We’re slowly getting more and more information about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Currently, top industry critics are getting to play around a bit with the game. A lot of new features, including multiplayer and the island setting, are getting praised. On top of it all, a certain choice in the character creation process has fans and critics overwhelmingly applauding the developers. Here’s what you need to know about the Animal Crossing gender approach in New Horizons.
What is the Animal Crossing Gender Approach and Why is Everyone Talking About It?
Image Credit: Nintendo
In the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Direct, we got a good look at a number of really cool features for the upcoming game. With a release date of March 20th, we’re getting closer and closer to setting sail with Tom Nook’s Getaway Package to a new island! As features get revealed in gameplay previews, players get to see what’s in store next month. One major feature getting attention is the Animal Crossing gender approach. In a report from Nintendo Enthusiast, we get to see the character creation process in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Here’s what is catching everyone’s eye. Per Jamie Sharp, “players select a skin tone, hairstyle and color, eye type and color, a nose and mouth, and what color their cheeks are.” Sharp goes on to point out “that’s all there is to it, with no restrictions for any of these options depending on gender.” It might seem like a small feature, but leaving gender out of the character creation process is a great approach.
Why Keeping Gender Options Out of a Game Matters
Image Credit: Nintendo
If you’re somebody who identifies with a gender that coorelates to your birth sex, then it might not seem like the Animal Crossing gender approach is all that important. In fact, you might even think it’s cool, but not see the real hype over its discovery in gameplay previews. For a long time, conversation about gender equality operated on an outdated dichotomy of men and women. We now do a much better job collectively identifying gender and sexuality as a spectrum.
A lot of brave voices willing to share their gender discovery stories helped develop a social understanding of the issue. Overall, we know not everyone is born simply as a man or a woman. We know some people find themselves somewhere in between, a little bit of both, or simply a unique place on the spectrum that makes them who they are.
Why Place Emphasis on the Animal Crossing Gender Approach
It’s not only worth noting what removing gender options does, but it’s also worth celebrating. As a whole, gender norms hold millions of people back from feeling like they can be who they are. The ability to identify as whatever makes you who you are is crucial to one’s physical and mental health. By simply leaving out gender from the character creation process, we’re reminded how limiting ender as a systematic method of categorization for the purposes of generalization can be. Not only that, but something as trivial to those who operate under cisgender self-identification as a gender option in a game isn’t trivial to others. In fact, it makes a world’s difference.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons releases March 20th for the Nintendo Switch. If you feel a little in the dark about the Animal Crossing series, then don’t fret! Catch up by reading our guide to the history of Animal Crossing. Thanks for reading Comic Years for all things gaming, comics, and pop culture.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Shepherds. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.