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Gender-Neutral Video Games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Features Gender-Neutral Characters

— July 8, 2020 — Tech
The newest installment of 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' now offers a new, more inclusive feature — gender-free character customization options. The new customization options will be unlocked as players acquire achievements.

The popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons has grown considerably since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as citizens are restricted from traditional forms of entertainment and socialization. This, coupled with the new gender-free characters, is especially significant as, amid the pandemic, many consumers have taken to using the game for life milestones including weddings, birthdays, graduations, and protests. Therefore, accurate representation was crucial for many players.

As consumers demand more inclusive representation, we can expect to see more brands increasing their offerings for representation.

Image Credit: Nintendo
Trend Themes
1. Inclusive Video Games - Including more gender-neutral customization options in video games provides an opportunity for brands to better represent and appeal to players.
2. Virtual Socialization - The rise in popularity of Animal Crossing for milestone events during the pandemic highlights an opportunity to innovate and enhance virtual socialization experiences.
3. Inclusivity in Gaming Culture - As players demand more representation and inclusivity in gaming communities, there is an opportunity for brands to prioritize and support diversity and inclusivity initiatives within their products and marketing efforts.
Industry Implications
1. Video Game Development - Developing more gender-inclusive games offers an opportunity for video game developers to stand out in an increasingly diverse market.
2. Virtual Events - Brands and event planners can harness the popularity of virtual event spaces, such as Animal Crossing, to create unique and engaging experiences for audiences.
3. Marketing and Advertising - Incorporating inclusive representation in marketing messaging and campaigns can help brands appeal to diverse audiences and build brand loyalty through equity and inclusivity initiatives.
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