Animal Crossing Finally Adds Gender-Free Character Customization

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is shaping up to be the best game in the series, with some of the most diverse customization options ever.
Posted in: GamingOp-ed
Published:
February 26, 2020 11:08 PM UTC
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons packs more customization options than any previous game in the series.
  • For the first time, your hair and facial features are not tied to your gender.
  • This is an important move towards diversity and inclusivity.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons just keeps getting better. It’s the only game in the series to give you so much control over your environment. And it seems like Nintendo is gearing up for another series first.

For the first time in an Animal Crossing game, you can now customize your character beyond the gender you chose at the start of the game. If you’re a male character, you’re no longer limited to male-only features and hairstyles. And vice versa.

Even better, you can change your character on-the-fly, instead of answering a bunch of questions at the start of the game.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons really seems like a game that anyone is going to be able to enjoy. | Source: Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Finally Catches Up With Real Life

You might be wondering why this gender-neutral approach to style and features is so important. It’s because Nintendo supposedly makes games that appeal to everyone. Unfortunately, Nintendo has a history of terrible representation.

Look back at the Tomodachi Life controversy. In a game where people are constantly forming relationships, same-sex couples weren’t possible. That was basically Nintendo sticking its head in the sand and pretending that gay relationships don’t exist.

Similarly, constraining hairstyles and facial features behind gender walls is like pretending that no masculine person ever has feminine hair or features. Which is obviously just ridiculous.

It’s Not About Politics; It’s About Reality

You tend to find with these sorts of issues that people get easily upset. Specifically, people have this tendency to trot out the “keep politics out of my games” argument.

The thing is, unlocking gendered customization in Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn’t about politics. It’s about reality.

The playable character in the game is a representative of the player themselves. These options need to be there to properly represent anyone who has a mix of masculine and feminine features.

Having this freedom is an excellent way of better reflecting reality. Albeit in an animated game where most of the characters are bipedal animals that can talk.

Regardless, not agreeing with something doesn’t turn it into a political issue just because you want it to be one.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Josiah Wilmoth edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Visit his website, contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, or see his LinkedIn profile here.