WATCH: New GTA 5 mod spotlights sex trafficking stories to educate players

'Mission Talita' in GTA 5 introduces four missions in the game, each based on the real experiences of women Talita has supported from 2017 to 2023
A poster of GTA 5. — Xbox
A poster of GTA 5. — Xbox

Swedish nonprofit Talita, known for assisting women exit prostitution and trafficking, has ventured into the world of video games by developing a unique modification for GTA 5. 

This mod, named "Mission Talita," is designed to shed light on the grim realities of sex trafficking, particularly targeting young male players, a crucial demographic in changing societal views on the issue.

"Mission Talita" introduces four missions in the game, each based on the real experiences of women Talita has supported from 2017 to 2023. These missions are set in Los Santos, the fictional city in GTA 5, but with a twist. Instead of following the game's typical narrative, players are tasked with helping women escape prostitution.

The GTA series, often criticised for its misogynistic portrayal of women, especially sex workers, serves as an impactful platform for this mod. The creators of "Mission Talita" highlight that GTA's portrayal of sex workers is troubling, as it may be the first exposure to prostitution and trafficking for many young men, potentially shaping their perceptions negatively.

Developed by modder FelixTheBlackCat, with assistance from Vxruz_Danz, the mod also includes a special radio channel with music from Swedish House Mafia and others, interspersed with facts about Talita's work.

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Anna Sander, co-founder of Talita, emphasised the mod's strategic launch on one of the world's most popular games. She noted that "Mission Talita" serves as a "trojan horse," allowing them to reach and influence a key audience essential for driving substantial and lasting societal change.

The mod employs the term "prostitute," a common term in GTA 5, to maintain authenticity to the game's language, despite its more victim-centric approach in reality. The FAQ section of the mod clarifies why the women are portrayed as victims, based on Talita's 25-year experience working with women in prostitution, many of whom have backgrounds of poverty or early sexual trauma.

"Mission Talita" is available for download on Talita's website, requiring a copy of GTA 5 to play. The initiative aims to raise awareness and challenge perceptions, aligning with Talita's mission to support women exploited in prostitution and trafficking.

Regarding the GTA series' history with controversial content, the mod's release precedes the anticipated 2025 launch of GTA 6, rumoured to include a female protagonist and potentially revisit the portrayal of prostitution in the game.