In recent years, the press and LGBTQ+ groups have put pressure on Rockstar Games to remove or change content they see as “transgender intimidation” in Grand Theft Auto V. Now, players have noticed some changes in the representation of transgender people in the game’s recently released “expanded and enhanced” upgrades for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Reddit user JayProspero was among the first to notice a change in the action figures lining the office wall in the in-game corridors. The hot pink “Captain Spacetoy” character, in a box featuring “interchangeable genitals,” has been removed in new console versions of the game; On the wall remains an alternate figure with a more restrained appearance and “probable vomiting tendency”.
In a new generation GTAV/GTAO, it appears that Rockstar has disrupted transient cartoons or “drag queens” from reproducing out of cockatoo. This may be after a plea from OutMakingGames last year. I hope this provides relief to anyone who has felt that these NPCs portray harmful stereotypes
– Kirsty Cloud (@kirstycloud) April 8, 2022
Kirsty Cloud, who helps power the GTAnet fan community, has also highlighted Transformed supermodels apparently referred to as the “Drag Queen” in the game files, no longer circulate outside Cockatoos, an in-game nightclub. While these character models can still be accessed in a sandbox-style director mode, dialogue options that clearly indicate their gender and sexuality have been removed.
A successful lobbying campaign?
Rockstar did not respond to a request for comment on the apparent changes. But the move comes months after content like this was labeled “transphobic” by Out Making Games, a group that described itself as “a group of hundreds of LGBTQ+ game professionals working in the UK gaming industry.” In an open letter written in September, the group cited coverage from Kotaku’s Carolyn Petty that invoked trans acting issues in the original 2013 release.
Unlike other randomized NPCs, the way Rockstar designed it GTA VPetty wrote that transgender people actively play into the hateful stereotypes harbored by many transgender players. The pre-existing transphobia is in the game with them. It’s as if it’s specially designed so that some players can have fun hurting and killing them because they’re mutants.”
Some critics have noted GTA VShorthand and contemptuous treatment of mutated characters since the game’s original release. Back in 2020, Engadget’s Jessica Condit expressed concern that Transformers coming at the time wouldn’t reflect how “the conversation around transgender rights, visibility, and violence has changed dramatically in the past seven years.”
“I think there is a huge responsibility on all games, all types of media, to not rely on lazy stereotypes,” Dr Ben Culver, lecturer at Birmingham City University, told Conditt in 2020. grand theft auto In the series, a lot of stereotypes seem to exist only for comedic effect. They’re only there so transgender people and gay people in general are a joke.”
Out Making Games wrote in its open letter that the new console remasters are “a great opportunity to remove hate elements from the game and have a positive impact on the new generation of gamers who will get a copy.” “Looking at the cultural impact GTA V Across the world, Rockstar has a social responsibility to your players (many of whom may be LGBTQ+), your staff and the world at large for not promoting violence against transgender and diverse people. “
This isn’t the first time questionable content has been edited GT games over time. The Confederate flag has been removed from certain locations in Grand Theft Auto V It is a character shirt remastered GTA trilogy. And Rockstar had to re-release a new version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas After depositors unlocked the otherwise inaccessible mini-sex game “Hot Coffee” listed on the disc, which changed the rating from the ESRB.