Ban the sale of GTA V in Canada
Ban the sale of GTA V in Canada
To Whom It May Concern:
Grand Theft Auto V should not be marketed or sold due to its current degree of fixation on violence against women. We understand that previous versions of GTA have also promoted violence towards marginalized populations, specifically sex trade workers. We in no measure condone the previous versions, however a significant part of the problem is the escalation in violence. First, the sex workers in the game were harmed. Now, they are being killed in order to gain “health points” and return fake money. This escalation needs to stop, now. Not only for the purpose of protecting children, but also for the purposes of acknowledging the real and complex trauma experienced by sex workers. The slide from harming to killing has desensitized society from the reality of such actions. Essentially, the creators of GTA are promoting and condoning sexual violence, lack of control, and disrespect towards marginalized populations.
Playing a game littered with abject violence in third-person has enough of an effect on the brains of children and young adults. To include graphic sex acts that can be experienced from first-person perspective is unnecessary. This game provides sufficient exposure to negatively affect the cognitive and emotional experience of the player, essentially desensitizing them from the reality of these actions. The images contained in GTA V normalize violence against women, the oppression of women and the objectification and commercialization of women’s bodies. GTA V normalizes extreme levels of violence towards marginalized populations, along with providing a ‘reward’ for these heinous acts. The scenes in this game are degrading, insensitive, and inappropriate. This degree of violence should not be condoned or practiced. As with pornography, when the images one is exposed to become more violent, the suggestions of what may be ‘fun to try’ also become more violent. When the brain is exposed to gratification through fantasy and role-playing, it then requires more and more stimulation to create the same feelings. This normalization of extreme acts of violence can easily lead to an increase in violent acts in reality. This game does not encourage compassion or empathy, but instead encourages abject violence. We have enough murdered and missing women in our world today, we need to guard against the dehumanization of women rather than promoting rape and murder.
We share the feelings of a successful petition in Australia, and echo their statements. “One of many fan clips on YouTube shows the woman being run down, run over, set alight and, still screaming, repeatedly shot. This misogynistic GTA V literally makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. It also links sexual arousal and violence. We have firsthand experience of this kind of sexual violence. It haunts us, and we’ve been trying to rebuild our lives ever since. 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 that we lived through turned into a form of entertainments is sickening and causes us great pain and harm. This game spreads the idea that certain women exist as scapegoats for male violence. It shows hatred and contempt for women in the sex industry and puts them at greater risk. Women in the industry are 40 times more likely to be murdered by a man than any other group of women.”
Grand Theft Auto V stands in violation of basic human rights and we petition all retailers to remove it from the shelves of any store in North America where children’s merchandise is sold, and where children could potentially have access to it. We petition the game creators to consider the effect of the images and scenes in the video game and determine whether graphic first-person sex followed by extreme violence is really necessary to enhance the gaming experience. We petition retailers and the creators of the game to take a stand against the oppression of women, violence towards women, and against the repeated victimization of sex workers. We petition Rockstar Games to remove the sexual violence from GTA V, we petition you to institute a system in which valid identification is required to activate and play the game each time it is turned on. We petition retailers selling GTA V to refrain from stocking this product. We petition society to pressure the federal government to ban the sale and use of this game in Canada.
If we were to walk into your store and treat this video game the way women in the game were treated, we would be arrested. A video game should not have more legal protection than a woman’s body.
Stephanie, Shamin, and Maroussia