Stardew Valley, a beloved farming simulator game, has ignited a conversation among its fans about pronoun inclusivity. The discussion initiated out of the game's limited gender pronoun options, specifically, its presupposition of players identifying as either male or female. In response, fans have drawn up a petition to increase pronoun possibilities in the game's pending 1.6 update, rallying nearly 5,000 signatures.
Atmos Fierce, a streamer and devoted Stardew Valley enthusiast, established the "Pronoun Options for Trans and Non-Binary Players in Stardew Valley" petition on the website Change.org in September. The appeal is aimed at Eric 'ConcernedApe' Barone, the game's creator, with the hope that he acknowledges the growing demand for more varied pronoun options. Fierce and other fans believe these additions will contribute to a more inclusive environment for everyone playing the beloved farming simulation game.
In Stardew Valley, when a player starts a new game, they are prompted to choose if their character identifies as male or female. This choice then dictates the character's general look and other characters' pronouns when referring to them throughout gameplay. Fierce argues that the game’s binary gender choice excludes non-binary players from feeling adequately represented. This forces them to select between being referred to as "he" or "she" throughout their entire game experience.
On Twitter, Fierce urged their followers to support and sign the petition, seeking more representation than the traditional male and female pronoun options in Stardew Valley's anticipated 1.6 update.
The petition has amassed over 4,275 supporters, inching closer to its 5,000-signature mark. Fans who've signed it voiced their reasoning in the comments section, sharing personal experiences and thoughts on how improvements could benefit a significant portion of the Stardew Valley community.
One supporter shared her struggles as a player who identifies within the they/them pronouns, expressing the significant exhaustion from an ostensibly minor detail like being misgendered even in a video game. They also emphasized how easy it could be to accommodate more diverse pronouns in the game, making a considerable impact on many players.
Another participant echoed this sentiment, expressing the desire to be identified correctly in a game that they love. Other comments expressed a shared sentiment that every player merits feeling acknowledged and true to themselves, advocating the need for an inclusive gaming culture.
This demand for inclusive pronouns is further illustrated by the extensive use of the Gender Neutrality Mod on Nexus Mods, with over 40,000 downloads. The absence of pronouns like "they," "them," and gender-neutral terms on platforms that do not allow for modding, such as Nintendo Switch, leads to a disconnect for non-binary players.
Fierce expresses hope that the change will acknowledge the generous and diligent Stardew Valley queer community, assuring them that they are seen, valid, and not alone in this proposal.
While the release date for Stardew Valley's 1.6 update remains unknown, everyone in the community hopes for a more inclusive gameplay experience, potentially enhanced by the addition of pets wearing hats.
You must be logged in to post a comment!