Pokemon Scarlet And Violet Won't Restrict Outfits To Gender
It's more than just the much-hyped promise of releasing a fully open-world Pokemon game that proves Scarlet and Violet are moving with the times. The Pokemon Company is flying its rainbow flag with pride, as for the first time ever, character wardrobe choices won't be locked behind a specific gender.
We know the whole goal of the game is to catch 'em all, but still, most of us want to look our best when touring around Paldea. As games like The Sims have made a push for more diversity without confirming us to specific genders, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet could chart a new era of representation for those little 'Mon and their trainers.
What Are Pokemon Scarlet And Violet's Gender Options?
In a video from Good Vibes Gaming, there's a hands-on preview with Gen IX and what we can expect ahead of their full release. Here, they explained, "I asked how to change my gender, and the reps informed me that all customisation options are available to any player at any time. Instead of choosing a gender, players select from eight base styles, then customise from there - making gender an expression, not a selection."
Multiple outlets have confirmed that while you pick either a male or female appearance, customisation options aren't locked to either. If you want to choose the male stock character and pair it with a summer ensemble that would be stereotypically be "female," feel free. It's still a long way off the gender options The Sims has finally introduced, but it's undoubtedly the most diverse the Pokemon series has been in 26 years.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus gave us more wardrobe options than ever before, but mainly based on hairstyle, they were locked to specific genders. There were also gendered boy or girl versions of the same outfit, which have been done away with in Scarlet and Violet. It's a step in the right direction, but depending on whether you pick the masculine or feminine base character, there are questions about whether this will determine the pronouns used throughout.
Is This The Future Of Pokemon?
These are new steps for the long-running Pokemon series instead of its usual stance. Last year, Nintendo of America responded to the idea of non-binary Pokemon. Although genders have played a big part in the games' breeding mechanic, remember Pocket Monsters like Ditto and Mew are gender-neutral.
When Animal Crossing: New Horizons released, it didn't lock outfits and hairstyles behind a specific gender, while there was also an option for gender-neutral pronouns. Scarlet and Violet aren't quite there, but it's refreshing to see Nintendo isn't out of the conversation - especially after one Pokemon developer was slammed for a seemingly homophobic tweet.