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'Sex Workers' say GTA normalises violence

'Sex Workers' say GTA normalises violence

The Grand Theft Auto series has been accused of normalising violence against sex workers.

Even if you did know that today was the fifth annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, which is unlikely, then you'd probably not want to admit it. Still, today is the day though and representatives of the Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto are eager to make sure you don't forget it in a hurry.

Anastasia Kuzyk, in an attempt to explain why violence against sex workers is becoming even more of an issue nowadays, was quick to lay blame at the feet of computer games, specifically the Grand Theft Auto series.

"There's a video game out there where you can run down prostitutes and kill them and beat them up and take their money. It feeds into the whole subculture of allowing the violence to continue. Violence against sex workers should not be normalised, but it is." She told the Toronto Sun

"Sex work is a job, and violence isn't in the job description"

The Sex Workers Alliance is a movement which originally started in Seattle to support victims of the Green River Killer, a murderer who attacked mostly sex workers and killed 48 women in total.

The fact that players can beat up and prostitutes in the Grand Theft Auto game is something which has drawn repeated criticism to the series. The fact is though that you can beat up pretty much anybody you want in the game, regardless of their occupation.

It begs the question though; does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Does GTA even count as art? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

31 Comments

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Mankz 18th December 2007, 10:55 Quote
Quote:
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers


They really do have too much free time, don't they?
quack 18th December 2007, 11:02 Quote
Between Johns, yeah. ;)
cjoyce1980 18th December 2007, 11:06 Quote
at least this makes them feel important
badders 18th December 2007, 11:30 Quote
So it didn't bother them 2004-2006?
It strikes me as a little odd that the game would be out 3 tears before it was decided that it's wrong to shoot prostitutes or run them over to get your money back.

It's a GAME. We play them because it's WRONG to kill people etc. in real life, and we all get a little guilty pleasure from being able to do it in a virtual world. It doesn't make us bad people, or the games bad.

Would Jack the Ripper have gone on his killing spree if he'd had a little R&R with GTA: San Andreas on his PS2?

Who Knows....
Tyinsar 18th December 2007, 11:41 Quote
The whole thing is so screwed up I don't know where to start: "sex trade workers" prostitutes, games that glorify random violence on "innocent" (simulated) people, ... ?
Zurechial 18th December 2007, 11:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders

Would Jack the Ripper have gone on his killing spree if he'd had a little R&R with GTA: San Andreas on his PS2?

Who Knows....

He probably would have..

Maybe Nexxo will correct me on this, but I'm inclined to think that if somebody is mentally imbalanced in such a way as to be homocidally psychotic to begin with, then it doesn't matter one way or another whether they play games or not. :p
LeMaltor 18th December 2007, 12:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders

Would Jack the Ripper have gone on his killing spree if he'd had a little R&R with GTA: San Andreas on his PS2?

Who Knows....

He probably would have..

Maybe Nexxo will correct me on this, but I'm inclined to think that if somebody is mentally imbalanced in such a way as to be homocidally psychotic to begin with, then it doesn't matter one way or another whether they play games or not. :p

Have you not seen all the progoganda, it does matter!
wolff000 18th December 2007, 14:27 Quote
Why do we placate these people by posting this stuff and acting like it's news. Everyone here knows these people are full of shizer. I say we ignore the ignorant people and maybe someday they will shut the hell up.
Drexial 18th December 2007, 14:35 Quote
although jack the ripper is a perfect example of how this type of violence is not a result of a game. but a result of an instability. he was doing this what 200 years before? 300 maybe? don't remember the exact time period. but regardless. i feel more people would be inclined to emulate him more then anything. the people that kill prostitutes aren't usually killing them because they are prostitutes, there is an idea about them that they wouldn't be missed. which is a sad way of looking at things.
salesman 18th December 2007, 16:51 Quote
maybe to balance this out there needs to be a game made where you play a sex worker. just throwing it out there.
specofdust 18th December 2007, 17:20 Quote
Those ho's better shut the hell up else ima beat their asses.

suga' just don't know when to keep it's mouth shut these days...
Edenalig 18th December 2007, 17:35 Quote
Im guessing the kind of person who frequents a "sex worker" would already be in some sort of abnormal frame of mind and thats before you even consider the "workers" circumstances them selves! When you get a supermarket worker or similar that comes up with the same story I will consider it, but this is just rubbish!
liratheal 18th December 2007, 18:43 Quote
I'm sorry, hookers, did our video game offend you?

Sex worker my arse. Whine when you're not busy doing the nasty for money :/
Cupboard 18th December 2007, 19:16 Quote
I wish they mentioned the good, moral aspects of GTA. They must have forgotten the bits where you had to sort out the people abusing Jizzy B's girls...
DXR_13KE 18th December 2007, 21:28 Quote
yet another bunch of uniformed people bashing something they don't know and don't want to learn more about......
mrplow 18th December 2007, 21:32 Quote
err, how about an International Day to End Sex Workers?

since when are we all trying to defend all the 'poor poor prossies'
Cthippo 18th December 2007, 22:06 Quote
I think they may have missed the point. It's not so much the game that normalizes violence against sex workers, it's the sort of attitudes that have been expressed in this thread. Basically the consensus view I'm seeing here is that sex workers are a lower form of human and deserve what they get. Video games may be the symptom, but the problem is when people start thinking they are superior to some "other" group of people. When you think you're better, then it follows that whatever you do to the "other" people is OK. Well, guess what, there are no "other" people, there is just people and in arguing for your superority you demonstrate only inferiority.
samkiller42 18th December 2007, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
There's a video game out there where you can run down prostitutes and kill them and beat them up and take their money

Thats wrong, because i can drive over normal people too
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edenalig
When you get a supermarket worker or similar that comes up with the same story I will consider it, but this is just rubbish!
I was savagely attacked by a pack of biscuits, so there must be a union to protects fools like me from mindless biscuits,
The "Supermarket Workers attacked by products Assosiasion" will come to my aid. Yea right.

Sam
Akava 18th December 2007, 22:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42

I was savagely attacked by a pack of biscuits, so there must be a union to protects fools like me from mindless biscuits,
The "Supermarket Workers attacked by products association" will come to my aid. Yea right.

Sam

LMAO! Thats brilliant, I have been violently attacked by a number of products, including a pack of nuts :O granted they where thrown at me by a colleague... but still...
The_Beast 18th December 2007, 23:44 Quote
Oh come on, video games don't make people do stuff they wouldn't normally do
Tyinsar 18th December 2007, 23:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by salesman
maybe to balance this out there needs to be a game made where you play a sex worker. just throwing it out there.
:) (Now they might say you're trying to steel their jobs.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I think they may have missed the point. It's not so much the game that normalizes violence against sex workers, it's the sort of attitudes that have been expressed in this thread. Basically the consensus view I'm seeing here is that sex workers are a lower form of human and deserve what they get. Video games may be the symptom, but the problem is when people start thinking they are superior to some "other" group of people. When you think you're better, then it follows that whatever you do to the "other" people is OK. Well, guess what, there are no "other" people, there is just people and in arguing for your superority you demonstrate only inferiority.
I understand your point and partly agree. The problem I have is that they are trying to normalize one "profession" that I feel shouldn't even exist (well, that one and collectors of useless gossip "entertainment reporters").
Edenalig 18th December 2007, 23:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
Thats wrong, because i can drive over normal people too


I was savagely attacked by a pack of biscuits, so there must be a union to protects fools like me from mindless biscuits,
The "Supermarket Workers attacked by products Assosiasion" will come to my aid. Yea right.

Sam

:) Not what I meant but you made it sound funnier
Amon 19th December 2007, 00:35 Quote
How the hell did I miss this article?!

Should probably start reading the papers again.
liratheal 19th December 2007, 09:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I think they may have missed the point. It's not so much the game that normalizes violence against sex workers, it's the sort of attitudes that have been expressed in this thread. Basically the consensus view I'm seeing here is that sex workers are a lower form of human and deserve what they get. Video games may be the symptom, but the problem is when people start thinking they are superior to some "other" group of people. When you think you're better, then it follows that whatever you do to the "other" people is OK. Well, guess what, there are no "other" people, there is just people and in arguing for your superority you demonstrate only inferiority.

It's not that I think they're a 'lower form of human'.

I'm just pissed they're jumping on the 'blame video games for our misfortune'.

I've had enough of people pinning blame for their own situation, that only they have the power to change, straight on someone elses shoulders, in this case, GTA.

Yes GTA does feature hookers, and yes, you can beat them senseless, but if you're going to be a hooker in the real world and then blame all the crap you get on a game?
Amon 19th December 2007, 10:04 Quote
I'm surprised Kingpin wasn't mentioned. That was at least 10 times more violent/derogatory to women than every Gran Theft Auto installment combined...

They're just blaming a popular media mule for violence. Stupid.
sinizterguy 19th December 2007, 10:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
I'm surprised Kingpin wasn't mentioned. That was at least 10 times more violent/derogatory to women than every Gran Theft Auto installment combined...

They're just blaming a popular media mule for violence. Stupid.

They had to pick one which has been in the news/media recently. And one which is very well known.
evox 19th December 2007, 10:58 Quote
Oh, yeah right :\
SomeGuySomeDay 19th December 2007, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I think they may have missed the point. It's not so much the game that normalizes violence against sex workers, it's the sort of attitudes that have been expressed in this thread. Basically the consensus view I'm seeing here is that sex workers are a lower form of human and deserve what they get. Video games may be the symptom, but the problem is when people start thinking they are superior to some "other" group of people. When you think you're better, then it follows that whatever you do to the "other" people is OK. Well, guess what, there are no "other" people, there is just people and in arguing for your superority you demonstrate only inferiority.

It's not that I think they're a 'lower form of human'.

I'm just pissed they're jumping on the 'blame video games for our misfortune'.

I've had enough of people pinning blame for their own situation, that only they have the power to change, straight on someone elses shoulders, in this case, GTA.


Yes GTA does feature hookers, and yes, you can beat them senseless, but if you're going to be a hooker in the real world and then blame all the crap you get on a game?

Actually, it seems they are trying to use their power to change their situation. They do so by raising awareness of their situation, and the serious problems they have with abuse and violence. They try to improve their situation through action and speaking out. Shouldn't we respect and commend that?

And I quite agree with what Cthippo said: The opinions that other posters have concening prostitutes are quite horrendous, and they probably replicate and sustain the pattern of abuse against prostitutes. Because hate speech will eventually lead to violence, s they discovered in the american south. What is the difference between slamming prostitutes and slamming black guys?
Just to show yo'all how terrible the things people have written here is, try a small experiment and reread the first posts. Just replace the word 'prostitute' with the word 'n*gger'. Scary reading, isn't it?
Jordan Wise 19th December 2007, 18:38 Quote
i'm sorry, but all i really wish that all prostitutes would try and aim for that Darwin award, it's not that i think i'm superior or anything, just that they do no good for humanity as a whole. The cheek to blame a video game, don't get me started
liratheal 19th December 2007, 18:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuySomeDay
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I think they may have missed the point. It's not so much the game that normalizes violence against sex workers, it's the sort of attitudes that have been expressed in this thread. Basically the consensus view I'm seeing here is that sex workers are a lower form of human and deserve what they get. Video games may be the symptom, but the problem is when people start thinking they are superior to some "other" group of people. When you think you're better, then it follows that whatever you do to the "other" people is OK. Well, guess what, there are no "other" people, there is just people and in arguing for your superority you demonstrate only inferiority.

It's not that I think they're a 'lower form of human'.

I'm just pissed they're jumping on the 'blame video games for our misfortune'.

I've had enough of people pinning blame for their own situation, that only they have the power to change, straight on someone elses shoulders, in this case, GTA.


Yes GTA does feature hookers, and yes, you can beat them senseless, but if you're going to be a hooker in the real world and then blame all the crap you get on a game?

Actually, it seems they are trying to use their power to change their situation. They do so by raising awareness of their situation, and the serious problems they have with abuse and violence. They try to improve their situation through action and speaking out. Shouldn't we respect and commend that?

And I quite agree with what Cthippo said: The opinions that other posters have concening prostitutes are quite horrendous, and they probably replicate and sustain the pattern of abuse against prostitutes. Because hate speech will eventually lead to violence, s they discovered in the american south. What is the difference between slamming prostitutes and slamming black guys?
Just to show yo'all how terrible the things people have written here is, try a small experiment and reread the first posts. Just replace the word 'prostitute' with the word 'n*gger'. Scary reading, isn't it?

I'm not trying to say they don't deserve respect for trying to improve their situation, far from it infact. I disagree with prostitution as a whole, because the idea of it just seems morally wrong to me.

However, if the easiest way for them to get attention and bring their cause to the public eye is to say "Arg, violence in our line of work is because of video games depicting prostitutes badly" (Paraphrasing at best there) is just the wrong way to go around it. I don't really understand how you present a prostitute in a positive manner, unless they're all like Inara Serra (And the presentation of her line of work is hardly consistently positive).

Yes, they should by all means try to change their situation. I disagree with their methods, in this instance. It feels to me as if they're doing a lawyer (Who shall remain nameless, incase he sues someone), and blaming things on video games, because gaming is really an ever growing.. I can't think of the right word for that at the moment.

I've never seen a news story where someone's been arrested for beating up a prostitute and cited GTA, or any other game (Not even Leisure Suit Larry) as a reason, nor anyone trying to blame games for it. That said, I'm not sure that's going to make it onto the BBC any time soon if it does happen.

As an aside: Yes, switching those words is quite.. Unsettling at best, but in fairness, it's never been hugely easy to blame racism on games, since it started long before anyone really had the idea for games that extended beyond card games ;)
specofdust 19th December 2007, 19:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Wise
i'm sorry, but all i really wish that all prostitutes would try and aim for that Darwin award, it's not that i think i'm superior or anything, just that they do no good for humanity as a whole. The cheek to blame a video game, don't get me started

They do as much good for humanity as anyone else in a luxury service sector. Which is a fair bit.

While I do think that the people making this case against GTA are retards. I gotta say a lot of the people's responses in this thread lead me to believe they're little better. Just because people work in the sex industry doesn't mean they do an irrelevent job. Nor does it make them sub-human.
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