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Mission Talita is a Grand Theft Auto mod meant to stop trafficking

The Grand Theft Auto franchise has been indulging in all sorts of madcap nonsense over almost three decades, from sophisticated criminal operations and heists at one end to sandbox shenanigans on the other, with the player running around, blowing stuff up, and attracting increasing amounts of police attention. However, Talita, a non-profit agency based in Sweden, decided to use Grand Theft Auto 5 to tell a more important story, focused on saving women from the hands of traffickers rather than pursuing personal wealth and indulgence.

Mission Talita is a mod pack that contains four new missions, a custom-made radio, and the real stories of women who have worked with the organization to escape trafficking. It was built over the course of months by long-time Grand Theft Auto fans and modders FelixTheBlackCat, with support from Vxruz_Dans, and the team took pains to make sure it still felt like a Grand Theft Auto experience. That includes a radio station with music from Swedish House Mafia, Sting, Salvatore Ganacci, and more. The music is punctuated with facts about Talita’s work in a similar fashion as Rockstar’s in-game satirical commercials and talk shows.

Sure enough, giving Mission Talita a spin is very familiar for anyone who’s played Grand Theft Auto 5. You play as a Good Samaritan, using intel to find these women and get them out of unfortunate circumstances. The vibes are a little similar to Taken; there are terrible people, but the player can sneak past them, rescue victims, and get out to a rendezvous point. There’s still high speed vehicle chases and gunplay, but as the protagonist, you’re less focused on lethal force and more on pulling off a perfect operation. The player can evade or eliminate traffickers who chase them down, ensuring a clean escape.

In a FAQ on the mod’s official site, the non-profit explains: “A big part of Talita’s work involves trying to shift the attitudes that fuel the demand for sexual services. One audience that is central to achieving this change is young men. With this campaign, we’re delivering our messages in a context that’s dominated by young men. By offering an alternative GTA experience, we hope to provide an eye-opener on how society portrays, talks, and thinks about prostitutes.”

The organization wanted to draw attention to a real world issue that Rockstar cavalierly uses as set dressing in the main game. Using Grand Theft Auto 5 as a base here was a very intentional choice by Talita. San Andreas, and previous cities built by Rockstar Games, has sex workers at available to see on strip clubs and on the street. The player is able to attack these women, and in fact, are rewarded with a cash drop. Reversing the power dynamic, so the player is working to free sex workers instead, is a bold statement. The FAQ continues: “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.”

While Grand Theft Auto 6 is still far from its eventual release date in 2025, the franchise is still culturally vital and financially successful. Rockstar has continued to update GTA Online, and the game has also attracted a vibrant modding and role-play community who use the environment of San Andreas to tell all sorts of stories, from running a pride parade, to operating a taxi cab company, to being a secret criminal overlord or serial killer.

That flexibility is great, and it’s interesting to see a non-profit use that familiar environment to tackle an issue like trafficking. It’s been a long tradition for gamers to kill women (and anything that moves) on the streets of San Andreas, but reformatting that through the lens of real life stories makes for a compelling story.

The Mission Talita mod can be downloaded for PC from the non-profit’s official site. It’s a straightforward process, but you will need to have Grand Theft Auto 5 already installed on your computer. Talita also accepts donations on the mod’s site, along with a merch collection designed in collaboration with Sneakersnstuff.

Via

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