“Call of Duty: Cold War,” the latest installment in the hugely popular video game franchise, is drawing both applause and some anger from fans for allowing players to create nonbinary characters, the first time the series has offered gender options.
When beginning the game’s single-player campaign, players are prompted to create a somewhat personalized avatar of their own, PC Gamer reported. They can choose their clandestine soldier’s name, skin color, background, and one of several gender options, including “male,” “female,” and “non-binary.”
While some other video games have had relatively inclusive approaches regarding gender, ”Call of Duty: Cold War” is perhaps the most mainstream title to recognize nonbinary people to date.
Some say adding the nonbinary option detracts from the game, saying isn’t “realistic.”
I don't think there were "non-binary" people back in the 1980s, Call of Duty. pic.twitter.com/ue4TWFsC7f
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 13, 2020
Its not realistic and it breaks immersiin too much, its also cringy virtue signalling and thats why people dont like it.
— Yeest (@_yeest) November 14, 2020
But most were supportive of the addition.
in call of duty you can get shot in the face with a shotgun at point blank range, hide behind a bush and fully recover yet being able to play as non binary is what breaks the realism for ian pic.twitter.com/mHOWwSLaYe
— Turbo Marx (@doubledepress0) November 13, 2020
This makes me much more likely to play CoD, honestly. Yay for giving gender options that include nonbinary! https://t.co/qNCQFWTjQr
— moliere_tzu (@moliere_tzu) November 17, 2020
Still, others mocked the game’s effort to be more inclusive while its actual content is violent and often morally dubious.
You can be a non binary war criminal in the new CoD. Progressive pic.twitter.com/KzsukgWUAj
— Lotte 'just an idiot' May (@LotteMakesStuff) November 13, 2020
There is also a fourth gender option titled “classified.” This was originally the stand-in for nonbinary, developers revealed over the summer, which drew criticism from some who felt it implied those who don’t identify as male or female are hiding a secret, Screen Rant reported.