Australian Gamers Challenge Target’s GTAV Removal By Launching Ridiculous Counter-Protests
Remember a few days ago when Target Australia announced it would no longer be stocking Grand Theft Auto V on its shelves? Now there are several new petitions, presumably from people who are angry with the original decision, advocating that Target get rid of other things, too—like its name and logo, for example, which “encourage people to aim at and shoot things.” Can’t make this stuff up, folks.
The original Change.org petition, you’ll remember, claimed that Grand Theft Auto V encourages violence against women, particularly female sex workers, and urged Target to no longer make the game available for purchase. Perhaps hoping that lightning would strike twice, GTAV enthusiasts unhappy with the decision are now taking to Change.org themselves to point out the apparent hypocrisy of Target’s decision.
Here’s the official stance of the aforementioned anti-target Target petition, which as of writing has a little under 2,6000 signatures:
The Target name and logo is offensive and promotes violence within the community by encouraging people to aim at and shoot things. It is a gross violation of our visual right not to be accosted by their inflammatory and aggressive marketing technique.
Another signer adds, “Personally I find ‘Target Baby’ far more insidious with its clear message to shoot arrows at babies, but since there is no existing petition for that, I will sign this petition again.”
Wait, that’s not all! There’s also a petition to ban of all Super Mario games, which currently has 474 signatures:
For years, Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros series of computer games have used a colourful and friendly design and simplistic, repetitive structure to deliver a strong message of willful murder of wildlife, consumption of hallucenogenic flora and collection of income without declaration of tax.
As was the case with other drug-and-murder-simulators, like Grand Theft Auto 5, Target continues to sell these products in order to turn a profit without any thought as to the long-term effects to their consumers.
But the real kicker is the petition striking out at the nearest equivalent product to GTAV that women could possibly like—50 Shades of Grey. Now, you’re probably thinking that this is a surprisingly apt comparison; after all, the book, while incredibly popular, completely misrepresents BDSM as a legitimate fetish and paints abuse as something to be endured until you can “fix” the person inflicting it. Surely if Target is committed to protecting its consumers from depictions of violence, they’ll ban this book as well?
Nope. These people—5,600 of them, in fact—are mad because of what it does to men.
If [T]arget is willing to ban GTA V because a few people complained about issues WITHIN the game (which already has an R18+ rating), then it is necessary to ban the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey”, as we feel that WITHIN the book, men are portrayed in a way that gives women unrealistic expectations of us when it comes to intimate relations. This can lead to many men being the subject of scrutiny and embarrasment in real life, which is unacceptable as it can lead to depression and low self-confidence. Which in turn can cause people to become violent and enraged.
Yes, the biggest problem with 50 Shades of Grey is that men might get embarrassed. Not that somebody might use the book to deflect any acts of intimate violence they may have committed. Of course. But really, I don’t mean to make light; that other thing about men feeling bad is a real shame. I simply can’t imagine what it’s like being held up to constant scrutiny against sexualized, unrealistic depictions in the media. Nope. Not at all.
Target has yet to comment on any of these petitions, of course, but despite their preposterousness they do actually manage bring up an interesting point about the arbitrariness of this kind of decision. Target may be a private company that’s entitled to conduct its own business how it seems fit, but it’s also not exempt from criticism as a result of the way it conducts that business—and yeah, if you’re going to ban something just because of violence against women, there are a lot of other products Target could be going after next. Which is why banning a product isn’t necessarily a good solution in the first place, but there you go.
Meanwhile, the makers of the original GTAV petition are now claiming that Kmart has also decided no longer to sell the game. So… good luck with that name change, friends. I can’t wait to see what violence is inherent in the letter “K,” or whatever.
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