Gender-neutral Pokemon DLC toilets rattle 'woke' critics

Gender-neutral Pokemon DLC toilets rattle 'woke' critics
Images via Game Freak

Written by 

Tom Chapman


14th Sep 2023 13:40

Hey, wake up - a new thing to be offended by has just dropped in gaming. While the family-friendly aesthetic of the Pokemon games means it might be hard to see how they could possibly offend anyone, we see a potential nightmare on the horizon thanks to the use of gender-neutral toilets. 

With the whole "go woke, go broke" bandwagon threatening any title that dares to use pronouns, fly an LGBTQ+ flag, or dare reference the transgender community, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet could soon find itself caught in the crosshairs of angry gamers shaking their fists at subtle diversity. 

The Teal Mask DLC caught in unisex bathroom scandal

Pokemon players are only just getting to grips with The Teal Mask DLC, which takes us to the Kitakami region and introduces a host of new 'mon like the beefy Okidogi and terrifying Poltchageist. That's not all that's different in Kitakami, as apparently, gender-neutral toilets are also a thing.

In The Teal Mask, players are given the option of using a toilet for boys, girls, or everyone. Although many in the comments claim it's a standard disabled toilet, that hasn't stopped others waving the flag for diversity. Whether the devs meant for unisex toilets or not, the tweet has gone viral. 

One supporter cheered, "I was surprised when I saw it. I feel like GF is trying to make trans references, at least subtly. There’s still plenty parts of the world, where Pokémon games are sold, that are very socially conservative, so they have to be subtle IMO."

Another added, "What's funny is that people will lose their shit over this and call it woke when... this is totally normal all over the world. There are a lot of places that have single-person bathrooms  that can be used regardless of gender."

Although most of the haters haven't noticed yet, there are already rumblings of trouble. Easily predicting what most of these comments would be, one wrote, "Pokemon is turning woke 💔," while another mocked, "Finally, as an attack helicopter, I can now feel included." 

Progress for Pokemon

Grusha Pokemon Scarlet & Violet
Click to enlarge

Pokemon has been making some progress in terms of diversity, with Scarlet & Violet not restricting specific items of clothing to a gender. There was also the hilarious incident of some feeling sexually confused by the effeminate appearance of Glaseado Mountain gym leader Grusha

Only recently, Bethesda found itself thrown into the frying pan over the ability to choose your pronouns in Starfield. Although commonplace in plenty of games, there's been a particularly vocal backlash to Starfield's inclusion of pronouns. Some have taken it as far as trying to refund the sci-fi game. 

While Pokemon still has a way to go until we likely see LGBTQ+ representation displayed proudly in the games, the idea of gender-neutral toilets is a step in the right direction. After all, if we can have gender-neutral Pokemon like Ditto and Mew, why can't the same apply to humans? 

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