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Author Topic: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia  (Read 2881 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2014, 01:05:46 AM »
Huh?  No, I don't think anyone's suggested that.  It's due to the petition isn't it?  That was the assumption I was working under.  I think you've lost me as well! 

Where do you see sales fitting in?  We're clearly talking at cross purposes. 

Going to mass then work now though, so I won't be around for ages.

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2014, 01:24:05 AM »
Yeah, I think we both lost each other somewhere.  I'll maybe sleep on it and see if I can figure out where I lost track of what you were saying.

Offline Caehlim

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2014, 01:24:53 AM »
However, I'm not entirely certain that I agree with your outcomes.

I do see your point, that one could argue that conscientious consumerism could be seen as a form of representative democracy, in which by choosing to shop at particular stores you're then entrusting them with making further decisions on your behalf.

I think that's certainly a valid and sensible stance to take. In which case the ethical responsibility of companies would be to have clear brand identities that show whatever moral compass their brand supports, so that people can make responsible shopping decisions much like a politician would declare a party affiliation and voters would feel betrayed if their elected official voted against their party values based on a personal decision. It would be hard to object to any company with a known and well-publicized stance on these issues refusing to stock games that clash with their public image.

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2014, 01:57:31 AM »
I do see your point, that one could argue that conscientious consumerism could be seen as a form of representative democracy, in which by choosing to shop at particular stores you're then entrusting them with making further decisions on your behalf.

I think that's certainly a valid and sensible stance to take. In which case the ethical responsibility of companies would be to have clear brand identities that show whatever moral compass their brand supports, so that people can make responsible shopping decisions much like a politician would declare a party affiliation and voters would feel betrayed if their elected official voted against their party values based on a personal decision. It would be hard to object to any company with a known and well-publicized stance on these issues refusing to stock games that clash with their public image.

Oh, I think I understand what Kythia was saying now.

I will say that some of this depends on what other games Target does stock, though.  But as a comparison, when Steam pulled Hatred, they still had Manhunt and Postal on their store, which are just as bad as Hatred, so their argument of "this goes against our moral stance" doesn't really fly.  I've heard that Target does stock other R18+ games, as well as books like Fifty Shades, so I think it's rather difficult to argue a "brand stance" that excludes GTA but includes those other items.  As I've mentioned before, if a store says it doesn't want to stock any R-rated games/movies because they're a family-friendly store, I agree completely.  It's when they decide they should become the moral guardians and decide which games are fit for playing that I have issues.

Offline ladia2287

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2014, 04:12:12 AM »
Have you seen the actual campaign that led to its removal? If not, I recommend you take a look. It has nothing to do with parents and children, and it makes no mention of failure to enforce rules.

I was stating my understanding of the topic and offering a possible explanation based on my own knowledge and experience and the testimony of people I have met, hence why I said "I gather" rather than "I know for a fact". I personally didn't even know about it until some time after. For that matter I didn't know it was available at Target to begin with until I saw a post on my Facebook feed about the ban.

For the record, "Hysterical parents brigade" is a kind of slang term for adults who, upon deciding they don't like a product/service/decision, decide to mount a reactionary and often childish campaign against it, usually with the aim or forcing the provider/seller to retract it. And by 'children', I meant people under 18, who by law are not supposed to be able to buy anything rated by the Australian Classifications Board (or whatever it is they call themselves) as R18+. That 'R' stands for Restricted, which means there are actually legal considerations that have to be made before it can be stocked.

To be honest, I really couldn't care less. A business has a right to decide what products it will and will not sell within the law, and it doesn't owe me any explanation as far as I'm concerned. If I want it badly enough I'll simply find a business who will sell it. If I don't think it's an appropriate product, I just won't buy it.

But there are a lot of people in this country who don't think like that. A fast food restaurant promotes a new burger, and instead of simply deciding they won't eat it because it's unhealthy, they campaign with gusto for the new burger to be stripped from the menu. They run relentless media campaigns, urging as many people as possible to boycott the entire business, rather than just decide not to buy the burger. It happens all the time, and frankly it looks exactly like this is what has happened with Target and GTAV, legal stuff aside.

That press release has me curious though. I don't ever remember seeing 'other' R-rated titles on their shelves (curiously, Fifty Shades is not rated at all although some argue that it should be).

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2014, 12:07:10 PM »
I was stating my understanding of the topic and offering a possible explanation based on my own knowledge and experience and the testimony of people I have met, hence why I said "I gather" rather than "I know for a fact". I personally didn't even know about it until some time after. For that matter I didn't know it was available at Target to begin with until I saw a post on my Facebook feed about the ban.

For the record, "Hysterical parents brigade" is a kind of slang term for adults who, upon deciding they don't like a product/service/decision, decide to mount a reactionary and often childish campaign against it, usually with the aim or forcing the provider/seller to retract it. And by 'children', I meant people under 18, who by law are not supposed to be able to buy anything rated by the Australian Classifications Board (or whatever it is they call themselves) as R18+. That 'R' stands for Restricted, which means there are actually legal considerations that have to be made before it can be stocked.

It might be worth noting that the petition doesn't talk about parents not wanting kids to buy the game, but rather it's adults not wanting other adults to buy the game.

Quote
To be honest, I really couldn't care less. A business has a right to decide what products it will and will not sell within the law, and it doesn't owe me any explanation as far as I'm concerned. If I want it badly enough I'll simply find a business who will sell it. If I don't think it's an appropriate product, I just won't buy it.

They have the right to do it, but that doesn't mean it's right for them to do it.  They have the legal capacity to pull the game, but just because it's legal for them to do it doesn't shield them from criticism about it.

Quote
But there are a lot of people in this country who don't think like that. A fast food restaurant promotes a new burger, and instead of simply deciding they won't eat it because it's unhealthy, they campaign with gusto for the new burger to be stripped from the menu. They run relentless media campaigns, urging as many people as possible to boycott the entire business, rather than just decide not to buy the burger. It happens all the time, and frankly it looks exactly like this is what has happened with Target and GTAV, legal stuff aside.

It's really starting to seem that every argument nowadays is about how offensive something is, as if it's wrong for someone to make something that offends you, or that someone's clearly been internalizing abuse if they're not getting offended at the same thing that offends you.  Might make a decent discussion topic here someday, though I don't really have the words to get it started...

Offline Kythia

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2015, 04:48:05 PM »
Absolutely beautiful update

In response to Target pulling GTAV, a petition of 60,000 names is raised saying Target should stop selling the Bible (for the same reason - it promotes violence against women).

Target respond pointing out that they don't actually sell the Bible.

Nothing about that is unhilarious.

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2015, 05:40:05 PM »
Here's a better idea.  Tell Target to stop selling 50 Shades of Grey.

Offline consortium11

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2015, 05:48:38 PM »
Absolutely beautiful update

In response to Target pulling GTAV, a petition of 60,000 names is raised saying Target should stop selling the Bible (for the same reason - it promotes violence against women).

Target respond pointing out that they don't actually sell the Bible.

Nothing about that is unhilarious.

You'll never get a job in PR or outrage Kythia...

BREAKING NEWS: Target refuses to even stock the Bible!

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2015, 06:00:52 PM »
You'll never get a job in PR or outrage Kythia...

BREAKING NEWS: Target refuses to even stock the Bible!

*wonders where it will all end* XD

Offline Kythia

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2015, 06:01:21 PM »
You'll never get a job in PR or outrage Kythia...

BREAKING NEWS: Target refuses to even stock the Bible!

Man, you're right. I am outraged by my lack of successful outrage.

Offline Tairis

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2015, 10:40:39 PM »
Outrate is what most modern media runs on anymore, which is why now we can't even get outraged when something truly deserves it. It's a shame really.

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2015, 02:32:55 AM »
So, I've had this topic on the back burner for a while, and there's been a few new developments that are along similar lines that I'd like to focus on.  Specifically, Hotline Miami was refused classification in Australia, and Hatred received an Adults Only rating in the US (one of the very few games to get such a rating purely for violence without having any sexual aspects).  For Hotline Miami, it's interesting because as far as I'm aware, it was refused classification because there's a scene that at first appears to be your character raping an NPC, but that's quickly followed by the camera zooming out to show that you're on the set of a porno, and everything is just an act, which raises the question of just what is acceptable and if the context that something is presented in matters.

I need to look into this and find out a bit more, which I'll probably do tomorrow and I'll make a more coherent post about it, but I wanted to toss the idea out there for anyone that might know more about this.

Also, for anyone that follows TotalBiscuit, earlier today on his podcast he got into a lengthy discussion about how we treat games as an art and how it seems we're still treating them as something "for kids", putting restrictions on them that don't exist for movies, TV shows, books, etc.  I was only half listening at the time and need to give it another go when I can pay my full attention to it.  There should be a recording of everything on Youtube on Thursday sometime, for anyone that might want to listen in, because from what I did listen to he made quite a few valid points.

Offline Caehlim

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2015, 02:45:06 AM »
Specifically, Hotline Miami was refused classification in Australia... For Hotline Miami, it's interesting because as far as I'm aware, it was refused classification because there's a scene that at first appears to be your character raping an NPC, but that's quickly followed by the camera zooming out to show that you're on the set of a porno, and everything is just an act, which raises the question of just what is acceptable and if the context that something is presented in matters.

This isn't entirely a video-game issue. In Australia I'm pretty sure even our pornography can't display NC content. (Not that this is an issue much with the internet, but pornography actually brought out on DVD/Video over here actually has some restrictions).


Offline consortium11

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2015, 04:20:24 AM »
This isn't entirely a video-game issue. In Australia I'm pretty sure even our pornography can't display NC content. (Not that this is an issue much with the internet, but pornography actually brought out on DVD/Video over here actually has some restrictions).

From what I understand your pornography restrictions are some of the worst in the world... BDSM in any form isn't allowed, neither is "rough play" or hair pulling, only one gentle spank at a time is acceptable, calling someone a "whore" or a "slut" is out of the question and any link, however tenuous, of sex with violence isn't allowed; there was one case where a film was refused classification because it involved two people looking for a friend who was kidnapped having sex, despite the fact that kidnapping was never shown or discussed during the sex scene.

On the internet point... and you'll most likely be in a better position to answer than me... haven't there been moves to put in place an internet filiter to block all RC (Refused Classification i.e. banned i.e. the things listed above) content?




Anyway, two points on the topic:

1) What we have yet again is people kink shaming and getting upset at consensual roleplay. To repeat the point again, there's no rape in that Hotline Miami 2 scene... it's entirely consensual. I've posted before about the variety of ways that BDSM and kinky play has been targeted across the world and this is largely another example of it... people thinking it's disgusting that two (in this case pixelated characters) people would engage in something that resembles NC sex entirely consensually. The furor is in a large part completely ridiculous... people are complaining about a rape scene when there's no rape at all. There's more than a hint of the Fox News "outrage" over the "graphic" sex scenes in Mass Effect about this.

2) Let's go the other way. Let's say the Hotline Miami 2 scene wasn't clearly and openly shown to be consensual and instead was an actual rape.

So what?

One can open up every other form of media... be it books, films, art, TV series, music etc etc... and see rape discussed, mentioned and described pretty much freely. A Song of Ice and Fire describes rapes (and worse) seemingly every other chapter, 50 Shades of Grey was almost entirely NC content, Sons of Anarchy featured a graphic rape scene and I've pretty much lost track of the number of films that have featured rape... all with relatively little controversy. Yes, a rape scene (understandably) makes people feel uncomfortable... but isn't art allowed to do that?

It's especially galling to see some of the people who are most outraged about the inclusion of a rape (not that there actually was one) in a video game being the same people who say that video games are art, that they don't need to be "fun" and that we need to lift the medium to a higher level. If video games aren't just about having fun and are instead a form of art then we have to accept that they can leave us feeling shocked, offended and uncomfortable (and not just because of buggy games and exploitative DLC practices). Irréversible features one of the most harrowing rape scenes I've ever seen as well as some shockingly realistic depictions of violence and I doubt anyone watched that because it was "fun"... yet it won awards and is generally seen as an excellent (although incredibly difficult to watch) film. Schindler's List is a dark, dark movie covering dark, dark themes which again I think anyone would struggle to consider "fun"... yet is widely (and rightfully in my view) regarded as a classic movie. Bookshelves are packed with Patricia Cornwell style gory thrillers which feature sickening murders... and they're absolutely fine.

Why are video games infantilized? 

Offline Caehlim

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2015, 05:03:36 AM »
From what I understand your pornography restrictions are some of the worst in the world... BDSM in any form isn't allowed, neither is "rough play" or hair pulling, only one gentle spank at a time is acceptable, calling someone a "whore" or a "slut" is out of the question and any link, however tenuous, of sex with violence isn't allowed; there was one case where a film was refused classification because it involved two people looking for a friend who was kidnapped having sex, despite the fact that kidnapping was never shown or discussed during the sex scene.

That all sounds about right. I don't know the exact specifics because the internet makes it all irrelevant but from what I've heard that's probably correct.

Quote
On the internet point... and you'll most likely be in a better position to answer than me... haven't there been moves to put in place an internet filiter to block all RC (Refused Classification i.e. banned i.e. the things listed above) content?

No. Our ISPs don't care, the people don't care, the police don't care and the government doesn't really care. Every so often the conservatives in government talk about it, except all the people who are behind any form of censorship don't actually understand the technology involved and it never goes anywhere. Same with piracy, no one actually cares about it but every so often they make a few noises to reassure movie companies and make sure we don't look like we're tolerating it.

The only thing that draws any actual attempt to suppress it is child pornography which is very heavily policed over here. The police run Operation Trinity to catch those involved but rather than it being filtered out and blocked it's tracked down and those involved arrested. The police involved in that operation know what they're doing with the technology and they get a lot of voluntary assistance from ISPs and the general public.

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2015, 03:30:59 PM »
From what I understand your pornography restrictions are some of the worst in the world... BDSM in any form isn't allowed, neither is "rough play" or hair pulling, only one gentle spank at a time is acceptable, calling someone a "whore" or a "slut" is out of the question and any link, however tenuous, of sex with violence isn't allowed; there was one case where a film was refused classification because it involved two people looking for a friend who was kidnapped having sex, despite the fact that kidnapping was never shown or discussed during the sex scene.

On the internet point... and you'll most likely be in a better position to answer than me... haven't there been moves to put in place an internet filiter to block all RC (Refused Classification i.e. banned i.e. the things listed above) content?

Ah, I didn't realize that.  Though on a happier note for Australians, the dev's response to an Australian fan asking if they had any way to release Hotline Miami 2 over there was simple "just pirate it".  If there's no methods in place to block internet usage, then that's at least one solution to the issue.

Though I will say, at least they're being consistent.  Stupid, yes, but they're not singling out video games over other media to be "worse".

Quote
Anyway, two points on the topic:

1) What we have yet again is people kink shaming and getting upset at consensual roleplay. To repeat the point again, there's no rape in that Hotline Miami 2 scene... it's entirely consensual. I've posted before about the variety of ways that BDSM and kinky play has been targeted across the world and this is largely another example of it... people thinking it's disgusting that two (in this case pixelated characters) people would engage in something that resembles NC sex entirely consensually. The furor is in a large part completely ridiculous... people are complaining about a rape scene when there's no rape at all. There's more than a hint of the Fox News "outrage" over the "graphic" sex scenes in Mass Effect about this.

2) Let's go the other way. Let's say the Hotline Miami 2 scene wasn't clearly and openly shown to be consensual and instead was an actual rape.

So what?

One can open up every other form of media... be it books, films, art, TV series, music etc etc... and see rape discussed, mentioned and described pretty much freely. A Song of Ice and Fire describes rapes (and worse) seemingly every other chapter, 50 Shades of Grey was almost entirely NC content, Sons of Anarchy featured a graphic rape scene and I've pretty much lost track of the number of films that have featured rape... all with relatively little controversy. Yes, a rape scene (understandably) makes people feel uncomfortable... but isn't art allowed to do that?

It's especially galling to see some of the people who are most outraged about the inclusion of a rape (not that there actually was one) in a video game being the same people who say that video games are art, that they don't need to be "fun" and that we need to lift the medium to a higher level. If video games aren't just about having fun and are instead a form of art then we have to accept that they can leave us feeling shocked, offended and uncomfortable (and not just because of buggy games and exploitative DLC practices). Irréversible features one of the most harrowing rape scenes I've ever seen as well as some shockingly realistic depictions of violence and I doubt anyone watched that because it was "fun"... yet it won awards and is generally seen as an excellent (although incredibly difficult to watch) film. Schindler's List is a dark, dark movie covering dark, dark themes which again I think anyone would struggle to consider "fun"... yet is widely (and rightfully in my view) regarded as a classic movie. Bookshelves are packed with Patricia Cornwell style gory thrillers which feature sickening murders... and they're absolutely fine.

Why are video games infantilized? 

That is pretty much exactly the point I was going to make, honestly, so thank you for spelling it out far better than I ever could have.  The only thing I'd add is that there's a few examples of female on male rape hinted at in games, but the only outcry I've ever heard was when it's a woman getting raped, which seems like a double standard.  Though admittedly, I don't recall playing any major games that have this, I'm going off of what I was told by others, so I don't know everything surrounding it.

Anyway, the podcast I was talking about starts the conversation at about here. (They start off talking about Hotline Miami 2 and go on from there.)

Offline consortium11

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2015, 04:21:41 PM »
The only thing I'd add is that there's a few examples of female on male rape hinted at in games, but the only outcry I've ever heard was when it's a woman getting raped, which seems like a double standard.  Though admittedly, I don't recall playing any major games that have this, I'm going off of what I was told by others, so I don't know everything surrounding it.

Not just "hinted at"; Farcry 3 had an out-and-out female on male rape scene and that caused at most a minor bit of news and certainly no protests or calls for it being banned.

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2015, 07:40:05 PM »
I didn't realize that, actually.  I think that paints a pretty big double standard where another game, Tomb Raider, only implied that one villain wanted to rape Lara when he attacked her, and there was a much larger backlash about the simple idea that rape was included.

I did a quick google search for articles about both the Far Cry and Tomb Raider rape scenes.  Both searches gave me a few hits, both gave me a few negative articles, but what was interesting was the reason.  Far Cry's rape was only controversial in the sense that people thought it was shoehorned in and poorly executed; they didn't have any objections to the game's story including rape, just that it wasn't effective at being the emotional punch that a rape scene should have been.  In contrast, for Tomb Raider, people were attacking the very idea that the game implied rape in the first place, saying that no matter what it shouldn't have been included.

I do think that games should treat rape "correctly" if they include it; it shouldn't be a decision made lightly.  However, games are still in their infancy, relatively speaking; they're a media that people are still trying to figure out how to use effectively, compared to books having several millennia and movies having nearly a century to evolve.  I don't think it's unreasonable for games to still need some growing room before they can be as effective as other media at being art.

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2015, 07:53:16 PM »
Not just "hinted at"; Farcry 3 had an out-and-out female on male rape scene and that caused at most a minor bit of news and certainly no protests or calls for it being banned.

That's cause it is okay as long as it is 'reverse-rape.'  ::)

Speaking of rape, I'm surprise 'Last of Us' wasn't brought up since there is a scene involving perversions towards the girl, Ellie or whatever her name is when she was abducted in that snow area.

Edit: Also, maybe Target should remove Game of Thrones while they are at it, the books anyways as there are references to rape in them and violence towards women. Not sure in the tv series since I stopped watching that crap around second season. Also, Daenerys was 13 in the book.

Except most violence is optional in GTA 5 to women. I believe the only violent scene hinted to women(in game uncontrollable) was with the crazy dude staying at his friend's relatives; but even then, it didn't show anything other than him leaving house cover in blood.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 01:56:23 PM by Drake Valentine »

Offline consortium11

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #70 on: February 06, 2015, 01:06:43 PM »
You thought GTAV was the limit?

Oh no...

Minecraft... yep, Minecraft... is currently under investigation in Turkey by the Family and Social Policies Ministry on the basis that it encourages violence, especially against women.

Clearly no-one wants to take video games away and this is nothing like the 90's and early 2000's...

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #71 on: February 06, 2015, 01:11:30 PM »
You thought GTAV was the limit?

Oh no...

Minecraft... yep, Minecraft... is currently under investigation in Turkey by the Family and Social Policies Ministry on the basis that it encourages violence, especially against women.

Clearly no-one wants to take video games away and this is nothing like the 90's and early 2000's...

Oh god this actually makes my brain hurt.

You know itl be fascinating to see how things go when the cureent generation who grew up completely with Videogames is the one running things. I wonder if stuff like this will still happen or not.

Offline consortium11

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #72 on: February 06, 2015, 01:20:54 PM »
I'm alsojust going to leave this here as words can't really do it justice.

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Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #73 on: February 06, 2015, 01:37:34 PM »
..........Ive never wanted to smoke Marijuana, its bad (M'kay children?) But sometimes...when I see shit like this, I want to smoke so much I don't even remember my own name just cause I think itd be better to just forget it all.  >:(

Online SethalaTopic starter

Re: GTA 5 removed from Target Australia
« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2015, 01:44:18 PM »
I'm alsojust going to leave this here as words can't really do it justice.

That's... somewhat cringeworthy and banal, but aside from repeating something very misleading (as far as I know, police examined the threats to attack the school she was about to speak at and said the threats weren't credible and there was almost no risk, but Sarkeesian cancelled anyway), I don't see anything too wrong with it.  What am I missing?