Way before Pokemon Scarlet and Violet were announced, a story about a kid sending a letter to Nintendo asking for non-binary Pokemon went viral on social media, especially after the US Wing of the company replied. In the letter Nintendo wrote to the child, a consumer service representative stated that It would make sense to introduce different gender identities in Pokemon games, so that every trainer can feel truly represented while playing. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s recent previews highlighted that players will no longer need to select their character’s gender at the start of the game, which is quite revolutionary compared to past entries in the series.

GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

In fact, a staple of the Pokemon series has always been letting the Professor know at the start of the game whether the main character is a boy or a girl, which has become more subtle in modern mainline games, often asking to choose which portrait represents the character more. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are seemingly getting rid of this aspect, and instead are allowing players to enter a character customization menu right at the start of a new save, where they can choose all their preferred facial features. Even the body type doesn’t seem to matter in the game, with base models looking the same regardless of gender differences, which makes Gen 9 far more inclusive than other releases.

RELATED: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Have Apparently Nerfed One of Their Most OP Pokemon Before Release


How Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Make LGBTQIA+ People Feel Welcome

The earliest detail that spoke volumes about Gen 9’s inclusivity came from the official reveal of Grusha, the Ice-type Gym Leader of Paldea, who has an androgynous appearance outside of a bit of makeup on the eyes. The official website for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet then used he/him pronouns to describe Grusha and his past as a professional snowboarder. This fact alone is proof that the tides are changing for LGBTQIA+ representation in Pokemon, as having NPCs with different gender identities and orientations can make a huge difference to the audience.

Then, having the main character whose appearance is fully customizable with feminine, masculine, and gender-neutral features can further help LGBTQIA+ individuals feel like they have a place in the game from the get-go. Not only that, though, as it appears that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will allow players to use all clothes available in the game regardless of gender differences, and that is a great form of validation and expression for non-binary, transgender, and genderfluid trainers, for example.

It’s still unclear whether this actually includes every cosmetic item and look in the game, but based on early leaks it seems plausible. In fact, there’s a chance that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet won’t be featuring skirts at all, and while that may be a tad limiting for feminine outfits, it doesn’t gatekeep a cosmetic item from non-female characters. However, given Grusha‘s use of makeup, it’s quite possible that stylist shops like those in Pokemon Sword and Shield will allow players to change both makeup and hair regardless of the main character’s gender, making it possible to achieve any fashion style achievable at all times by all players.

Gen 8 was not the best in terms of LGBTQIA+ inclusivity, but it did start a positive trend about more customization in the series, especially with Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl also capitalized on customization trends to add it to Gen 4, and the way Game Freak is currently handling Gen 9 proves that this was always the goal. Overall, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are unlikely to have a perfect approach to gender identities and orientations, but they could be the cornerstone on which future games will build a better legacy for LGBTQIA+ people.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet release on November 18 for Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Greavard Could Change the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Exclusive Conversation

botcoc
botcoc
botcoc
botcoc
botcoc
botlivu
botlivu
botlivu
botlivu
botlivu
genshbb
genshbb
genshbb
genshbb
genshbb
mastercoinbb
mastercoinbb
mastercoinbb
mastercoinbb
mastercoinbb
tangobb
tangobb
tangobb
tangobb
tangobb
botnewtikto
botnewtikto
botnewtikto
botnewtikto
botnewtikto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *