New ‘Call of Duty’ lets gamers play as nonbinary gender characters, polarizing fans

Mitchell Willetts

“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.”

But most were supportive of the addition.

Still, others mocked the game’s effort to be more inclusive while its actual content is violent and often morally dubious.

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.