Target yesterday announced its decision to remove copies of the controversial R-rated game Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) from their shelves in response to a petition signed by 41,000 people who were protesting the game’s sale at the family-friendly store. The move has been hailed by parents as, “A bit of a hassle, because now I have to go to the other side of town to pick it up from JB Hi-Fi for my nine-year old son.”
Wesfarmers’ other department store Kmart have followed suit and are also refusing to stock the game. Both Target and Kmart have stated they weren’t aware of its content, despite having both sold many copies of previous games in the series, all of which contain graphic violence, car theft and interactions with prostitutes.
Also there was a bit of a clue it wasn’t for kids with the R18+ sticker on the front of the box.
Before removing the game Target had advertised it in the toys section of their catalogue placing the game next to Barbies and Peppa Pig, which Jemima Goodspeed found more convenient than having to go to another store.
“I had my Christmas list all ready to go, a Peppa Pig for little Charlotte, GTA V for little Brandon, mass produced sweatshop clothes for the entire family and 50 Shades of Grey for myself.”
When asked what she thought about how the R18+ content might affect her son she replied, “What’s R18+?”
Expert pseudoscientist Edmund Heartstrong told The (un)Australian, “Games impact people more strongly than other media. I can imagine that there are several studies which prove my point and I can tell you that what’s in those studies is deeply troubling.”
In a response that has taken observers completely by surprise, gaming advocates are up in arms about the decision.