One of the biggest MMORPGs in history is going through some changes in its newest expansion. World of Warcraft: Dragonflight will feature new additions in its upcoming launch that highlight gender inclusivity.
Wild, untamed, and brimming with elemental magic.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) July 26, 2022
According to reports, the expansion will feature new body types for player characters instead of classifying them by gender and will expand voice and pronoun selection. When selecting gender, players will now be given Body 1 and Body 2 to select from rather than Male and Female. This is similar to the approach taken by games such as Animal Crossing, in order to be more sensitive to non-binary players and more.
According to information discovered in the alpha, there will be options for players to also choose their pronouns in-game. These include he/him, she/her, and they/them pronouns. There will also be a feature where players can choose their voice based on the gender type they choose. Dialogue within the game does not cater to pronoun choice, however, many are suggesting that the UI and code be changed in the future to include them.
This is just one of the steps in a shift in gaming to be more inclusive and less toxic. This comes nearly a year after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard citing sexual discrimination and toxic workplace culture.
Blizzard decided then to remove any content that would create such a culture from games such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch. The company said this content was “inconsistent with our goal of building an inclusive and welcoming game world.”
New Chief DEI officer Kristen Hines promised to “partner across all [of the company’s] gaming teams to ensure diverse and inclusive perspectives are included in game design, including storylines, character development, gameplay and community interaction.”
The World of Warcraft: Dragonflight expansion will launch in 2022 as the Alpha Test began in early July.