It is possible you already know, actually it is almost guaranteed you will know but for those who don’t I’m gonna give you the short and sweet. Australian sex workers among concerned others started a petition to Target to remove GTA V from their shelves due to the portrayal of women in the game. This petition along with some customer feedback got Target to remove the game from their shelves. People got upset, as in humorously upset in the case of petitioning to have Target remove the Bible. The point is that people have gotten very upset, and for good reason.
Does the game show women in a negative light? Yes. Does the game involve having sex with a prostitute for health that you can then kill afterwards to get that money back? Yes. These things exist and have offended people, however my question is this: What kind of world is one where people don’t ever get offended? Offensive is a personal stance, an opinion. As with all opinions they can be backed with evidence and a mass number of like minds but an opinion nonetheless. Oxygen offends me, now what world? Oh wait I’m a single person, my madness isn’t even considerable as reasonable unless I have a damn posse.
Let’s take a look at the reasons that people are giving, starting with the words on the petition “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”. Okay. Interesting. Encourages to murder women for entertainment. Except that the game encourages murder of anything and everything you want regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or what have you. Incentive to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get “health” points. Let us just clarify, you can, since GTA 3, drive near a hooker and get them to get in the car assuming you have a nice enough car. Then you take them to an area that is away from the public eye and have sex with them for health. You can then kill them to take that money back, this is a fact. However, not only do you have to google that mechanic as the game tells you nothing about it, the incentive to kill them is….like what 100 bucks or so, maybe 200 if you chose every kind of act in GTA 5. That amount of money in GTA is hilariously minuscule, you walk around with a million dollars easy in GTA. There is no incentive to kill the prostitute unless you either are really attached to that amount of money or can’t be assed to kill 2 random people on the street for their cash, this amount of money is trivial as can be.
“grooming yet another generation of boys to tolerate violence against women” I played GTA, I have been playing violent games since a young age because my parents understood I can differentiate clearly between reality and depictions of fiction. Mind you an 18 game wasn’t the experience of 9 year old me, I didn’t go near things like that till early teen years, I was mature for my age not a damn adult before my voice even dropped. Guess what? I don’t tolerate unnecessary violence done to anyone. I strongly believe this is a result of my experiences and my upbringing, something that far too many people don’t give credit to when gaming is an easy target. Yes, I was exposed to violent video games…and movies, books, songs and all kinds of things. The important decider to who I am? Being smart enough to know one source of information is not enough to form a belief around. One movie says one thing, one book says another, one song seems to agree with some but disagree with others. Those who say these games groom us are ignoring the thousands of other things that could groom us, yet haven’t.
You know what upsets me the most? When a mother was told by Target to go to a different store to get the game, she replied it was a hassle to go across town to get it “for my 9 year old son”. I almost exploded. That vein on my head throbbed and my heart began to feel heavy as I became so unbelievably angry at this woman. This is the problem, she is going to give this kid the game and leave him be. Yes I know before I said I was exposed to violent video games at an early age, however I can tell my parents were still cautious and aware of what I was shown and talked to me about it. You get a sense for these parents who go get their kids the newest GTA or COD, they use them as babysitters and let their kids encase themselves in negativity, too busy to give a crap. Gaming does not make us who we are, we are a sum of our life and if you live a life of only one perspective that is all you will know, not everyone is smart enough to think they might need a second opinion and then a third. Hell grown adults to this day take everything they see as fact like some sort of mind numbed moron.
“To see this violence that we lived through turned into a form of entertainment is sickening and causes us great pain and harm”. It is a form of entertainment like practically everything else, what you think it isn’t cruel to show any depictions of poor people since there are people who might be homeless or were homeless viewing them? I don’t want to bring up painful memories for anyone, however the solution would be to never bring it up, bleach my vocabulary of anything that offends. Guess what we have? Next to nothing left. Do we remove all offensive or negative imagery as not to do more harm to victims? No death as to not offend people who have suffered from loss? I’n not saying offensive content should never be questioned, I am asking people what is the alternative.
Do we raise “another generation of boys” in a world where we tell them no hooker has ever been beaten, only to see them shocked when the reality is they are? GTA depicts life as we have come to know it, all from the view of a criminal who does whatever he wants to whoever he wants. In the criminal world, there likely aren’t many role models for women, or men, or anyone. These are bad people, bad people do bad things, to have them do anything else would be misleading. Really think about the kind of world you want to live in, where we can’t even curse at someone because it might offend them.
Fuck is synonymous with sex, sex is bad to talk about. Shit comes from the anus, the anus is a hole thus it benefits men. Calling anyone a dick or anything only one kind of people have is wrong because it is unrepresentative. Moron? Nope there are people with loved ones who are mentally challenged and take offence. Twit? Reminds them of the book The Twits, which reminds them of their childhood and the bullying. Cunt? Nope, that is a vagina and it suggests being a woman is somehow an insult. Toss pot? My mother had a pot once, till it was tossed at her head and she died. Prick? I was once bitten by a hedgehog, can’t be having that brought up again.
Some of you may be thinking that a world where everyone is nice to each other is a better world or something along those lines. Shame really that such a world doesn’t exist for human beings, we don’t all get along and some people really deserve to be called a cunt. The primal part of humanity is always present, the part of us that incorporates violence, sex and pleasures of many kinds, Even if we remove all media of offensive content it will still come about the same way it came about in the first instance. Instead focus on teaching children what is right and what is wrong, talk to your damn kids about what they see, of course don’t let them see certain things too early as an undeveloped mind can go awry.
Finally, let us look at Target. Target took this game down as “we feel the decision to stop selling GTA 5 is in line with the majority view of our customers”. I call immense bullshit on that, it was a small percentage of your customers size who signed the petition and I sincerely doubt you asked anyone who wasn’t complaining about the game nor anyone who fully understood it. This was a publicity decision to maintain an image of “family friendly”. I also call bullshit on that they are family friendly, not every single item they sell is something of all ages, ignoring the logic of selling a mature rated game on the shelves of a “family friendly” store. Some say what they did is censorship. It is not, it is removal of an item from Target, a single company while the game can still be bought elsewhere. They are not editing the content they are simply refusing within their rights as a store to not sell a product that will damage business. How much business I personally think is fickle in comparison to the money making powerhouse of GTA 5, but then what do I know about business huh?
A petition that misunderstood the contents of the game. A company that justified a reasonable decision with an illogical reason. A hatred of violence against women blinding victims and over-reactive parents to the situation. There is so much that has gone wrong with this event that it is hard to decipher much from it other than “people don’t like gaming violence, what else is new”. I hope maybe I clarified a few things about it and the problems that this event further proves exist in so many people. Next time you see something that offends you or hear about something that offends someone, ask yourself or them: what is your solution, remove all offensive content in the world? I’d love to hear their answer.
Oh boy this is a lengthy one, sorry for pulling you away for so long. So let me hear what has offended you or someone you know recently. What do you think should be done about things that are offensive? There is clearly a misunderstanding of the games content based on the petition, do you think people will ever endeavour to understand something they don’t like? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.