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‘Starfield’ will allow players to pick their own gender pronouns

Starfield will give players the ability to customise their character to the fullest degree imaginable, including their background, skills, appearance and yes… gender pronouns.

Gamers have high hopes for Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming single player open-world roleplaying experience. The American video game publisher are best known for their highly successful series, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout (from Fallout 3 onwards), which are characterised by the amount of freedom they afford the player.

Essentially, you wake up as a mysterious stranger in a fantastic world and are then free to wander off in whichever direction strikes your fancy. During your adventures you will discover glorious landscapes, many things that want to kill you, and town guards that are just dying to tell you all about their tragic pasts – repeatedly.

starfield concept art
Image: Starfield / Bethesda Softworks

Starfield is taking this gameplay paradigm into the distant future where space travel is a part of everyday life. There will reportedly be aliens, space pirates, colonists, and almost certainly a few extraordinarily annoying NPC characters.

And in this far-off future, as is now becoming the norm, you will be able to pick your pronouns. In a Reddit AMA celebrating Skyrim Anniversary Edition, Bethesda director Todd Howard stated:

“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.”

Honestly, this isn’t anything to get too excited (or angry) about; RPG developers have been devising clever systems to make their dialogue inclusive for decades, mostly because it saves time and resources. ‘They’ and ‘you’ are hugely useful terms because they don’t exclude many possibilities; you could be talking about your mother, father, or a horrible demon from another dimension.

It’s bizarre how polarising this issue has become in recent years, because in the world of video games, gender neutral pronouns are old hat.

Also, the idea that we’ll still be debating this in 300 years (when Starfield is set) is laughable and depressing in equal measure. Thankfully, that isn’t the future Starfield is set in.