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The Warehouse Group, New Zealand’s largest retail group, has decided to take all R18 rated movies and video games of their shelves, after recently reviewing their range, the New Zealand Herald reports.This decision was made by the company as they claim their business was founded on “ putting our people and communities at the core of what we do.” This comment clearly contradicts the idea that the customers to their stores could be adults who enjoy mature content in their movies or games

Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell had this to say about the decision:

“This decision to exit R18 games and DVDs has not been made lightly, but has been driven by increasing customer, community and team member feedback. This feedback has formed part of what has been an ongoing internal review, to ensure that the products we range reflect our brand values of family, children, and community. The recently released Grand Theft Auto V, which contains graphic sex scenes and violence towards women from a first person perspective, has acted as a catalyst for our decision to totally exit the R18 games and DVD market. We considered simply ‘de-ranging’ this product, however that would require us to judge the merits of every R18 product on an ongoing basis, which we are not in a position to do, nor do we see as our role. With the increasing amount of feedback we get from customers, team members, and the wider community around R18 material, we believe that our exit from R18 games and DVDs will be positively received by parents and families around the country; it’s simply the right thing to do for our brand,”

This decision comes at the same time that both Kmart and Target in Australia withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale, following a petition which contained over 40,000 signatures outraged at the violence against women the protagonist of the game could commit. It should be noted that the protagonist does not have to commit violence against women throughout the majority of the game, that they are more often than not de-incentivized for doing so, and that the title depicts far more violence against men than women.

Many consumers have been outraged at these decisions as they feel they should be able to decide what content they consider appropriate for themselves, and fear that this kind of ban represents a move towards a nanny state culture. The use of violence against women as an excuse to remove these products in all three cases is considered by many as a reflection of the recent popularity of harsh feminist critique against video games.

I have reached out to The Warehouse Group for comment, but have not heard back at time of publishing.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • Raiiban

    Nobody cares about the mandatory mission where you have to torture a man in the game or else you cannot progress, but if there’s even the optional possibility of violence towards a woman drop everything and shut it down!

  • Alex

    In order to cherish freedom you must first lose it…

  • Welcome to Chinaustralia!

    But in all seriousness, this is starting to eerily reflect what happens to AO games over here. They won’t call it a ban or censorship, but it may as well be one.

  • Big Guy, For You

    I thought New Zealand might actually be sane but apparently not.

    Why are parent’s all of a sudden not doing what parent’s should be doing and parenting? Removing an 18+ game because some parent’s think it’s going to hurt or affect kids if they play it must be out of their minds. Games have age ratings for a reason, don’t buy your kid a game if they are to young to play it, simple as that, Step up and be a parent, don’t ruin it for everyone else who is rational and is old enough to purchase these types of games.

  • Phil

    Jesus…

  • 33

    TechRaptor seemed to have missed off part of the official statement. It should read:

    “putting our people and communities at the core of what we do. Excluding those who enjoy R18 films and video games. Sick weirdos like those aren’t allowed in our stores and should be shunned from society.”

  • Misogynerd

    Remember this is censorship, according to all definitions of the word and all their acts. They are suppressing products because they might be offensive to some. Not because if doesn’t fit with company policies, or because the product is faulty or misleading, but because it’s seen by some as offensive.

    That’s ignoring that the ban is complete bullshit btw, because the game’s story puts male violence to the forefront and you can clear the game without harming any woman.

  • Reptile

    By Cernunnos… things are getting pretty ridiculous.

  • Daniel Pina

    Make no mistake: this is the result of Sarkeesian/McIntosh’s manipulation reaching mainstream media.

  • Dr Dub

    This is great news. By removing movies too they create an even bigger backlash and wake up a far wider audience than just gamers alone.

    The masses will now be aware of what these mentally ill psychopaths are up to.
    When games alone are banned it would actually be in our interests to give phony support to the SJW’s and actually campaign for the same ban to apply to movies due to them containing similar violence.

    It will backfire on the SJW’s in a big way.

  • Angry Canadian Gamer

    So glad Australia finally has a ratings system that they can continue to ban games.

  • Reptile

    Now they don’t need to ban games individually. They can ban ALL games under +18 category.

  • I think it’s very silly to exclude adult material for adults in this fashion, because that is essentially what it is. They do not want children to enjoy products for adults, so instead of just checking the ID of anyone buying these products, to make sure only people that are 18+ can buy and enjoy the products, they are completely removing it for everyone. It is very silly and quite insulting.

    I think it’s also wrong to use “violence against women” as an excuse when there is an abundance of violence against men, which is swept under the rug. You can’t condone violence against men and condemn violence against women in the same way you can’t condone violence against jews but condemn violence against whites. Either you’re against violence or you’re not. Where is their integrity?

  • Mitchell Pollock

    This is getting ridiculous now. It’s backdoor censorship at best, and the decline of freedom of expression at worse.

  • Ryan Juel

    I wonder when the Australian Board of Classification starts rating books for their violent and sexual content. Disclosure by Michael Chrichton needs to be restricted for its themes of sexual assault in the workplace.

  • Ryan Juel

    The best part of it all is that The Streisand Effect will cause people who want to experience these games and movies to flock to businesses that supply them.

  • KLLRFRST

    Congrats, Anita. I hope you’re happy.

    Actually, I’m sure she won’t be happy until all media has been cleansed anything that even has the merest hint of anything bad happening to women and doesn’t present the female characters as anything less than the Mary Sue-est of Mary Sues.

    “Attention, filthy males! You’re not allowed to read “To Kill A Mockingbird”, because a woman is raped in the book. You’re also not allowed to watch “Schindler’s List” because women are sent to gas chambers and ovens. Also, listen to The Beatles is forbidden, since there are no women in the band. Please go to the re-education centers to enjoy media that has been approved by God Empress Anita, such as Lifetime Movies Of The Week, Danielle Steele novels, and comedy albums featuring the inoffensive humor of Paula Poundstone.”

  • I am going to go against the grain here for a bit but I think that this decision is okay. They want that family friendly image, so they remove all 18+ stuff from the store shelves. That’s a consistent decision, that’s something I can live with. Their financial reports will tell them if that decision will pay off or if customers will be looking at competitors.

  • Dr_Zox

    To be honest, (I am from New Zealand)

    I think its okay for the warehouse to ban all R18 content from sale from their store, regardless of the motivation…

    At least they are not cherry picking,

  • Fenrir007

    Sadly, I can’t “boycott” them as they don’t exist in my country. But really, this silliness is getting out of control.

  • ZURATAMA1324

    Com’on, this again?
    Banning art?

    This is 2014 and we are almost reaching 2015.
    Get real with the time you fascists, this ain’t the 1940s.

  • grillsandbarbies

    this is only the beginning of what feminism is trying to bring to video games. feminists will help to censor every single game that they can get their evil little mittens on. many of us have been saying they intend to ruin video games. well here you go, guys – here is proof. and this is just step 1. time to band against man-hating feminist censors and fight them tooth and nail, lest we lose our beloved video games to them.

  • But but that takes effort!

  • Wow thats interesting that you feel that way, if you dont mind me asking, why are you okay with it?

  • Dr_Zox

    Well, If they consider themselves a family store and that all products should be for the “family” then I don’t mind a store removing all non-family adult only content.

    It will fit the scope of their store, people know its family safe

    For example you wouldn’t expect a hello kitty store to sell adult content.

    If they are focussing on GTA V because of misinformation that this is bad

  • hots

    Burn the Louvre

  • ZURATAMA1324

    Itz da produkt of za pastriachki.

  • More business for Kim Dot Com.

  • Alex White

    Yup, aside from the Misogerknee bullshit, they have every right to promote any image they want, I like their consistency at least, it’s not the nonsense like target.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    Considering the content in some Steven King books, they’d be doomed.

  • Interesting perspective.

  • Taeryth Alekoia

    That’s bullshit and you know it.
    Highly Offended Individuals(TM) masquerading as feminists are going for this. Actual feminists, you know, the ones fighting for equality, and not matriarchy, don’t exactly have this high enough on their shitlist to be bothered either way.
    Everywhere I look I see people using shorthand names to make inappropriately sweeping generalisations.
    This is /not/ a product of feminism.

  • davem

    Except they are doing it purely for the PR and are hypocrites. They make this announcement a couple of weeks after making millions of dollars selling R18 fireworks for Guy Fawkes night.

  • Dr_Zox

    hmmm… good point, however fireworks have received an R18 rating because they are physically dangerous, but are still considered a family Item. In other words supervision is required…

    Media however can receive an R18 rating for having substance that is not fit for consumption below the age of 18,

    I would be okay with the warehouse selling fireworks and still remaining family friendly

  • It boggles me how Australia, the land of killer animals, can be too sensitive about their ratings.

    “It’s fine there’s a killer snake by our house but heaven forbid these violent and sexual games get into people’s hands!”

  • stryk

    >Lifetime Movies Of The Week
    Empress, pls no. I never asked for this.