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Australian retailer pulls GTA V from shelves over sexual violence petition watch

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    Now I know that this could be posted in the gaming section, but I'd be interested in hearing opinions of people who don't tend to browse that section of TSR.

    Essentially an Australian retailer has withdrawn GTA V from sale because of a petition on change.org which took issue with the way the game treats women. The text from the petition is shown below in the quote.

    (Original post by https://www.change.org/p/target-withdraw-grand-theft-auto-5-this-sickening-game-encourages-players-to-commit-sexual-violence-and-kill-women)
    Target: Withdraw Grand Theft Auto 5 – this sickening game encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women

    It's a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking.

    This is Grand Theft Auto 5. This game means that after various sex acts, players are given options to kill women by punching her unconscious, killing with a machete, bat or guns to get their money returned.

    Please Target – we appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale.
    One of many fan clips on YouTube shows the woman being run down, run over, set alight and, still screaming, repeatedly shot. This misogynistic GTA 5 literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence.

    We have firsthand experience of this kind of sexual violence. 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.

    This game spreads the idea that certain women exist as scapegoats for male violence. It shows hatred and contempt for women in the sex industry and puts them at greater risk. Women in the industry are 40 times more likely to be murdered by a man than any other group of women.

    Games like this are grooming yet another generation of boys to tolerate violence against women. It is fuelling the epidemic of violence experienced by so many girls and women in Australia - and globally.
    Target, you pride yourself on being a family company, caring for local communities, and have a strong ethical sourcing policy. How can you do this while contributing to hostile and callous attitudes toward victims of violence and, more broadly, to all women?

    We urge you to follow the example set by the New Zealand’s largest retailer, NZ Warehouse Group, in upholding Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical corporate leadership, by removing these games.

    This would also set an example to other stockists of GTA V.
    Please put ethics before profits and make a strong statement that you do not condone sexual violence, sexual exploitation or the abuse of women as ‘entertainment’.

    Nicole, Claire and Kat
    Now my personal opinion, this is complete and utter tripe. Just wanted to pick through a few parts of the petition that I thought were completely ridiculous.

    "It's a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment," - Well given that damn near every mission is encouraging you to murder men, not women, and when playing outside of a mission the game doesn't do anything more than give you a city full of people of both genders that you can murder, I don't quite see how it encourages the murder of women.

    "The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points" - At no point does the game encourage you to use prostitutes, or even make the fact that you can use them clear without you going to actively investigate. As for the health argument, you also gain health by drinking soda, does this mean that we should be banning it for that too? After all, that could make people think that they'll be healthier if they drink soda and that could lead to people becoming fat.

    "This game means that after various sex acts, players are given options to kill women by punching her unconscious, killing with a machete, bat or guns" - You know what else the game does? It gives you the option to kill anybody at any time using a wide range of weapons.

    "One of many fan clips on YouTube shows the woman being run down, run over, set alight and, still screaming, repeatedly shot." - What about the tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of clips that show players killing men, shooting down planes, blowing up vehicles, all of that is apparently fine but when a woman gets killed in a video game that's all of a sudden a step too far?

    "This misogynistic GTA 5 literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women" - Once again, it's misogynistic if a game allows the player to kill a woman but perfectly fine if it allows them to kill men?

    "This game spreads the idea that certain women exist as scapegoats for male violence. It shows hatred and contempt for women in the sex industry and puts them at greater risk." - If anything it showed prostitution more realistically than any other game, in that it's a dangerous thing to be doing.

    "Games like this are grooming yet another generation of boys to tolerate violence against women." - You mean just like first person shooters are raising a generation of mass murderers? Just gloss over the fact that there have been hundreds of studies which show zero correlation between young people playing violent video games and their propensity towards violence except in cases where they had an underlying mental health issue.


    In case you can't tell I think that this entire thing is complete and utter bull****. The whole thing reeks of "violence against women is unacceptable, violence against men is fine".


    Anyway, I've ranted on for long enough. Opinions anyone?
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    It is pretty stupid, especially the arguments being made. I could equivalently say "we should ban a massive proportion of all media because they promote violence, and it is, of course, a well known fact that as soon as somebody sees something they are legally obliged to perform the act themselves, even if said act is illegal. But it's also Australia, and they're pretty wacky over there when it comes to game censorship imposed by the government, FO3 had to be changed, relatively minorly, so there would be no needles and **** with the drugs and they all had to have made up names because apparently showing needles in a video game where you take drugs, even medicinal ones, will turn is all into heroin addicts, especially if we call one of these drugs "heroin" in the game.
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    Agree with your post completely TC, albeit it's Australia, video games get banned there more than anywhere else pretty much.

    Of course there's another question....

    What does this do to a generation of girls who play GTA and other violent video games?

    ....OH YES THAT IS RIGHT GENDER STEREOTYPING TELLS US GIRL DO NOT PLAY THEM, whew...that would have been awkward.
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    I find it ironic based on their ancestors would have loved that kind of thing

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    I find it astonishing how people find the time to come up with this nonsense. One can only assume they do not work and are either funded by the taxpayer or their partners.
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    Scapegoating has always existed, before games it was television, before television it was film, then music then art then literature etc. People like easy solutions to complex problems because it requires no effort.
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    Wow this is hilarious, What makes it even better is that the in game radio stations sometimes air adverts that completely satirize this "Sign our petition because we are pissed off" attitude.
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    I'm against this. The problem is, it is pick and choose isn't it. Australian tv would have programs every night that contain murders, yet they are not pulled?

    If this was happening in certain countries, you'd expect that, but banning games in free societies like New Zealand and Australia is poor.

    People know the distinction between video games and real life. It is a great game. I've been playing GTA games for 10 years, as have many others and have no desire to do those things in real life. It's patronising to suggest people don't know the distinction between a game and real life.
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    I think Australia took San Andreas off the shelves as well after it was released following similar controversy.

    To be honest, it was bound to happen in some places.
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    I agree the petition is silly, most likely signed by people who've never played a GTA game. It reminds me of objections to Tomb Raider on the grounds of Lara killing tigers and other animals, without batting an eye at the indiscriminate killing of humans to steal artifacts.
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    Ha. Silly people.
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    What complete bull****. At no point in the game does it encourage violence against women, it merely allows you to kill random civilians regardless of gender. The vast majority of violence in the game is directed against men, I can only think of two women who you kill in the plot (and one was an accident).
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    (Original post by miser)
    I agree the petition is silly, most likely signed by people who've never played a GTA game. It reminds me of objections to Tomb Raider on the grounds of Lara killing tigers and other animals, without batting an eye at the indiscriminate killing of humans to steal artifacts.
    That was peta though, so to be expected; surprised we haven't heard of one for FC4 given tigers AND rhinos, then again, there probably is one but nobody cares.
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    Feminists have way too much sway.
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    ech, Gamergate pt 2. GTA is a dodgy franchise re: glamourisation of gangsta paradise, but it's no Manhunt.

    All hail Mumsnet
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    Lol what stupid women votes for this?

    In almost any video game with death you kill thousands more men than women.
    :facepalm:
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    (Original post by TheBBQ)
    Lol what stupid women votes for this?

    In almost any video game with death you kill thousands more men than women.
    :facepalm:
    Hold on, you're right. So that means video games were sexist against men all along? We need to start a petition.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    That was peta though, so to be expected; surprised we haven't heard of one for FC4 given tigers AND rhinos, then again, there probably is one but nobody cares.
    The animal thing just seems really odd to me. If you care about the killing of virtual animals but think that the killing of virtual people is fine then your priorities are pretty damn screwed up.
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    (Original post by AJExeter)
    The animal thing just seems really odd to me. If you care about the killing of virtual animals but think that the killing of virtual people is fine then your priorities are pretty damn screwed up.
    Well, those people you're killing are probably meat eaters soo....by their weird definition of murder, you're just being a vigilante killing murderers.
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    Australia's always been tough on games with sex, violence and drugs. I remember Fallout 3 being refused classification, but they edited the game to rename morphine to Med-X and it was fine.
 
 
 
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