G.URL power fuels Jenny’s
UCA Fashion Journalism graduate Jenny O’Connor has set out to tackle the poor gender representation in indie gaming by creating her own magazine – G.URL.
29 Jun 2023
When UCA Fashion Journalism graduate Jenny O’Connor found herself frustrated by an unbalanced focus on male indie gamers, she decided to take matters into her own hands and create a magazine especially for ‘gamer girls’ like herself – G.URL.
Jenny says her career dreams are to work in magazine journalism, and her time at UCA has only served to cement her passion for the craft. She’s become so invested in her final major project that she’s decided to create a second issue, continuing her website – www.gurlworld.co.uk – and social media channels.
“I envision G.URL Magazine incorporating even more augmented reality,” says Jenny. “With the decline of major news publications like PAPER magazine, Buzzfeed News, and even VICE, I want to create a sustainable digital magazine. Including AR would add an exciting and immersive element to the reading experience. I plan to continue releasing new issues of G.URL digitally, promoting them through my Instagram account (@g.urlworld).”
The idea for G.URL came about through Jenny's love of gaming, a lack of representation for girls and little in the way of content celebrating calmer indie games alongside major first-person shooters like Call of Duty, or sporting games. A love of early 2000s gaming was the inspiration for the aesthetic of the magazine.
Jenny learned how to use 3D modelling software Blender from scratch to create her original characters for the magazine, built her own website, and then explored Meta's Spark AR Studios to create an augmented reality filter for the magazine's last page.
“These were all completely new skills for me, but I had a lot of fun experimenting and learning along the way,” says Jenny. “I also contributed to a lot of the writing in G.URL, so a lot of journalistic skills I’ve developed during my time as a fashion journalism student were put to good use!”
Jenny’s experience at UCA – like many graduating students this year – had an unusual start due to COVID, but there were plus points.
“My experience at UCA has been a bit different from what I expected. Starting during the peak of the pandemic, I had to adjust to online learning and it felt like my university experience truly began in my second and third years. However, my first year gave me a lot of time to explore my own interests. I've learned so many things during my third year that I never thought I would, and it all started with the foundation I built in my first year.”
Her top tips to those looking to study courses similar to hers – like Digital Media & Magazine Publishing – is to make the most of the first year exploring new software and skills.
“Don't hesitate to develop your design skills as well, because you'll come across many creative individuals at UCA,” she adds. “Personally, I came in as a writer, but now I'm leaving with a focus on design, too.”
You can see more amazing final major projects like Jenny’s at gradshows.uca.ac.uk – and if you’re considering studying at UCA, check out our course pages to see what suits you.