stupid things done by emotional and stupid people.

  • My brain hurts about whom to follow in this debate, plus no one has mentioned a potential gamergate backlash over target pulling this game off their shelves due to the issue of women, which means they will be targeting the women behind this. Man, my brain really hurts about this debate.

  • That’s 41k mis-informed customers that Target responded to. Oh well, guess I’m not shopping there any more.

  • Desk chair activists all the way. So, I am sure there are plenty of movies in the store that won’t get removed. Should we start a petition to get it back INTO Target?

  • Now I just feel like opening joke petitions for random things that Target should ban. Anyone want to help me get the Australian Cotton Men’s V Neck Tee in green colour banned? But only the one in green, the other colours are OK.

    *cough* @greenius *cough*

      • Green is the colour of envy. That is a harmful emotion that they should not be promoting, if men did not feel envy over other men who won the attention of women in their place, then they would not harbour such a resentment towards women that they would then be violent towards them.

        Ban the green shirt!

  • so why do we have an R18+ rating again? and if the petition got 40k signatures (assumingly mostly older women) how is that in any way representative of the millions and millions of customer they get?

    And since when did an online petition mean anything anyway? haha

    • I’ve been waiting for a comment like this, my sentiments exactly.

      The game is rated R18+, i.e. for adults. It’s a free country and adults can buy whatever legal media they want. I’ve got young kids and there’s NO WAY i would let them play this game, but i know lots of other parents who aren’t involved in the gaming community and know nothing about the game and let their 14/15 year old kids play, and they’re the type of people who would have signed the petition.

      40k people would be a drop in the ocean to their customer base. But the squeaky wheel gets the oil…

      SJW’s are ruining the world.

    • I don’t think GTAV deserves to be removed going by previous games (waiting for PC), but just because a piece of media doesn’t breach the guidelines of the censorship board doesn’t mean it can’t be destructive in some way or another.

      Anyway, don’t worry so much, even if all the Australian retailers ban it we can still import it if it’s not illegal

  • Hear about this sort of shit all the time, people/companies not doing/saying things, or retracting something they already said/did for fear that it’ll offend somebody. It’s getting to be a bit of a joke now, it’s gotta stop.

    it’s not like it’s real people IT’S A FREAKIN’ GAME!

  • The change.org petition was started by a bunch of sex workers, who have been victims sexual violence, that i have no beef with but the chances are the perps are sick weirdos more so than gamers who were told to do stuff by a video game.

    But the #1 fact they fail to tell you is that, violence outside of missions is 100% completely optional, you don’t have to smack a prostitute with a baseball bat, you don’t have to drive a tank down a mall turning pedestrians into squishy speedbumps. You can go through the entire game and not kill a innocent pedestrian.

    I have lost respect for Target, yeah i get it was their decision to pull the game but it now sets up a precedent where any small group can get their own way. Will target pulling the game affect me playing any GTA, Hell no and for anyone with an IQ above a puddle of stagnant water, it shouldn’t for them as well.

    • Yes the precedence is scary. What’s next, Big W, KMart, Myer, David Jones, JB, Harvey Norman and other big retailer’s pull the game too? Does it eventually degrade to the point where they revoke the R18 rating and games like GTA don’t make it into the country?

      All Target had to do was come out and state the facts – the game does not promote violence against sex workers/women, assaulting women/pedestrians is optional; as-in not required or promoted, the game is appropriately classified R18 and is for adults.

    • [quote]You can go through the entire game and not kill a innocent pedestrian.[/quote]

      I dunno, I have a hard time controlling the cars in the game.. it seems I always run over a few innocents

      On a more serious note, shall we assume every movie that has a scene of a woman being hit will be removed from sale too…?

  • Ban Skyrim. The player is clearly rewarded for decapitating women. And it’s in first person too, with a special animation!

  • I saw the petition and it is was a mess. The explanation was so badly written and obviously took things way out of context to prove their ridiculously skewed point.

    They could have spent their efforts in much better ways, counselling, education, workshops etc, but instead to focus on a scapegoat, but to what end?

    I just don’t understand what the point is of all this, you can still buy the game in EB, JB, Gametraders, Kmart, Dick Smith and countless other stores across Australia. What did they prove or change?

    • as long as it stays with just target, and is quite likely overturned in the future because it really is a large slice of sales pie they are going to miss out on. If it makes its way to dick smith and big W I may find myself resigning from woolworths.

  • Thinking I should start a petition that requests target remove all dresses and low cut tops from their stores, they are clearly there as a means to dress up and therefore objectify women and quite frankly this isn’t acceptable. All female clothing lines should henceforth be replaced by the burqua and niquab, because lets face it, whatever issues you have with the garb, it certainly makes purchasing clothing much easier.
    Also I’m joking…about the burqua point…not the first point, which would be hilarious to see the outcome of

  • Interestingly The Warehouse NZ stopped sales of nextgen GTAV a week after it launched. There was also comments from them saying it doesn’t fit in with their family values….they use to sell alcohol FFS!

  • I find the capability of picking up prostitutes in the game distasteful and would prefer it wasn’t in the game but tightly coupling that game mechanic with another separate game mechanic (killing npcs) within a sandbox world where the player has full autonomy is a bit of a reach as the narrative is constructed by the player. I have the choice to run around only targeting African-American npcs – but I would not say the game incites racial hatred.

    Very interesting discussion – The whole 3rd person to 1st person impact idea – only going to heat up as VR becomes a reality. Where will we stand when video games no longer look or feel like video games when played by an adult that rationally knows the difference?

    I am sympathetic to these women, I find it hard to disagree that GTA “has always been a deeply misogynistic, hyper-masculine game that reduces women largely to strippers and prostitutes”

    …but even so – I am an adult and I am aware of this.

    I have always seen GTA as a fascinating reflection and a quite damning and satirising parody of our culture. Let’s see Rockstar change it up with a female lead next time.

  • Meh bunch of uneducated moms. Saw the petition went up and all I can think of is parents buying the game when it is clearly written RESTRICTED 18+ and then saw their kids attacking woman in game. Or Maybe, they just youtube some video about it and suddenly went outraged how can kids play this game, but the point is, it is not for kids, it is an adult game for 18+

  • I haven’t played it yet so I don’t know the details of missions. Is there a mission where you have to dump a prostitute in the laneway and set her on fire, or is this just some bs my wife (who also hasn’t played it) heard on fb or tv?

    • there is no such mission.

      Full disclosure though, this can be done in “free roam”, but this would be of the players free will, nothing the game will direct them to do.

  • I wonder if they have a notice pinned up on the boards in the Bangladesh sweatshops where their workers, who are being paid 22cents/hour, can read about the fine moral standpoint their employers are taking.

  • what needs to be done is for a list of all the dvds that are depicting women in a bad way and use that excuse to ban them for sale under the same stupid reason as GTA v. lets see what target says then when confronted with a list of movies and say hey hippocrites how can you ban one thing and then sell something a lot worse…….

    • Why stop there? Why not list every music album or single that depicts violence against women? What about every novel, or at-least the rest of the video games?

      The whole thing’s a joke.

  • ” [T]his is about torturing and the ritualised murder of women,”

    Clearly, a complete lack of subject knowledge doesn’t stop some people from talking.

    I hope Target stops selling female dolls now, because what’s stopping someone buying one of them and making a YouTube video of themselves brutally hacking it apart?

  • What everybody has said about it being violent, but not specifically to women, and sexist, but satirical are all excellent points. Rather than putting more heat on Target – caught in the middle of this shitstorm (reminds me of the yogurt company forced to give up their Halal certification), I’d like to see a direct response from GTA V. Maybe paste a couple of these quotes on the cover of the PC edition:

    “the new 1st person interactive mode released globally last week significantly ratchets up gamers’ experiences.” – Denise Ritchie, Stop Demand Foundation

    “(GTA V has) upped the ante” – Anonymous petitioner

  • What someone should do, is plan and record a GTAV gaming marathon and get sponsorship and send the funds to an association that fights Violence against Women.

    Wonder how the Collective Shout would all react to that..

  • Why is there such a social stigma attached to Violence Against Women in videogames this year?

    We kill millions of digital innocent men every day in depraved ways through videogames, and it isn’t such an issue; there are even articles praising the supposed therapeutic nature of playing games.

    But killing females in a game is suddenly socially deplorable?!

    Killing females is bad, mmmkay?
    Thanks Mr Mackey, but it’s not real. It’s a game.

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