Earlier this week, Target announced it was pulling Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves after it had reviewed the game’s content – obviously a year too late. Well, after this event, Kmart Australia decided it would follow suite, announcing it too had removed GTA V from its shelves.
Kmart spoke with Kotaku, where they said “Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto games, Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately.” They added “Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game.” Officials over at the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association were asked for their comment, to which they replied:
“Over the past few decades videogames have taken their place alongside film, literature and television as a medium capable of entertaining all ages, including the ability to sustain complex and mature themes for an adult audience that rival similar works in other media. As a result, IGEA are surprised by the recent removal of a popular R18 game from retail shelves given the average age of a gamer in this country is 32. Games should not be treated any differently than books, music, television, or movies rated R18. IGEA’s members are proud of their compliance with the National Classification Scheme and believe that consumers, which includes parents and caregivers, should be allowed to make informed decisions for themselves.”
Why did Target remove GTA V from its shelves in the first place? Over 44,000 signatures were acquired by survivors of violence, including sex workers, who wanted to see Target remove the game. The Change.org petition writes that Grand Theft Auto V “encourages players to murder women for entertainment.” The petition continues “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. Please Target – we appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale.”