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WoW: Dragonflight Datamining Reveals Possible Inclusivity Features

The WoW: Dragonflight alpha and datamining have revealed potential new inclusivity features for the MMO. These features alter and add additional steps to character creation, allowing for more player customization.

One of these inclusivity features is shown off in the recent alpha for Dragonflight. In the character creator, the player’s choices of body model are labeled “Body 1” and “Body 2.” Before Dragonflight, and still in the current release of the game, these models were labeled “Male” and “Female.” People of all genders slot into far more than just two kinds of bodies, but the decoupling of gender from even these specific body types is at least a gesture towards a more inclusive character creator. Other games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite have used similar language.

As spotted by Wowhead, datamining strings reveal possible pronoun selection options, including “she/her,” “he/him,” and “they/them.” How exactly this choice will be presented or whether it will be implemented has yet to be seen. As Wowhead’s report notes, WoW often avoids using player pronouns directly, using gender neutral titles like “hero” or “champion” instead. Gender and pronouns go unmentioned in most player UI elements. However, the change would line up with a stated goal of additional character customization options, as well as the possibility for changing a player character’s voice, also an increasingly common option in character creators. With that context, these are basic, but welcome, additions allowing for wider gender expression.

Blizzard has faced criticism for its handling of inclusivity in games before, most recently with the reveal of diversity metric tools. The developer is also still in the midst of controversy concerning worker mismanagement and a sexist work culture. Most recently, the Activision Blizzard King Workers Alliance announced a walkout to demand increased protections for marginalized employees.

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