Fans of Pokémon Go are singing praises of the game, not just because it’s a childhood dream-come-true, but also because of its stand on the idea of gender.
If you haven’t started on this new ‘augmented reality’ smartphone game that’s taking the world by storm, here’s what happens when you register for a new user account.
First, you need to choose your avatar, and instead of asking you to choose ‘male’ or ‘female,’ the game asks for your ‘style’ instead.
This may seem like a small thing, or many people might have missed it, but for some individuals, it can be liberating.
Non-binary players do not have to worry about gender labels as they enter into the world of Pokémon.
Fans are showing their love and support for the move:
— Groovy Brooks (@BrooksTheAmazin) July 7, 2016
Oh hey shoutout to Pokemon Go for asking you to “choose a style” instead of “choose a gender”, that was cool.
— TOUCHGOAL (@imswordwitch) July 12, 2016
#PokemonGO has flexible gender expression and didn’t force me to misgender myself. So it’s ahead of most higher ed job apps I’ve filled out.
— Jesseanne Pope (@gleefullyhello) July 12, 2016
Honestly #PokemonGO asks for your style opposed to your gender and I think that’s just great tbh
— Austin Wilmot (@Mumanji) July 7, 2016
‘As societies are continuing to evolve and recognise diversity in fellow human beings, so too should games as they are a reflection of society,’ says an online petition that had asked Pokémon Go creators to drop the ‘girl or boy’ question for the game.
‘After all, Pokémon themselves have three genders (Male, Female, and Genderless),’ the petition adds. ‘So why can’t trainers?’
Clearly, the request has been taken seriously and implemented.
Last month, creators of The Sims announced that the game has removed all gender barriers.
New players now have no gender limits when customising their characters.
In a statement, the roleplaying game’s company EA said they wanted to ‘make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to through powerful tools that give them influence over a Sims’ gender, age, ethnicity, body type and more.’
The update was worked on for over a year, with EA having consults with LGBTI organisation GLAAD to ensure that it’s doing the right thing for the LGBTI community.
‘Female Sims can wear sharp men’s suits like Ellen DeGeneres, and male Sims can wear heels like Prince,’ commented Rachel Franklin, the executive producer of The Sims.
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