Target and Kmart stores in Australia have instigated a controversy among gamers after pulling Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V from shelves. The retail giants pulled the games after three female violence survivors collected over 40,000 signatures requesting the removal due to the violent acts imposed upon women in the game. Target responded to inquiries regarding the empty shelf spots by stating it “was in line with the majority of customer views.”
The petition requesting the removal of the game from store shelves cited the sexual abuse, physical violence, and mortal damage against women in the game, and was in response to the positive rewards for committing such violent acts.
“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.”
In response to the petition, a new petition was created by fans of the game in hopes that it would be placed back on the shelves, citing that women are not the only targets in the game and that men are treated equally.
“This game may allow you to kill, hurt, bash and shoot anyone not just females and this game should be on the shelves all over the country. It’s made for adults not children, we have the right to buy games despite their content.”
However, another group of gamers took an alternate approach to the original petition. Instead of gaining signatures to place the game back on the shelves, they created a petition to remove the Bible from shelves. The Washington Post reports that the Australian gamers believe the Bible to be just as violent and demand the removal of the incendiary item from their shelves. At this time, the petition has over 26,000 signatures on the petition.
An excerpt from the petition site points out alleged areas of the Bible that determine it is equally as, if not more so, violent as Grand Theft Auto V.
“This is The Holy Bible. This book means that after various sex acts, readers are given options to kill women by stoning her unconscious, setting them on fire, cutting off their hands, and killing their children!”
It goes on to read, “This misogynistic book literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence.”
Although the petition may be a sarcastic satire, it is quickly gaining enough signatures to rival that of the petition requesting the removal of Grand Theft Auto V from the shelves. It is yet to be seen if Target of Kmart will honor the request if an equal number, or more, signatures are obtained.
What are your thoughts? Are the gamers going too far, or are they making a valid point?
[Photo Courtesy: Stevivor]