GTA V

Grand Theft Auto V Censorship Controversy Spins Out of Control In Australia

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We knew something like this was coming as soon as we saw videos of first person sex with prostitutes and their subsequent murders in the new PS4 and Xbox One version of Grand Theft Auto V, which were sadly among the first things we saw posted online after the game was released.

A petition decrying the sexual violence now has 50,000 signatures, and it has convinced Target and then Kmart, which are both owned by retail group Wesfarmers in Australia, to pull the game from sale in Australia, even though the game carries Australia’s R18+ rating and can’t legally be sold to minors.

Irate gamers have responded with their own satirical petition, asking Target to “Withdraw the Holy Bible,” because it “encourages readers to commit sexual violence and kill women.”

“This misogynistic book literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence. Just knowing that women are being portrayed as deserving to be sexually used by men and potentially murdered for sport and pleasure – to see this violence turned into a form of entertainments is sickening and causes us great pain and harm,” the petition says.

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick issued a statement saying Rockstar is disappointed that the game was yanked from sale.

“We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto V–a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world. Grand Theft Auto V explores mature themes and content similar to those found in many other popular and groundbreaking entertainment properties. Interactive entertainment is today’s most compelling art form and shares the same creative freedom as books, television, and movies. I stand behind our products, the people who create them, and the consumers who play them,” Zelnick said.

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