Grand Theft Auto 5 pulled from Target shelves in Australia [Update: Kmart, too]

Target Australia has pulled copies of Grand Theft Auto 5 from its shelves due to its violence against women.

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Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 has been pulled off store shelves in Target retail stores across Australia over its controversial depiction of violence against women.

A group of women started a Change.org petition calling on Target to withdraw the game from its shelves. As survivors of sexual violence, the women felt the game sent a dangerous message to players. “It's a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment,” the petition reads. “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.” As of this writing, a total of over 41,000 supporters have backed the petition.

Target general manager of corporate affairs, Jim Cooper, admits the company’s decision to stop selling Grand Theft Auto 5 was made after they received “extensive” community and customer concern. "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," Cooper said in a statement. “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.”

I understand the concerns of these women in regards to its violence against women, but Grand Theft Auto 5 doesn’t single women out. Instead, anyone and everyone can feel the rage of your character at any time. Even wildlife can be murdered if you’re able to track them.

[Update: Kmart Australia has now announced they have also ceased selling Grand Theft Auto 5 as a result of customer feedback. A Kmart spokesperson shared the following statement:

"Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games, Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately. Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game."]

Senior Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 3, 2014 7:35 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Grand Theft Auto 5 pulled from Target shelves in Australia

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      December 3, 2014 10:10 AM

      I'm glad Australia is taking this step to protect the young, developing brains of 20 and 30 year olds.

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        December 3, 2014 11:17 AM

        To be fair, a ton of kids play GTA despite it being M

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          December 3, 2014 1:35 PM

          Which is the actual problem.

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          December 3, 2014 3:04 PM

          Well that's their parents fault.

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          December 3, 2014 4:53 PM

          its R+ rated in Australia, you can't buy it unless you are over 18!

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      December 3, 2014 10:55 AM

      Such idiotic hypocrisy.

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      December 3, 2014 11:18 AM

      I guess that is Target's choice. Whatever floats their boat, even though its pretty dumb.

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      December 3, 2014 11:54 AM

      So this was in response to some petition from women. Fine. It's not as if the game can't be obtained in other places; good luck petitioning all of them.

      Australia has rated the game MA18+, feels to me like they have made a pretty good decision.

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        December 3, 2014 12:21 PM

        It's R18+. Children cannot purchase it legally.

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      December 3, 2014 12:11 PM

      The interesting thing about this is that other than logo and name, Target Australia has little to do with Target in the rest of the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_Australia

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      December 3, 2014 1:11 PM

      Funny.... I was under the impression that I could kill guys just as much as I could kill women in this game. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

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        December 3, 2014 1:11 PM

        i kill far more men then women in this game, im sure of it

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        December 3, 2014 1:27 PM

        You should only feel bad for the women you kill. It is open season on men though.

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        December 3, 2014 1:53 PM

        killing men is fine.

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        December 5, 2014 9:10 AM

        are you really trying to argue that the GTA games aren't highly misogynistic?

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      December 3, 2014 1:45 PM

      Yeah it's a shame Rockstar doesn't allow any violence against men in their games, only against women.

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      December 3, 2014 5:02 PM

      Maybe it's all these cops emulating GTA's cops who start shooting for traffic violations.

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      December 4, 2014 6:21 AM

      It looks like Kmart has also jumped onto the bandwagon. I went ahead and updated the story to add their statement.

      When it rains, it pours, eh?

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      December 4, 2014 7:36 AM

      They won't take our games they said. They're fighting for women's rights they said. Just wait, first they take our GTA5s, then they'll take our FREEDOM.
      Good thing GamerGate is around to fight these disgusting authoritarians.

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        December 5, 2014 9:15 AM

        Gamergate is the trash of humanity. Thankfully the community here has made it pretty clear that they're not welcome.

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      December 4, 2014 1:46 PM

      "Reminder that to anyone outside of the gaming world GTA is seen for the repugnant misogynist garbage that it is. But for gamers it’s normal."

      https://twitter.com/radicalbytes/status/540596478717095937

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      December 4, 2014 5:45 PM

      Okay. So GTA has allowed us to kill prostitutes right after doing the deed since...well, I guess GTA III, if I remember correctly (I didn't play the top-down, 2-D games, so I'm taking a guess here). I can understand the shock that an outsider might have towards that, but just like in real life, players have a choice NOT to engage the services of a prostitute, as well as not kill them afterward, just as they have a choice not to kill any random pedestrian they run into, male or female.

      What I don't get though is how anyone gets the idea that the game "encourages players to murder women for entertainment" and incentivises them to "commit sexual violence against women, then abuse them or kill them to get 'health' points." What the hell is this noise?

      First of all, at least with my experience with the game and any GTA game I've played, sexual encounters with prostitutes or girlfriends have NEVER been violent, and never have I seen anything in the game that explicitly encourages me to kill or abuse them. The "health points" that the player gets from sexual encounters come from participating in the sex act itself, not as a reward for harming your partner. It appears to me that these people have not actually played the game or closely observed how the game works. Can I say that I have never intentionally or accidentally harmed one of the prostitutes, strippers or girlfriends I've encountered in GTA games? Heck no, and I'm sure that there were times where I did it just to see what would happen in the game. But the game never encouraged me to do so, and I can't recall a time when a GTA game ever "encouraged" me to commit violence against a woman unless she was actually an enemy hell-bent on killing me (e.g. GTA III ex-girlfriend). In GTA 4, I recall a hitman mission where I could help a paranoid stranger hunt down a girl he assumed was cheating on her and kill her, but that mission gave me the choice to kill her or let her go, and as any sane person would do in real life I chose the latter.

      I'm not saying that GTA is a videogame beyond reproach, or that the game doesn't allow you to do horrible, horrible things. But if a retailer is going to cave to activists and ban a game, they should at least get the facts straight on WHY they are banning it, and not kowtow to BS excuses. Giving players the freedom to do anything they want is different from encouraging them to do evil.

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        December 5, 2014 2:50 PM

        You cant really review the retailer actions from just a few paragraphs in the article. I don't think real life just happens to be so linear. If its a big chain and they have big stock of this game, that's a big loss for them, no ?

        The same way they didnt just stop selling the game. They first reviewed it (along with customers complaints). It actually says here in the article they reviewed the game's content and decided to stop selling it.

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