Grand Theft Auto 5 banned by Australian chain due to 'violence against women'


#1

Target announced today that it’s taking GTA5 off their shelves in Australia following customer complaints.

In a statement on its website, the company claims to have made the decision following feedback from customers, “about the game’s depictions of violence against women”.

Explaining the move, which will affect Target Australia’s 300 stores around the country, general manager of corporate affairs, Jim Cooper, said, “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.

“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 GTA5 is in line with the majority view of our customers.”


#2

I’ve played GTA V. I have a love/hate relationship with it; as inappropriate and immoral as the content is, it is also a great piece of satire, mocking the inconsistencies of our materialistic culture; for example, they have “LifeInvader” instead of Facebook, “Righteous Slaughter 7” instead of Call of Duty, and companies like “Eugenics, Inc.”.

This game was also considered misogynistic even aside from the violence. Michael, one of the three protagonists, has a wife who cheats on him repeatedly, and detests his life as a bank robber but still uses his ill-gotten money and goods lavishly. His daughter is also a stereotypical “dumb blonde” who’s trying to become a TV star, and ends up with sleazy men who promise her fame.

But there is quite a bit of violence against women. Trevor, another protagonist (a psychotic, white trash gun smuggler) kidnaps the wife of a Mexican drug cartel boss. There’s also how you can massacre random people on the street for no reason, and many of them are women.


#3

So it’s okay to have the GTA series allow player violence against men, cars, chainlink fences, and innocent bystander palm trees, but violence against women is completely different?

Obviously not my kind of game… but I’m tired about some of my fellow women demanding special privileges when they don’t want any of the obligations that go along with it, and they don’t want equal rights, opportunities, and protections for everybody.

And somehow I doubt that there is anything specially and particularly bad about GTA 5 that wasn’t available in GTA games 1-4.


#4

You kill, beat, rob, insult and drive over 10 men for every woman. But you know men are evil sexist pigs who deserve it but one or two women being attacked is a horrible crime.


#5

I’m not going to get riled up over a business decision. It’s a company, they can choose what to sell or not sell. Folks unhappy with it can take their business elsewhere, folks who like the decision can shop there more. Up to the folks running the company.


#6

Yeah, it’s not like they’re committing censorship. There are a million other places to buy it, and at a lower price to boot.


#7

Kmart has joined Target in taking the game off its shelves in Australia.

A spokeswoman for the company announced on Thursday that the highly popular series would be removed from shelves immediately “following a significant review” of their content.

“Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game,” she said.

Target said on Wednesday it would stop selling the game in response to customer complaints sparked by an online petition posted by three women identifying themselves as victims of violence in the sex industry.

“This misogynistic GTA 5 literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women,” the petition, which has been signed by more than 40,000 people, said.

“We have firsthand experience of this kind of sexual violence … to see this violence that we lived through turned into a form of entertainments is sickening and causes us great pain and harm.”


#8

I would be loathe to characterize anyone as getting riled up over a business decision because it is implying that people objecting to the game are being irrational. Rather, what is their case that the game is misogynistic and is it reasonable? Personally, I think the game is an equal-opportunity offender and that it is not particularly misogynistic given then many possible objections one could marshal against it. This instead has the impression taking advantage of the gamergate frenzy from the past several months. That, and the possibility that Rockstar is trying to gin up the controversy themselves.


#9

Sorry, my point was more directed towards folks who may object to the decision. Regardless of what I think of the product, a private company has the right to decide about which products they sell.


#10

Fair enough. Pardon me for raising a trivial objection. I don’t think anyone is disputing a companies’ right to choose what to sell. Obviously, that is not an absolute right (a company that sold slaves for instance would justifiably be razed to the ground. :D) But to the topic at hand, I think some meaty objections can be raised against the game, but misogyny seems to me like bandwagoning that misses the forest for the trees.


#11

Gaming industry is full of bs with itches who use their gender to get their way in everything. The gender card solves every bloody problem and sites like Kotaku are all too happy to call gamers misogynistic while covering up the fact that they gave good reviews for sex.


#12

You don’t have to believe that the game is especially worse toward women to see a problem. The reason violence toward women is being highlighted is that people are emotionally more protective of women than of men. So when violence of this sort happens against women in the game, it is easier to realize how bad the violence is generally, for men and women.


#13

I think you’ll find both KMart and Target are owned by Coles Group. It wouldn’t surprise me if part of the same board meets for both companies, hence the same decision.


#14

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