Jokes at the expense of transgender characters have been removed in the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto V, following a series of controversies.
Following requests from LGBTQ+ audiences, Rockstar Games appears to have removed a handful of jokes regarding transgender people from its latest release. Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto V has long been the subject of controversy for everything from an extended torture streak to GTAlong and troubled history with female characters, but according to a report by Chronicle of video games, the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S edition finally seems to address one of the game’s most vocal criticisms: its transphobic comedy. While the changes to the game aren’t dramatic, they appear to be a concerted effort by Rockstar to fix what many fans saw as a troubling example of bigotry in the title.
The most notable change comes outside of Cockatoos, a nightclub that hosted a variety of transvestites and transgender women in the original version of the game. These “drag queen” characters are no longer present in the updated edition. , and derogatory lines from player characters and NPCs have also been removed. Models can still be viewed in the game’s Director Mode, a free-to-play option that allows players to play as NPC characters, but their dialogue is still inaccessible.
In addition to this noticeable change, there’s a much smaller one that only the most discerning players will notice. An archway in GTA online previously featured a dangling figure called “Captain Spacetoy Interstellar Transgender”. This toy has been replaced by a similar model called “Captain Spacetoy Spacetramp”. Instead of a banner advertising “interchangeable genitalia”, the new figure proudly advertises a “posable vomit direction”.
The removal of transphobic comedy from the game follows a public open letter to Rockstar from an organization of LGBTQ+ game developers called Out Making Games, which said in September that the studio had a “social responsibility” to its audience for avoid painting marginalized communities in a negative light. Other companies have recently come under fire for transphobic actions, including Disney’s financial support of Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Marvel Comics’ regular sidelining of its LGBTQ+ characters. (Jessie Drake, society’s first openly transgender hero, has appeared in exactly three issues in over twenty years). Rockstar Games has not publicly commented on whether any of these factors influenced its decision to edit and remove some jokes in Grand Theft Auto V.
Changes to GTA V can be seen in its latest release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The game is also available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
Source: Chronicle of video games
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