The ultra-popular video game Grand Theft Auto V will not be sold at Target Australia due to content showing extreme violence against women. In making the announcement on Wednesday, the large retail chain noted it had received a large volume of complaints “about the game’s depictions of violence against women”.
Statement from Target Australia
In explaining the decision to remove the game, which will impact Target Australia’s 300 stores across the country, the general manager of corporate affairs, Jim Cooper, noted in a statement on the chain’s website, “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 continued to say: “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.”
Not about Grand Theft Auto V’s “R” rating
Target Australia noted that the sales ban wasn’t about the fact that Grand Theft Auto V has an “R” rating for violence and adult 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,” Cooper noted. “However, in the case of GTA5, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell.”
Background on Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V gameplay is set in the fictitious city of Los Santos, an obvious parody of modern Los Angeles. The game involves role playing as one of three violent criminals as they rob and steal their way across the city. The plot line includes murder and torture, but female characters only have a minor role in the game.
As part of the game play, players can explore the city and undertake violence against other inhabitants. In earlier version of GTA, the game designers been criticized for allowing gamers to attack women, have sex with prostitutes and even rob or kill them.
Carolyn Petit of news site Gamespot reviewed Grand Theft Auto V last year. She wrote: “GTA V has little room for women except to portray them as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humorless girlfriends and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at.”