World of Warcraft and other big games drop gender restrictions on … – Axios

Hogwarts Legacy. Screenshot: Avalanche Software, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Developers of some of the world’s most popular video games are expanding the tools players use to create characters: downplaying gendered terms and untethering options for body types, voice and other characteristics from gender selection.
Why it matters: The shift is part of a trend by the industry to be more inclusive to a wider set of players by letting them see themselves in the games they play.
Details: A pre-release update for next week’s World of Warcraft Dragonflight, which expands the Activision Blizzard massively multiplayer online game that launched in 2004, renames “male” and “female” terms in its character creator for “body type 1,” and “body type 2.”
What they’re saying: “It’s undeniable that there has been a recent inflection point in the way developers approach character creators, particularly in games with higher fidelity graphics and character models,” Blair Durkee, the associate director of gaming at GLAAD, tells Axios.
The big picture: Video game character creators are often considered the measuring tool for how inclusive a game is.
Flashback: Game designers have faced challenges and opportunities of representing their players since the medium started.
Yes, but making games more inclusive requires work and a commitment at all levels from game makers.
The bottom line: The goal for developers isn’t to remove options, but to add more, Durkee says, and build a character creator that “understands all aspects of gender diversity.”
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