After a recent petition on Change.org filed by some single-minded feminists requesting that Target Australia stop selling GTA V because it encourage violence against women, Target Australia have caved and removed the game from their shelves.
The petition hit just over 41k signatures (relatively small compared to other petitions and the population itself).
As an Australian adult it sickens me that a small minority of feminists even started this petition, but even more-so that Target Australia caved into the pressure and removed the game.
In Australia we have an R18+ rating for games (relatively new, but established before GTA V was released) and GTA V is one such game. The question is why now? The game was released in September 2013, over a year ago, why the petition now?
The petition claims that the game is teaching young boys to grow up thinking that violence against women is okay. Who in their right minds is letting young boys play GTA V in the first place? It is an adult game with an adult rating. If parents are letting their young children play the game, is that the fault of Rockstar, Target, the boy or is it the fault of the parents? Were Target Australia knowingly selling the game to under 18 year olds?
The petition also fails to mention that the game allows violence against meant as well, it is not a one-sided game (although the petition is). While we are on the subject, did you know that men are also victims of violence as well? Did you also know you can beat men up for money in GTA V?
While we are at it why don’t Target remove Barbie dolls from shelves for sexualising and portraying unhealthy images of women? Why don’t Target remove Nerf guns for encouraging young boys to think shooting people with guns is okay? How about Target stop selling Game of Thrones box-sets and episodes because it sexualises women and violence? How about Target stop selling copies of Fifty Shades Of Grey because it also sexualises women and teaches young boys that domination of women is normal and they are objects you can own.
I acknowledge violence against women is a real thing. But blaming such acts on a video game is wrong, it is an insult to women to suggest computer games could be to blame for some acts of violence against women, when we all know the statistics point to drug and alcohol abuse as the most contributing factors to domestic violence against women.
We live in a society that is always looking for a scapegoat, someone or something to blame. We never stop and think, that blaming computer games for problems in society does not change anything, it does not make a difference whatsoever. Computer games are not the problem, feminists, bad parents and single-minded people like the ones who created this petition are the problem.
As as a result of this, I will never shop at Target Australia again. Even if they were to reverse their decision, they have already made their bed and now they can lie in it.