Dr Disrespect calls out Bethesda over Starfield pronouns
The release of Starfield has triggered a lot of conversations surrounding everything from confusing menu screens to classic Bethesda moments which have made it into space - that's right, you can put a bucket on people's heads, though it doesn’t seem to stop you from being spotted stealing.
However, the biggest topic of conversation appears to be surrounding pronouns and their inclusion in the character creation screen.
Some players were upset that the character creation asked them to select pronouns, including Dr Disrespect.
Several online personalities have used their platforms on social media sites like Twitter/X and YouTube to express their upset at being asked for their pronouns at the start of the game.
Herschel "Guy" Beahm IV (aka Dr DisRespect) is one of the most prominent people to react negatively to the addition of pronouns, pausing his character creation screen to check whether Bethesda's Head of Publishing Pete Hines has pronouns in his Twitter bio.
"He/him got it." Dr Disrespect said on his stream. "Now everything's starting to make sense. Everything's starting to make sense now."
The Doc is not alone as several Twitter users have complained about the feature. Some have reportedly gone as far as refunding the game.
One user said: "I almost refunded my game when Starfield asked me for pronouns. I still might... I'm annoyed about it." They later updated to share that they had, in fact, requested a refund.
Starfield doesn't actually force you to choose pronouns
With the amount of conversations happening online about pronouns in Starfield, you may think that the game forces you to choose, but it really doesn't.
Based on your character creation, body type and attributes, the game does its best to guess which pronouns you want to identify with and automatically assigns them. You only have to change them and pick your own pronouns if you are unhappy with the ones the game selects.
Similarly, there is not really any real mention of them in the game, other than how characters address you when speaking.
This means that, outside of acknowledging that gender exists, Starfield really isn't pushing its players to identify as anything other than themselves.
Pronouns and gendered characters are not new to gaming
The recent discourse about pronouns in gaming is an unusual one, given that games have been asking players their gender in some form or other for years.
Whether it is selecting if you identify as a boy or a girl in Pokemon, or more detailed options allowing you to choose he/him, she/her or they/them pronouns in Forza Horizon 5, it is not a new concept. This is taken one step further in games like Baldur's Gate 3, where character customisation runs so deep that you can select genitals, body types, pronouns, and more.
Some players who have expressed their annoyance at Starfield's pronouns have said they prefer the way in which games like Hogwarts Legacy operate, calling all characters they/them irrespective of gender, however, others seem bothered that there is any deviation from male and female at all.