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My Letter To Target Australia In Regards To Removing GTA V From Shelves

I usually don’t comment on stuff like this, but I couldn’t let this one slide. I genuinely love GTA V and not just because you can kill people. I think it’s smart, funny, crazy and an excellent example of a video game. I have legitimately learned life lessons while playing this game. I will be writing an article about life lessons that I have learned from GTA V in the coming days, so stay tuned.

I had to write to Target Australia because this is a new level of dumb. When I first heard this story I thought that it was stupid then. Below is the post which I made to Target’s Facebook Page. Or click this link to go directly to the post which I made on their page and feel free to let them know what you think yourself! But be constructive, no point making matters worse.

Hey Target Australia, I wasn’t going to comment on this but I feel that given you have decided to remove GTA V from your shelves, something should be said. I’ll try to be constructive in saying this.

What a stupid idea.

I have only recently enjoyed your competitive pricing of video games and have bought 4 new release titles from your store – GTA V included. I was genuinely relieved that I didn’t have to submit to the ridiculously overpriced games at other retailers and was happy to skip the midnight launches and go to Target the next day in order to support and hopefully continue your pricing.

I have to say that while I completely agree with the complaints that underage children should not be allowed to purchase this kind of game, I whole heatedly disagree with your drastic measures of removing the game. The game is being shown in such a negative light, by people who don’t even play it. I don’t want to go too hipster on you but games have become more visceral than ever. Story telling is a huge part of the experience much like many of the R rated movies you stock. GTA V has some very compelling and unique story elements and explores a wide variety of themes, some of them lead to a more gritty and mature setting and some are as harmless as jokes about celebrities. While you can do a lot of bad things, it is not the only objective of the game.

I believe that if you are the kind of person that sees something like some of the content in this game and can be influenced so easily that it’s a good idea to do it in real life, then it’s only a matter of time before you will be exposed to something else which may cause you to do something awful.

It is extremely important for the concerned parents to understand that the majority of people who play these games are not only over 18 but also do it as a hobby, for therapy, enjoyment or social interaction. It is even more important that the majority of people who play these games CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT IS OK BEHAVIOR IN REAL LIFE AND WHAT IS OK BEHAVIOR IN A GAME.

If a parent thinks exposure to this kind of material will sway their child into being a rapist/murderer/something else awful then all they need to do is not allow their children to play it and also probably get them professional help. Even then, it’s only a matter of time before that child is 18 and can legally make their own choices, choices that if abused have repercussions far beyond purchasing a video game.

Furthermore, it’s not like you have a playable demo in the store or encourage children to buy it in any way, most kids will play it at friends’ houses and that is well outside of Target’s control/responsibility as a vendor.

Let’s not even start on the 50 Shades of Grey argument either, because we all know that sets some really great examples for how to treat woman and the books are tightly locked away where children cannot reach them and even if they did, the books are written in a secret code that children can’t read.

I guess what I really want to say is that by doing this, you have alienated a large portion of customers by making it seem like we’re in the wrong for wanting a large store like Target to be stocking this kind of game. I feel like there could have been a peaceful resolution here without pissing off almost every gamer that was interested in shopping at Target.

In any case I will no longer be shopping at Target for anything and advising my family and friends to do the same.

Sincerely,

A former customer.

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