Many video games allow players to create their own character; choosing gender, race and appearance. However, only a handful of games have allowed players to choose their pronouns, with Bethesda’s Starfield being the latest to do so as developers continue to push for better representation.
The announcement came just a few days ago in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) with director and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios Todd Howard, who confirmed that players will be able to select their character’s pronouns in the company’s upcoming game.
In the Reddit AMA, a fan asked Howard if the game’s character creation would be “more complicated” when compared to the developer’s previous games.
Howard replied with “Really excited about what the team has done with character creation here. Including choosing background, skills, etc. You also can pick your pronoun (he, she, they) and we’ve recorded all the relevant dialogue to support that choice.”
Complex character creation is nothing new to Bethesda games. Their previous games have allowed players to choose their characters, race, appearance and gender, however, the choice of pronouns is a first for the company.
Starfield is not the first game to take this great step forward, over the past decade many games have taken steps to be inclusive for all people. 2016’s Pokémon Go had players pick a “style” for their character, rather than asking the player to pick whether they are a male or female, and this year’s Forza Horizon 5 allows players to use they/them as their pronouns and not linking them to the body type that players choose. So, while not new for video games, it is the fact that Starfield will be an immersive role-playing game that makes this so important.
Bethesda has always tried to create an immersive and interactive world in their games, with a large focus on player freedom and immersing themselves into their character. In the company’s previous games players are encouraged to explore a vast, open world, go on many unique adventures and interact with dozens of characters, and Starfield is expected to be no different.
By giving players this option of selecting their own pronouns and by having characters in the game refer to the players chosen pronoun, Starfield will hopefully be a game where players will be able to create themselves, or more specifically a version of themselves that would inhabit this futuristic space adventure, and be treated in a way that they want to be treated in the real world.
The news has gone over well with most of the gaming community, with the Reddit post receiving plenty of support including:
“Really appreciate the ‘they’ option. Those seemingly little things make a lot of difference to the people they invite to the party.”
“Fantastic news! I love that more games are giving the player a choice of pronoun now.”
“I’m just here to say thank you for that :)”
Starfield (complete with new pronouns option) is scheduled for release on November 11, 2022, on PC and Xbox.
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