Rockstar Games has reportedly removed content from Grand Theft Auto Online and the enhanced version of Grand Theft Auto 5 that could be considered transphobic.
READ MORE: How ‘Life is Strange: True Colors’ elicits empathy to do right by the queer community
Last month, it was reported that a Captain Spacetoy doll with “interchangeable genitalia” was removed from the expanded and enhanced version of GTA Online.
And earlier this month, Kirsty Cloud took to Twitter to note that “Rockstar appears to have disabled the trans caricatures or ‘drag queens’ from spawning outside Cockatoos.”
“The models still exist in Director Mode at the moment, but their dialogue options have been removed (presumably this means protagonist dialogue lines to these NPCs about using hormones etc are therefore unused now too),” Kirsty added.
This small thread from community member Yangy on why this change makes sense in today’s GTAV versus 2013’s GTAV is worth a read if you’re worried about “censorship” or Rockstar “going woke” etc etc https://t.co/dC4HUszw06
— Kirsty Cloud (@kirstycloud) April 8, 2022
Rockstar hasn’t acknowledged the changes but it comes after an open letter was sent to the company asking them to “remove transphobic elements” from the GTA games by Out Making Games, a UK-based advocacy group for LGBTQ+ people working in the games industry.
“Given the cultural impact GTA 5 has around the world, Rockstar has a social responsibility to your players (many of whom may be LGBTQ+), to your staff and to the world at large to not promote violence against trans and gender diverse people,” the letter said.
Responding to the news that Rockstar had seemingly removed transphobic content, Out Making Games wrote: “Grand Theft Auto 5 is a wildly popular game with millions of players worldwide and this change can have a huge impact on the way that those players see trans people. Thank you to everyone at Rockstar who prioritised this issue – we ourselves are game developers and understand that even small changes like this take coordinated time and effort.”
In other news, an anonymous Nintendo of America worker has filed a complaint with the United States National Labour Relations Board (NLRB), bringing forward allegations of “coercive actions” and interference with their right to unionise.
A former contractor, going by Boyks on Twitter, has responded to the allegations, claiming their time with Nintendo “was one of the most stressful and awful experiences of my life.”