Steve August 31, 2020
call-of-duty:-black-ops-cold-war-will-let-users-play-as-a-non-binary-imperialist-war-hungry-killer

In today’s edition of Rainbow Capitalism, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will give users a third gender option for non-binary players.

Players can pick the gender of their customisable, completely silent protagonist to be a man, woman or, er, “classified”. Does that mean people have to submit an FOI request to figure out their gender? Who knows.

As much as many LGBT+ gamers lauded one of the largest video games franchises making a step, however weirdly written (“classified”, c’mon!), towards inclusivity, the move to let people play as a gender-neutral war criminal pretty much wrote its own jokes.

Especially, as many Twitter users stressed, the player works as a solider under Ronald Reagan, the US president who reacted appallingly to the AIDS epidemic, in 1981.

In 1982, when Reagan’s press secretary was asked if the president was tracking the spread of  “the gay plague”, the room erupted in laughter as he replied: “I don’t have it, do you?”

So, send in the jokes.

Call of Duty developers felt it was their, well, duty to introduce non-binary gender option.

Indeed, the upcoming first-person shooter by publisher giant Activision will see players assume the role of a single main character who, unlike previous games, can be fully-edited and changed.

This includes their skin tone, birthplace, military background, and gender. Now everyone can commit war crimes as their true, authentic self in a real leap for representation. Yay!

Users can, in turn, set their pronouns as he/him, she/her and they/them.

Raven Software senior creative director Dan Vondrak explained that the move to have a third gender option was a sort of safety valve by the developers for queer players who have long felt unwelcomed by a fandom that, they feel, is hugely dominated by straight white bros.

“So when it came to gender,” Vondrak told the press, “that same thing was thrown out: Why can’t we leave that classified? There’s no reason we can’t do that.

“We were already gonna make it change to he and she so it was easy enough for us to use those different pronouns there as well.”

It all comes as, in the offline world, trans people are barred from serving in the US Armed Forces.

The policy, Pentagon officials were at pains to stress at the time in 2019, does not discriminate or exclude based on gender identity.

Instead, it merely sees trans people being made to disavow their, uh, gender identity by not being able to use the uniforms, sleeping and bathroom facilities or pronouns of their, uh, gender identity.

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