Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Thursday, 4 December 2014

Grand Theft Auto V Has Been Banned By Australian Shops For It's Violence Against Women

The Debrief: Considering you can have sex with a prostitute, and then kill her, is this really a surprise?

The controversial (if you're not down with a video game where you can have sex with a prostitute and then kill her) Grand Theft Auto V has been banned in Target stores across Australia for its depictions of violence against women, after an Australian Change.org petition amassed nearly 40,000 signatures.

'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,' Jim Cooper of Target Australia 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. '

Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has now come out in defense of the game - which broke seven world sales records upon its release, selling nearly $2 billion copies according to Forbes - in a statement, saying: 'We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto V--a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world.

'Grand Theft Auto V explores mature themes and content similar to those found in many other popular and groundbreaking entertainment properties. Interactive entertainment is today's most compelling art form and shares the same creative freedom as books, television, and movies. I stand behind our products, the people who create them, and the consumers who play them.'

The game itself is, by nature, lawless and 'gritty' (in the words of Strauss Zelnick), but also by the most popular game that's pretty much ever been made. Perhaps it would be a good idea to, rather than impose some sort of world ban, remove the elements where it oversteps the mark. Having sex with a prostitute before killing her sort of seems to be over that mark.

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Tags: Sexism