Who's at fault for GTA V ban?

Who's at fault for GTA V ban?

The end of last week saw gamers up in arms once again, as someone seemed to be trying to censor their hobby; so what's new there? The Australian arm of Target, the US retailer, announced that after a petition from some 40,000 locals, it had decided to cease stocking all copies of Grand Theft Auto V. This was despite the fact that it had received certification from the usually very strict Australian censory board and has been given the all clear in many other countries around theworld.

The reason for the petition that started it all, was several ex­sex workers, who believed that the
game promoted violence against women, because it was possible to have sex with a prostitute, kill them and then take back your money. They weren't to know that this is almost a long­standing gag in GTA at this point, so you can understand why to non­game players, especially ones unfamiliar with the GTA universe, it could be considered distasteful.

But does that give them the right to push for a ban? And was Target right to follow through with their request?

Well, for starters, Target can do whatever it likes with its stores. Just like any other retailer, it has a right to stock whatever it wants and to not stock whatever it wants. You can even go so far as to see why it makes sense for the firm, since it isn't a big gaming retailer so is more likely to lose more business by stocking it than it would do so by keeping it in stock and angering those who the game offends.

It's a shame that it's pandering to people that claim offence in this case, where they clearly haven't played the game or even know much about it (the initial petition references gaining health for beating up women), especially when you consider the fact hat the new R18 rating for videogames in the country makes it clear that the content in the game isn't designed for children.

The problem isn't the retailer in this instance. Yes it could make a stand for decency, but nobody is expecting a corporation to do anything other than vote with its wallet and do what makes the most sense for its bottom line.

Who we can expect more from, are people.

In this case, the fault lies with the people offended at a game that they haven't played, will never play and wouldn't have even heard about were it not for Youtube Let's Plays. It's not even an issue that they find the game distasteful, many people do – that torture scene has turned many a hardened gamer's stomach – but that they're uneducated about what they're discussing.

If you want to tear something down and stop other people from doing it, playing it or using it, you better have a very good reason. To claim that a game promotes anything to children when it is clearly marked as an 18+ title, is ridiculous. Yes you could suggest that parents ignore the
warnings and give in­to children's demands anyway, but that's a problem for the parents, not the retailer or anyone else.

Secondly, to suggest that GTA promotes violence against women is one thing, but in the same breath you would have to argue that GTA promotes violence against everyone. There is zero incentive to attack women, just as there is very little incentive to attack random men, but the game allows you to do that if you want. It's a crazy sandbox where wholesale murder is just one trip to the hospital away from being fine.

Yes, in GTA women are portrayed badly, but so are men and so is just about everyone in its
deplorable universe.

But that's the point, it's supposed to parody us.

The people trying to ban games or block them from being played are the same kinds of people that tried to ban video­nasties in the 80s and 90s. Naive individuals, who don't understand a "new," and emerging technological and artistic trend and it's scary. I can see why, but instead of trying to ban things they should educate themselves so that they understand it better.

And that's where you come in. No doubt if you've read this far, you're of the mind that GTA isn't as harmful as these people say. No doubt you've played one of the series yourself and aren't a murderous woman hater.

That's great. But you need to make that clear. That means that when these concerns come up, making passive aggressive counter petitions is what you should do, not call these people social justice warriors and other inflammatory names.

Explain to them rationally, calmly why they're wrong and let the truth out all. The facts are that
computer games of all kinds do not make people do anything. They don't make them more violent towards women, especially in GTA when you spend most of your time mowing down faceless civilians and endless male police officers.

Be civil, be calm and let retailers ban what they like. Vote with your wallet and explain with
rationale and we'll come across as good gamers, not the kind of hateful individuals that certain
groups would paint us to be.