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GTA 5 mod aims to raise awareness of sex trafficking by telling stories of victims

"Bringing visibility to the severe situations that far too many women all around the world face daily."

A black van with Talita logo races down a city street at night
Image credit: Talita

Swedish non-profit Talita has created a new mod for GTA 5 to highlight real-life issues of sex trafficking.

The organisation helps women out of prostitution and trafficking for sexual purposes and, through this mod, aims to raise awareness of these issues among young men - an audience key to shifting attitudes.

The mod, titled Mission Talita, includes four playable missions based on the true stories of four women the Talita organisation has helped between 2017 and 2023.

Grand Theft Auto 6's first trailer.Watch on YouTube

These missions take place in the streets of Los Santos, but flips the usual narrative of the game by sending players off to help women out of prostitution.

The GTA series is renowned for its misogynistic attitudes towards women in general, but specifically in-game sex workers. As the mod's FAQ page reads: "What started out as a gangster game has now evolved into a world where people - particularly young men - hang out, take on different roles, and shape the storyline. However, it's also a place where young men can buy virtual sex, every day. And in the game, the non-playable prostitute characters' fate is set. They can almost only be exploited, abused, or murdered.

"Given that GTA might be many young men's first exposure to victims of sex trafficking and prostitution, the risk is imminent that the game will affect their perception and attitudes toward prostitution in a harmful way."

Mission Talita has been created by modder FelixTheBlackCat, with support from Vxruz_Danz. In addition, the mod includes an exclusive radio channel featuring music from Swedish House Mafia and other artists, as well as facts about Talita's work.

Mission Talita – Saving the Prostitutes of Los SantosWatch on YouTube

The launch of the mod "goes to show our continued dedication to finding new ways of bringing visibility to the severe situations that far too many women all around the world face daily," said Anna Sander, co-founder of Talita.

"With GTA being one of the world's most played and streamed games, the launch of Mission Talita acts as a trojan horse that allows us to come into contact with an audience whose help we need to create meaningful and long lasting change."

The mod uses the word "prostitute" rather than "victims of prostitution" or "women in prostitution" as it's a word commonly used throughout GTA 5 and Talita wanted to stay true to that.

The FAQ also details why the women in the mod are portrayed as victims. "Our mission is to support and assist women exploited in prostitution and trafficking for sexual purposes and help them into a new life on their terms," it reads. "Many argue that prostitution can be voluntary, but after meeting and talking with women in prostitution for 25 years, our experience is that an overwhelming majority come from poverty or carry early sexual traumas. These are strong push factors into prostitution."

The mod is available to download on the Talita website. A copy of GTA 5 is required.

The GTA series is notorious for its depictions of sex and violence. One example is the inaccessible Hot Coffee sex minigame from GTA: San Andreas, later enabled through PC mods, which was discovered in the code of the recent GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.

GTA 6 is set for release in 2025 and will feature a female protagonist. It's unclear if prostitution will be included.

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