Gaming, Venue

Should GTA be remastered?

In August, several rumours were floating around suggesting that the original Grand Theft Auto trilogy could be seeing a remake. This includes GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas, which was originally released for Xbox, and later re-released on other platforms such as PlayStation 2 and 4, Windows and Mac Os X.

These rumours sparked from gaming website Kotaku, who seem fairly confident that the GTA trilogy will be remastered, stating they have sources from Rockstar Games that would suggest it may in fact be happening. 

Initially, people suspected it would be released this Autumn, but this now seems unlikely. A lot of people expect it to come out in 2022. Tom Henderson predicts this will be a more accurate date, as it will not interfere with the release of GTA V’s upgrade, which is due on 11th November 2021.

The exciting news is that if all these speculations are true, then the trilogy is likely to become available on Nintendo Switch consoles, which is a great reason for the games to be remastered. So far, the GTA games are available on consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation, so to see it on a handheld, portable console would be great and make it much more convenient and accessible to play. 

Not only this, but the trilogy was designed for older consoles, and whilst it is still accessible via backwards compatibility, this is reflected in their graphics. Hopefully, the re-release should resolve this as it is rumoured to be available on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox X and Series S, as well as PC, Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia. However, as an Xbox One owner, this does leave me wondering whether or not I will somehow be able to access the remaster, which is the only potential downfall I can see so far, as Xbox One is still very much a popular console, so we will have to wait and see!

I personally believe that a remaster of the trilogy would be brilliant as it would allow a lot more people to experience the three games by making them much more widely available. Additionally, those who owned the trilogy originally would be given a chance to replay it with much better graphics, which would seem like a more worthy investment than purchasing the older copies. The trilogy becoming available to play on Nintendo Switch is also an excellent idea, as whilst there are plenty of games available on the platform already, most of the ‘big’ titles on there include games such as Super Mario, more catered towards families, so this would make a great change.

Holly Jackson

How the pandemic has led to an increase in female gamers

Gaming is often perceived as a hobby which is heavily dominated by men. This is especially true when thinking about heavy combat and sports games such as Call of Duty or Fifa

However, according to a recently published study by Outform, a staggering 20% more women are gaming compared to pre-pandemic levels. The study collected data from over 1,000 gamers to help understand how gaming culture and player’s habits are changing. It may not be surprising that more women are gaming considering that the industry thrived during lockdowns, it’s the perfect Covid-19 safe hobby to distract from the outside world and pass time. However, what is surprising are the differences in male and female gaming habits. 

Despite only a quarter of women identifying as ‘hardcore’ gamers compared to three quarters of men, women are actually more likely to spend long amounts of time researching and investing in paraphernalia that optimises their gaming experience. Furthermore, 49% of women are now likely to invest time in the action and adventure genre – a typically male sector of the gaming world. 

So, why wasn’t gaming popular among women before the pandemic? Well, a lot of it is obviously due to an increase in free time. However, games that appealed to a larger proportion of female players were also released, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Portable consoles like the Nintendo switch, which are perhaps more appealing to women gamers, also became popularised. There has also been a rise of female gaming YouTubers over the past two years, with female gamers such as iHasCupquake and SSSniperWolf receiving millions of views. 

Traditionally gaming has been seen as a ‘male’ interest for a number of reasons. One of the most significant is that characters in games are far too often portrayed as stereotypes. The ‘sexy female gamer’ image is normalised in gaming, so it’s no wonder that some women might not want to partake in an activity that often overly sexualises their own gender. The lack of female input in creating these games might also relate to this issue, as well as to why many women do not feel welcomed by the gaming community. As it stands, only 24% of people working in the industry are women, which as Forbes pointed out, is an unusually low figure compared to other creative and cultural sectors. 

The pandemic has given women the free time and opportunity to explore various types of games. This new fanbase can only help the gaming industry to continue to grow and improve its inclusivity standards. Hopefully, with this added push, we will continue to see more women joining gaming communities and possibly even wanting to work in the industry. 

Gaming should, and can be, for everyone. 

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Elizabeth Woor

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October 2021
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