Opinion: Stop Trying To Get Things At Target Banned, You Look Like Idiots

You know what? I get it. I understand how frustrating it is, as a gamer, to have titles previously cleared by the Classification Board pulled from shelves for being "inappropriate". That's what happened at Target with Grand Theft Auto V.

As a form of retaliation, though, gamers have started new petitions trying to ban everything from the Bible through to 50 Shades Of Gray. I'm here to ask you to stop that — mostly because you look like idiots.

Despite the fact that the next-gen remake of Grand Theft Auto made it through the Classification Board with an R18+ rating and went on sale around the country, Target made the decision last week to pull the title, following “feedback from customers”.

What Target means by “feedback” is pressure stemming mostly from a petition which has garnered almost 40,000 signatures in a day.

“[Grand Theft Auto 5] is 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 – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking,” the petition from Nicole, Claire and Kat begins.

When they talk about sexual violence against women, specifically they mean the ability for players to “run down, run over, set alight and, still screaming, repeatedly shoot” sex workers and other female non-player characters.

We've previously talked about the nature of the petition, and added that the women at the centre of the protest are well within their rights to complain about the game.

But as a form of "retaliation", gamers online are coming together to form their own petitions to get Target to take more stuff off the shelves, under the logic that sexual violence against women in fiction isn't exclusive to Grand Theft Auto V.

One petition in particular is gaining traction in the media, which seeks to ban the Holy Bible from sale in Target stores.

The petition starts:

It's a book that encourages readers to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'god' points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking.
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!
One of many fan passages on In The Holy Bible depicts woman being set alight for having sex "And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9).
This misogynistic book literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence.

Let's gloss over the fact that Target doesn't actually sell the Bible for a second, and talk about the spirit of the petition.

The creator of the petition says that it's clearly satire, and a reaction to the "lies" that have been told about the game:

The people that petitioned to have this game pulled from target lied about the content of the game. At no point in the game is the player encouraged "to murder women for entertainment."
You do not get "health points for committing sexual violence against women or abusing them" It was a straight out lie that pandered to concerned parents who would rather have something censored than take responsibility when parenting. I ask the question would a parent allow a child to watch an R rated porn film? I should hope not. It's a matter of responsibility.
With that said GTA V is a very violent adult game and I don't think children should be playing it.

It goes on for a little while and you can read more here.

The petition to ban the Bible from Target now has almost 50,000 signatures. That's almost 50,000 gamers "protesting" using a satirical sit-in over Target's pulling of a game. In my mind, it's a "protest" that risks making light of really serious issues, and has the potential to diminish the suffering of the original victims who made the plea for the game to be pulled in the first place.

I'm not saying with all this that you're not within your rights to complain about a private company pulling a game you like from sale because it objects to the content. You are. Everyone is. I can start a Change.org petition to bring back lime-flavoured Nesquik if I want. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Whether it's satire or not, you need to realise that a private company can sell and not sell whatever the hell it likes to its consumers. Target is a Mom 'n Pop business with an older demographic. The game hasn't been pulled from other stores like JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith or EB Games, and it still made it through the Classification Board with an R18+ rating.

Petitioning against Target's ban makes gamers look petulant and stupid. I don't believe we should live in a "puritan" society either, exacting an entirely useless "protest" against a rightful decision is idiotic. Let's move on.

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    Yeah no, I like the idea. Fight fire with fire. I'm sick of all the wowsers in this world.
    I'd go one further than just target and want the bible banned all over the world for the above reasons. If they can ban Tom Sawyer because the word "N****r" is in it, then the bible should be banned for its hate on women.

    Last edited 08/12/14 11:19 am

      Indeed, i support this. Make a mockery of what vehicles are used to deliver the minorities opinions! Only by showing the powers that be how silly they are to bow to loud voices of small groups can real change be made.

      I hope this works and shows the institutions up for the stupidity they embrace.

      Also, bloody feminists!

      The Bible is a historic recount. Why don't you ban all history while you are at it?

        The bible is not a historic account. There was no ark, Moses never parted the seas, the world wasn't made in 7 days, Christ never rose after his death. The bible is no more historic than a comic book.

        Last edited 09/12/14 5:42 am

        If it encourages violence and sexual assault then it obviously should be banned. Just ask the wingers who started the GTA petition. It was their idea.

        A historic recount? It's basically the book of Western 'Chinese Whispers'. What about it do you identify as historically recorded history? The creation of earth in seven days? Jesus rising from the dead? The Miracles? Angels and/or Demons?

        The bible is a story, one that promotes violence against a lot more people than GTA, nothing more.

          I honestly thought people would have thought something was suss at the 'purple monkey dishwasher' part...

        Further to what pepee63 wrote, there is no evidence for the existence of the particular Jesus Christ of the bible. The Romans kept detailed records of all their empire's doings and there is no record of a trial involving Pontius Pilate and anyone named Jesus Christ. This despite the fact that Jesus was a common name in those times.

        I am opposed to censorship unless it relates to the sexual exploitation of children of the violent abuse of children or women. To my mind the entire Grand Theft Auto series is garbage but I see no reason for it being banned or censored by anyone. There are many other violent things in the world; movies, comics, books, and there is nowhere to start other than the few exclusions I have mentioned.


            Analysis of the evidence from the works of Origen, Eusebius, and Hegesippus concludes that the reference to “Christ” in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200 is probably an accidental interpolation or scribal emendation and that the passage was never originally about Christ or Christians. It referred not to James the brother of Jesus Christ, but probably to James the brother of the Jewish high priest Jesus ben Damneus.


            And Wikipedia is impervious to fallacy. Despite that here's a quote from one of your links: "The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration" - that's enough to make whatever you tried to posit as proof completely bloody worthless.

        "Historical recount" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - thanks for that moylan, I needed a good laugh.

        Oh look, a science vs religion debate. History has shown this always ends well and with both parties having mutual respect for each other...

        The Bible is a WORK OF FICTION

        I fixed that for you.

      I agree about the bible. Religion has been the sole biggest cause of warfare and bloodshed throughout human history. Read how we should treat any LGBT people in the bible, what idiotic, old fashioned literature! Would rather read Tom Sawyer any day.

        Yeah that idiotic old fashioned Bible. We shouldn't turn the other cheek, we should strike back. We shouldn't love our neighbours, we should hate them. We shouldn't help the poor and needy, it's their own fault, let them starve.

        You do realise most of the statements quoted are from the 'old' law?

          honestly if you need some book, the reward of heaven or the punishment of hell, to be a good person then you are a sorry excuse for a human being.

          So you need the bible to help the poor/needy? To love your neighbours? To be a good person?

          What do think came first? The bible or morals??

          If you read my other comment you would see that I consider the issue being discussed and religious texts as completely unrelated issues.

            So why do we have Constitutional law, Statute law, Common law, Equity, Customary law, and International law (ie. tens of thousands of laws) because people are all good?

              Do we have them because of the Bible? Many non-christian countries have laws mate. If the christian God actually existed, and there was irrefutable proof, wouldn't we still have laws?

              Are you saying that we have laws because of christianity? Or because some people are bad? Or are you saying that some people are bad because they are not christians???

              All three would be flawed arguments. For the first, read my first paragraph. The second, of course some people are bad people, christian or not. The third, ask one of the many many victims of sexual assault/rape at the hands of a priest (or disease, or natural disasters, or those discriminated against because of there sexuality or other beliefs).

            Not at all. It's just funny that you bash a book where the main person in it (Jesus) preaches tolerance and love etc. He hung out with the marginalised (lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors). The old law (stonings etc) was abolished by Jesus. It seems that you don't have much of an idea of what you are talking about at all.

              You're replying to a comment in which I asked; 'do you need the bible to have morals?'.

              Please quote me where I brought up people being stoned to death? It doesn't matter whether it is from the Old or New Testament, it is not a necessity in order for people to do good things. The only example I brought up was the treatment of members of the LGBT community, whom are still shunned by many christians, who consider them sinners by nature. Seems like a bit of the 'Old' way is still practised by fellow members of your cult.

                No you don't obviously. Where did I state that? I just stated the opposites of some of the main themes and you got upset for some reason and stated that you needed the book to have morals. I was merely jumping on your bandwagon and going against the idiotic and old fashioned teachings but I must have done it wrong.

                  Haha. No. My point was that you don't need the book to have morals. I must have misread what you said. I'm am not upset, and my wagon has plenty of room!

              And if he was to come back and check out the vatican what would he say? Nothing, he would be in tears that such a huge expensive monster of a building was not used to house the poor or chopped up and sold to feed the poor.

        It is the monotheistic religions as before them people accepted that others should pray to their own deity. Though of course today the dominant religion by far is the Love of Money.

          Haven't met anyone who prays to the God of money yet....

          However, if I was Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Taoist, Jewish etc, according to the bible, I am going to hell. If, on the contrary, I actually DID pray to the God of money, I think money would be impartial as to who I prayed toward and served.

          I'd pick the money God.

            Haven't met anyone who prays to the God of money yet....

            Clearly you've never shared a house with any Ferengi...

            Pfff money is a god-less religion. It implies an individual human is the ultimate power in the universe. However, I haven't seen the universe on eBay yet (the DVD series is inconclusive) so maybe god is still up for grabs?

        Have you read/studied the Bible?

          Yes. Born and raised catholic. Church and Sunday school. Then an Anglican school. Why?

            You would know then that Jesus came to not only save the world. But teach the world how to love. Anyone who reads Jesus' teachings can see he never says to treat gays or lesbians as sub-human. But rather accepts and loves all.

            Some people use Christianity as a weapon of hate for their own ideas and thoughts.

              Well I don't. Nor did I bring up jesus.... More talking about God. I have already stated that I don't think the petition against the bible is a good idea, but it's not hard to see why it happened.

      My only reason why I dont like the fact that Target took GTA V off the shelves is because its due to pressure. This whole thing is a big fuck up by Target in the first place, placing an R18+ game thats ILLEGAL to be sold to persons under the age off 18 in the same section that Peppa Pig sits in in the catalog. If target decided that it was a bad idea to sell it in the first place or it doesn't suit their demographic, then whatever. They have bowed to pressure to censor the choices that MATURE AGE gamers have. And how come its only gaming that still faces this stigma?

    After reading through your points Luke, you hit the nail on the head.

    I was on the front against the petition in question because how wrong and sexist it was.
    They made claims that you gained a lead in the game for just killing women and you could sexually abuse women, but that is literally impossible to do so.
    The only sexual abuse in the game is literally a woman attempting to sexually abuse a man with a flash light

    My issue has nothing to do with target pulling it but the sheer amount of people on that petition agreeing with the fact that "Children should not be playing these types of games".
    They buy a games which clearly states on the box that it is R18+ and when they finally realise what's in the game they start stupid petitions like the one in question.

    Sure a lot of people are making half witted petitions for amusement but a few people out there can see that its a slippery slope that can end badly for gamers that want to keep the R18+ classification.

      There's more than just that case of sexual abuse, but from memory it's only one more.

      There was the implied rape of the biker Johnny Klebitz by Trevor, when you first meet Trevor.

        Ahhh Trevor, there is also a random event when switching to him, he is chasing someone in a car screaming "I promise to keep it in my pants this time".

          He's do out there, he's a total maniac to men, but women, for the most part he's lovely, caring & treats them with dignity.

          All of this is irrelevant. Its an adults game,sold to adults.

        I apologise for the missed ones, there is also a lot of references made by the Rednecks as you burn down their drug house but they are fairly man on man as well

        But I was going for more obvious ones that cant really be missed. it took me the 2nd play through before the Biker and Trevor one clicked. . .

    Disagree. I think the bible petition did exactly what the author intended, made Targets decision look stupid. I signed the bible petition because of that.

      Signing a silly petition to ban a game for it's violent content is one thing, but to go against God himself is overstepping the line.

        ...but won't he just forgive me?

          Only if you ask for forgiveness and mean it.

          You can joke and mock all you like. Banning a game and banning a religious book (therefore alienating 2 billion Christians) are two very different things.

          Try getting a petition to ban the Koran and see how this will quickly turn into a riot on Sydney Streets.

            As opposed to alienating 1.6 billion gamers (Feb 2014)? Are you suggesting Christians are less deserving of alienation because they're a slightly larger group than gamers? Or are you suggesting that passion for religion is somehow more sacrosanct than passion for gaming?

            You seem to be suggesting that religion is beyond reproach while gaming isn't. What objective criteria are you using to come to that conclusion? There are 1.3 billion atheist and irreligious people in the world, why exactly should your beliefs be held in higher regard than theirs?

              Finally someone with atleast a modicum of intelligence. These comments are filled with imbeciles that have no idea!

              This proves that you are passionately misguided. Why do you assume that I am not a gamer, I played pit fall on Atari 2600 and Silkworm on Commodore 64. Why do you assume that I am not against the banning of GTA V? Did I even say that? I think the banning is stupid.

              BUT the counter petition is even more stupid. 50 Shades of Grey I sort of agree with because it targets the audience we are trying to rebut and on the same counter subject which is objectifying men. But the Bible? wtf? It's like trying to rebut a ban on breastfeeding by counter petitioning a ban on foot massages. It makes no sense.

              Target doesn't even sell the book, and the subject has nothing to do with the original subject or target audience. It makes us gamers look dumb, misguided and stupid. The point of the rebuttal is completely moot.

              Did you even read Luke's original article? He is saying what I am saying. "Petitioning against Target’s ban makes gamers look petulant and stupid"

              Last edited 09/12/14 8:42 am

                How am I misguided? My reply to you only contains questions. Questions you have failed to answer.

            What about the couple billion Christians alienating members of the LGBT community? For someone to go against a religious scripture is only crossing the line if you believe in it.

        "but to go against God himself is overstepping the line"

        WTF?? Is that your particular imaginary Sky Wizard, or just all gods in general?

        I think the line was crossed when someone decided to insight hysteria over made up facts and false conclusions.

        The god of the bible (assuming exists which he most likely doesn't) is a petty, insecure, egotistical, genocidal, deranged mass murderer.

        Oops, did I overstep the line there?

          Are you 100% certain of that to make such a claim? I trust this is the point of view of @dman who has spent a large amount of time studying this subject to make such bold statements.

          Otherwise you are doing what 99% of the internet does, makes bold statements about shit you don't really know that much about.

            Am I 100% certain that your god is a petty genocidal maniac? Yes, absolutely. Unlike "99% of the internet", I was raised strongly Christian, read the bible, and actually believed this nonsense until I grew up and out of it (as most adults do with fairy tales).

            There is nothing good about a god who would massacre almost the entirety of the world's population, who would test a man's faith by convincing him to be willing to kill his son, who would kill all the first born children in a country for something their ruler did, or who would send bears to tear apart children who had made fun of a man for being bald. Your god is a dick.

              So you read it all the way through and the New Testament does not clear this up for you? It's like watching the first half of Guardians of the Galaxy and criticizing it for lack of storyline.

                I love how Christians think the New Testament automatically voids all the crap that god did in the Old Testament. Ok, so he came down in human form, made a new covenant, told everyone to love their enemies, and died for our sins. So what? That doesn't nullify the absolute atrocities he committed beforehand. He still did those things, which to any reasonable person is unforgiveable. I hate to invoke Godwin's law, but if Hitler had survived WW2 and started a charity for war orphans, that doesn't exactly make up for all his earlier evils.

                  Fuckin' A, brother! This is exactly the point I was trying to convey to my wife the other night, when she dragged me out to see Exodus.

                  I'm just happy to see a demonstration of Godwin's Law. +1 to that Dman.

            The implication being that you have any better idea what you're talking about than Dman does. Could you please provide empirical evidence to support your counter-claims?

            More likely, you - like everyone else - have only the content of disparate manuscripts thousands of years old by different authors with different agendas that can't even manage a consistent portrayal of 'god' between chapters. If that is the sole basis of your evidence or knowledge, it's very much lacking.

            Last edited 08/12/14 11:11 pm

              Please don't forget that the Bible has been translated poorly and edited heavily to only convey the information that the Church wants. Some of those removed Gospels are pretty entertaining.

                Some of those 'removed gospels' are as close to real gospels as the original petition to remove GTAV was to a game review.

                Yeah, bring back Jesus fighting the Dragons! (Seriously, it's in there)

            If you talk about any god ever, you are making bold statements about shit you know Nothing about. This is why the call it faith.

          Wow, it so quickly goes to paying out christians/god these days.

            God if s/he exists I'm sure is above all this bullsh*t. As Dman says though, the God of the BIBLE (esp 'Old Testament') is a dick aka a "petty, insecure, egotistical, genocidal, deranged mass murderer". Seriously, if s/he really WAS like the book makes out, it's no wonder the Angels rebelled. The Church tries to whitewash it all with the 'feelgood' Jesus story and New Testament, but our mate Yahweh (God the Father) has all the signs of SERIOUS psychopathology if you buy the Old Testament.

            You wouldn't stand for your biological human father being this kind of dick, so how come Christians have different rules for the deity they follow ? If anything shouldn't we demand our supreme deity be LESS of a dick than we demand of eachother, instead of giving h/ir MORE leeway ?

          What do you mean God is a mass murderer, what do you base that on?

        hahah go against God himself? lololol WTF am I reading here?

        It just a book

        The bible petition is based on the face that it promotes sexual assault and violence.

      I would like to see the bible banned all together in Australia along with all religious propaganda for christ's sake!

        Especially when used in politics.. "Praise the lord we used our taxes to pay the doctor that saved your life" - Or you know thank the Doctor who spent his life training to save lifes...

        My real gripe with the whole this is people have stated very clearly a large number of the 40,000 signatures in the original petition was from gamers calling the whole thing stupid - you had to sign the petition to comment on it! - how this ended up taking the game that's been out for ages and Target already sold a whole bunch of copies willy nilly and then blocks the sale of the game for good press.

        The whole system is ludicrous >.

        Hahah - ban the bible, for Christ's sake... thanks for the irony, I was feeling a bit anaemic.

          looks like everyone else missed the irony. oh my god!

      And signing a petition to ban the Bible (unfortunately Target don't even sell them) doesn't look stupid? I'm sorry; I fail to see the logic here.

      Trying to ban a book on which our free Christian nation is founded doesn't seem like a smart use of time to me.

      Good on Target for banning a game of which they should have not have even put on the shelves; and it should never have got passed Australian Classification Board in the first place. It steps over the line too many times to be considered entertainment. Sickening.

        Australia is not a Christian nation and it most definitely wasn't founded on the bible. Just because Christianity is the predominant religion doesn't mean the country is Christian.

        And whose line does GTA5 step over? Your line? Sorry, I didn't know you were the moral compass of the nation.

          You my friend no nothing about the founding of Australia. From the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act:
          WHEREAS the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established

          So basically according to the Constitution, the country was formed with the permission of God

          **note I am in no way religious!

            Note the Act doesn't specify what god it's referring to, let alone the Christian god.

            Read Section 116 of our Constitution:

            "The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth."

            From: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/~/link.aspx?_id=6ED2CAE61E7742A1B2C42F95D4C05252&_z=z

            It's pretty clear, we are most definitely NOT a Christian country.

              See your point. I could imagine though, that in the time it was written it would have been a gimme that they were meaning the big fella upstairs!

            In fact if you study Australian history, you will find that the established population in Australia in at least the first 100 years was predominantly athiest.

          It is actually. And yes it absolutely was.

          The line between right and wrong my friend.

            It's not. See my reply above.

            Christians of all people have no right to dictate what is the line between right and wrong. Absolute hypocrites.

        If you can't see the logic in that, then I doubt you see much logic at all. It was satirical, in that it was making fun of the original petition and the bible. A lot of people don't care about the bible and wouldn't have actually thought Target would remove it from their shelves if they did stock it. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean everybody else thinks the same.

        Not entertaining..? It's the largest selling game ever..
        So not only are you obviously wrong about this game.. but you are wrong by the largest proportion ever in history..

        That's a whoooooole lotta wrong my friend!

        oh man, welcome to the forums Timothy J. Doubt we will be seeing your silly face around here again.

          That's nice, thanks man; I've been around a while though.

          I'll comment when I like.

        If there are people that have a 'right' to object to the purported violence against women in this game (and seek its removal from the shelves), then as a gay man I have the right to object against the violence, discrimination and general hatred of gays that the bibble promotes (and equally seek its removal from any shelves)- its the main reason I cannot marry in this country. Now, where do I sign that petition...

          Everyone has a right to do what they like in this great free nation as long as it doesn't impinge on the rights and freedoms of others.

          And as for the marriage thing, be careful what you wish for...

          Last edited 10/12/14 2:43 pm

            the gay card? that is a pretty degrading statement right there. The issue of how religion treats the LGBT community is pretty important...

            "be careful what you wish for". Yeah be careful wishing for equal rights. You might experience equal rightness.

            I'm all for jokes man but replying directly to a gay person with this crap is f'd up.

              Yeah you're right, some people are all for jokes until they don't understand them and then they're all like in your face and stuff.

              I edited it for ya!

        The game has been out for over a year. How incredibly slow are you at getting up in arms about something?

          Yes, and there have been calls to have it refused classification in Australia before it was released over a year ago.

          This is big recent news that something is finally happening. With major chains now refusing to get behind this game. And more will hopefully follow as it breaches Australian classification guidelines.

            You're an idiot. It was pulled from the store because people were big enough arsehats to lie about it and make up claims that would get other people offended and calling for it to be removed. There was no legitimate reason for this R18+ game with R18+ rating to be refused classification and removed from sale in any legal sense.

            If you don't want your kids playing it, be a better parent and don't allow them access to R18+ material. This is an adult game for adults. I've seen worse and more brutal murder and drug use on evening TV which is only MA15+.

            Last edited 09/12/14 2:12 pm

            The game does NOT breach the classification guidelines or it would have been refused classification. Simple. And how, please tell me, how were people 'calling' to have the game refused classification before it came out? I mean, on what grounds? Before it was released you couldn't say what content it did or didn't have.....

      +1 to this guy! I did the same thing for the same reasons and I suspect a lot of other people did too. The outcome was exactly what I personally was hoping for, which was to give a voice to the people who don't want to be misrepresented by a vocal minority (of any kind). Banning GTAV doesn't represent my views or (from what I read) the views of the majority of balanced, sane, reasonable people.

    Yes the knee jerk reactions and change.org petitions are a little farcical. Though some gamers might be concerned with the precedent this sets. Which I think is a valid concern.

    People get very passionate about art and literature. So it should be no surprise that people would get angry and frustrated by this ban and look to "do something". The petitions mentioned above are an outlet of frustration, but the element of all this that frustrates me the most is the lack of dialogue between the original petitioners and the gaming community.

    The contention of the petition is a valid point, not one that I share, but a point worth discussing. Most gamers would admit their is a problem with the way women are portrayed in the game, but one could argue this due to the satirical nature of the game and the fact that it is holding up a fun house mirror to society. The fact that there was no chance for the gaming community or Rockstar (I doubt they would want to get involved) to have a dialogue with the petitioners to give context to the violence is troubling - they went headlong into banning literature without trying to understand the context.

    To "get" the context for a video game is not always a simple task, you need to invest a lot of time into the body of work (generally) and this is particularly apparent with the GTA series. A movie, you can watch start to finish in 90 to 180 minutes and the context is laid out in a linear fashion, this is not the case with games and it shouldn't be a surprise that context is often lost or misconstrued.

    So we need to find a way as a community to have a better dialogue with those who are concerned about the content we love. Those outside of the realm of gaming who choose not to listen? Well we need to help them understand.

    Target said in their statement "we should have been closer to the material". They should have also tried to understand it's audience better and discuss this with people who are close to the material - instead of banning, having only listened to one side of the argument - that is just bad business.

    Maybe creating snide, cynical petitions isn't the way forward, but is an attempt to show that banning games like GTA is the same as banning any form of literature. This is a fair point to made, but we need to make it in a more sophisticated manner than we are seeing now.

    Maybe we need to find a way to have a dialogue with those concerned about video games? Maybe a more mainstream discussion needs to be had on the likes of Q&A or some other forum.

    Last edited 08/12/14 11:38 am

      In GTA5, the violence that you can commit to a woman, you can commit to a man, a dog, a policeman, a soldier and a cow. In the strip club if you keep touching the stripper, the bouncer kicks you out. There is nothing wrong with this game but what is wrong is that a group can take a select section of the game, exaggerate it and then have the game banned.

    I disagree as the point of all these petitions popping up is not really to attack Target, right? It's to send a message to the original petitioners against GTA and this seems to be the most effective way to do it.

    Why do we need violent video games in the first place? How is that even REMOTELY 'entertainment'?? And we wonder why the world has gone down the crapper?

      right! why do we need violent books or movies or any form of media, we should never explore human emotions in art. We should just all smoke weed and hug each other.

      Note sarcasm intended.

      Translation: "I don't find it entertaining so nobody else should either".

      You could make that argument for everything.

      Why do we need such touchy feely movies, I don't want to hear about a person with an incurable disease that overcomes it miraculously with the help of her loving friend that at the end is not just a friend. How is that entertainment?
      But that is my own opinion, I still watch them because my partner likes them.
      It comes down to personal opinion, if you don't like it you are not forced to see it.
      As such those violent movies and games usually come with a black square that reads R18+

      How has the world gone down the crapper? Less war, less crime, less accidents, longer lifespans, more (but not enough) equality... things seem to be trending well decade upon decade...

        Violent crime has been on a steady decline over the last 20 years. If anything it could be argued there's a correlation between violent video games and reduction in real violence.

      In a world where we have less wars than any previous generation.. how do you think we are violent now..? why do you think we are going down the crapper.

      The reason everything turns to hell is because of political correctness and not wanting to offend anyone.

      Do you think people on busses would harass a pregnant lady if they would immediately be punched in the face by 40 people.? do you think people would steal if they know getting caught meant the house owner may beat you within an inch of your life and then go do the same to your family?

      The reason the world is going to hell is because it panders to the idiots who complain about everything.

      Never watched a violent movie? TV show? Play? You must live a VERY sheltered life.

    I really don't understand the position here. It feels like he's going for the expected arbitrary deprication that makes him look empathetic whilst only acknowledging one side of the argument. I'm not of the opinion that discourse diminishes anything, in fact i'd say the ignorant judgement of a few who have suffered genuine trauma diminishes the relationship with gamers and empathy. To me, the original felt aggressive, judgemental, ignorant and misguided but we should just let it be, just let the stigma attach itself like a glue and walk off, scarred? I'm not sure how much people of a certain description should be forced int that position because someone is prejudiced against their hobby. I don't agree with the petition, of course not, it IS pretty stupid but the definite sentiment in the article feels terrified to actually acknowledge a valid point of view and i think that's far sadder than several groups (noticed i said "several" for some semblance of equity and holistic consideration not found in the article) flinging their misguided perspective at one-another. If it's not terror, then it's pretty damn ignorant. How about saying you understand the frustration of a group collectively treated like children with no political value in the same breath as supporting bans based on ignorance? Like, actually provide some real empathy there, i mean, shouldn't that be everyone's goal? Empathy, not flinging shit.

    Last edited 08/12/14 12:01 pm

    Glad to see a bit of sense on this issue. When was the last time a corporation read subtext into a joke protest, let alone acted on it? Far better to present a valid, fact-supported and (above all) unambiguous counterargument, surely? Fight ignorance and misinformation with supported facts and reasoned logic.

      I think the point is to make aware of the number of people who don't support Target's decision.

      The satire of the protest shouldn't detract from the underlying point. Also, since did the world run on facts and logic? Look at our government, terrorists, or the US. So much action based NOT on logic and facts....*tear rolls down face*

        I'm not saying it detracts from the argument, I'm saying the apparent audience (ie. Target, Kmart, Big W, etc) is oblivious to it. Target and other retailers that are looking at these petitions will see them individually, likely by a number of people within the organisation, who will judge each on its own merits - the satire is lost because the context is lost. When the context is lost, the real message is lost.

        As an example, from Target's Twitter: "We don't actually sell the bible at Target, that's some pretty impressive numbers though!" No comprehension of the context, or the reason for the protest; the message was lost.

        They might read a bit further with the "ban 50 Shades" petition, but even if they acquiesced, we'd have won nothing - they still wouldn't sell GTA, because that's not what was being petitioned. And frankly, I doubt they'd listen to a bunch of gamers decrying a book, anyway - sans context, what reason does the gaming community, specifically, have to ban that precise book? How is it relevant to us? Contrast with ex-sex-workers protesting over sexual violence concerns (founded or not) in a certain piece of media.

        There's a petition asking that Target/Kmart/Big W/JB/EB continue selling GTA V, with 23k votes - less than half the supporters it needs, less than the original petition asking for GTA V's removal, and less than half the votes these joke protests are getting. In my opinion it needs a bit more press, and a more eloquent spokesperson, but at least it's actually petitioning for the right thing.

        I'm not going to debate "people are illogical so why do we need logic," because it's philosophy 101. The cliff-notes version is "we have a government because anarchy has proven, time and again, to not work in the long term for any large group." Occasionally it slips up, but generally, it's much more stable than outright chaos.

    They lied in their petition. Clearly never playing the game. Don't link to your own one sided prejudicial article about them having some kind of relevant claim just because GTA does not have strong female characters. Having strong female characters is not a requirement for any kind of art work, thinking you should dictate this is extreme ignorance. Artists shouldn't have to worry about pandering to specific demographics just so you can give them a tick of approval.

    Last edited 08/12/14 12:09 pm

      He's not saying don't correct them. He's saying don't do that in the dumbest way possible. Strip away any opinions you have on the subject and then read these petitions. They're obnoxious, childish and make little to no sense if you don't already understand the point being made. If you really care about Target stocking adult games, and you're not just (quite fairly) offended that the validity of something you like is being questioned by idiots, then you owe it to yourself to make a better argument than a petition that's so sarcastic it doesn't even make sense.

      Personally I find it funny how ill-informed a lot of people signing those petitions are. I spoke with like eight people over the weekend who told me that GTAV had been banned and that I should check my Facebook feed for petitions to sign.

        I'm actually more angry about the ignorant book burning aspect and the effects that this precedent can have on freedom of expression/speech.

        And the author pretty clearly states his view on their petition not being entirely wrong and justified.

        Last edited 08/12/14 4:23 pm

          I'm actually more angry about the ignorant book burning aspect and the effects that this precedent can have on freedom of expression/speech.

          I'm frustrated with the same things happening on the side that should be better than that. People arguing against freedom of expression out of a mixture of sarcasm and spite. Gamers are acting like extremists here and that's never a good thing. Change 'GTA in Target' to 'Jesus in schools' and you'll quickly realise how frothing at the mouth insane so many people on our side are acting.

          If you don't agree with Luke that's fine, all I ask is that you oppose this stuff in a way that's more level headed than the actions described in the article. That said I'm with him 100% on this. I just don't think Target, K-Mart and even like-minded stores like Big W refusing to stock a product is censorship. These places are almost irrelevant to gaming, and that goes double for adult gaming. This isn't the 80's where a good chunk of the population could only get their music via department stores. Another year or two and Target will have tapped out on games altogether because they've spent the last 5-10 years being totally destroyed by general media stores like JB Hi-Fi, specialist retail outlets like EB, online stores and digital distribution.
          At the end of the day where once they had the bargaining power to say 'you censor it, put a warning sticker on it, or we won't sell it' now they've got nothing. They're not even acting like they still have that level of power. They're just saying 'we won't stock it because it's clashes with how we want our stores to be seen' (and as ill-informed as that petition was the game is R18+ for a reasons). Sure that's an embarrassingly weak willed move, but they haven't even pretended to give Rockstar an ultimatum. Nobody is suggesting the game be changed.

            Its because of the reasons they removed it that it effectively is censorship. You just accepting it because target doesn't matter in your eyes is just going to help the same thing happen again and maybe eventually at stores that do matter to you. Being silent on the issue is the worst thing you can do.

              It feels like it's censorship because of the attitudes towards games/gamers and how similar it sounds to the standard moral panic but it's not. Target aren't demanding any changes be made to GTAV or stores outside of their group follow their lead in an attempt to break Rockstar or stop the game from being sold. They're just saying 'this is not a product we want to carry'. Their reasons behind coming to that conclusion may be very stupid and go against a bunch of other examples of adult items they're perfectly happy to continue selling but it isn't censorship.
              Dungeon Crawl, the fantastic local independent game store we used to have here in Melbourne, wouldn't stock crap games. You could get Metal Gear Solid for the GameCube there years after they stopped printing it, at non-gouging prices no less, but you couldn't get whatever phoned in Wii party game that had just been released. That didn't mean they were censoring or attempting to censor titles they object to, they just knew their target demographic was people who were informed enough about games that they're probably not going to be interested in those games.
              Target know that they sell to a lot of parents who don't look at ratings that will turn around and get angry at them when they see their kid playing GTA. They also have little to no interest in training their entire staff to sell these products responsibly. GTAV just doesn't bring in the cash to make that headache worth while.
              Having some stores choosing not to stock the content at the more adult end of the scale is just part of having a proper classification system. Personally if I owned a game store I would probably keep the R18+ games behind the counter.

              Also just to clarify I don't mean it's ok because Target doesn't matter to me. I hate that 'it's not my problem so everyone else should shut up about it' attitude. I just mean Target doesn't matter much to publishers or the industry because they don't have much to bargain with (they do ok with console sales, but Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo aren't involved here). It's not like in the 90's when places like K-Mart were serious players and specialist stores were rare. Locking someone out of Target/K-Mart/Big W back then was effectively locking them out of the industry. Now those stores are lucky that publishers choose to keep them in the loop at all.

              But I don't think I'm going to change your mind here and like I said, I'm perfectly fine with you disagreeing as long as you're not being stupid about how you voice that (and you're clearly being perfectly mature about it all). So I think I might as well end it at that.

    You know what businesses care about more than novelty petitions? Getting fined.

    Target had GTA V listed in their latest catalogue.

    The ACCC has rules against "Bait Advertising"
    Bait advertising takes place when an advertisement promotes certain (usually ‘sale’ prices) on products that are not available or available only in very limited quantities.

    By removing the product from sale, by their own choice, while it is listed in a current promotion they may be in violation of the ACCC's rules.

      Considering the weight of publicity the ban got versus what your runofthemill Target catalog gets, I would say the ACCC would be pushing the proverbial uphill.

      Considering there is almost always a retailer within 50m of a Target that will sell it, it's really actually reverse baiting...

    People are pretty stupid in general.

    This just further confirms it.

    Regarding the retaliation to GTA5 being banned.

    - The Holy Bible.
    - Fifty Shades of Grey.

    Did no one think at any point during the petition to think "Hey, I don't EVER remember target selling the Bible, maybe I should sign and share the 50 shades of grey petition instead.'

    They had a solid case regarding 50 shades one yet they they royally fucked it up going the bible route instead.

    Way to make gamers look like idiots, this is so much fail for something that could have been good, so disappointed.

    Last edited 08/12/14 12:39 pm

      Not at all, wether or not Target sold it was irrelevant. It was a piss take on the original petition and showed just how stupid petitions can be. The original petition was filled with misinformation but that didn't stop Target from acting on it.

        I agree with that point though it would have been so much more effective if they had concentrated on the 50 shades of grey petition.

        We know the reasoning behind the Bible one but the general public does not and now Target has used it against us with their twitter post "nice effort, but we don't sell the bible."

        If if was the other option they would not have been able to say anything smart about it being that they actually sell 50 shades.

        Yeah I agree that whether the Bible is sold or not is irrelevant. They could have chosen a bar of soap for all it matters. What it does show is how easy it is to get tens of thousands signatures for an online poll. It also shows that to pull those numbers you don't really need to be basing the original statement on anything particularly factual or relevant, all you need to do is stir some sort of emotion whether it carry much merit or not.

      Well said, 50 Shades I would have taken notice, but Bible, that's just wrong in so many ways as you mentioned.

    I just want to point out that I (and maybe others) don't actually care that specifically GTAV is pulled from target. I care about the validation this cease of sale of GTAV gives the crowd that think gamers are misogynist. By doing this Target has basically agreed with what was written in the petition and by extension flirts dangerously closely to labeling people who enjoy GTAV (for what it really is, not what it was called in the petition) under this misogynist gaming banner.

      Same boat as you.
      I don't play it and don't care if others do, but it makes us look bad.

      So what's da gamers gonna do? Sue Target for defamation?

    Target is a Mom ‘n Pop business

    Really? One, don't throw Americanisms at us in an Australian article about an Australian issue. Secondly, are you serious? Go and have a look at who owns Target.