Gender is irrelevant to Inklings now
Nintendo announced the return of its ink-fueled shooter franchise during Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct presentation with Splatoon 3. The game’s first trailer didn’t offer many details, just some snippets of gameplay and bits of lore. However, fans caught on to one meaningful change in Splatoon 3: Nintendo seems to have eliminated gendered language when picking a character. Instead of asking players to pick a boy or girl Inkling like Splatoon 2 does, Splatoon 3’s character creator simply gives players the option to pick their “style.”
The brief clip we saw on Wednesday of the creation setup included other options like skin tone, hair styles, and an assortment of Splatoon’s characteristically fun street-style clothing.
The wording delighted Splatoon fans across Twitter, with many of them noting that Splatoon has officially eliminated the concept of gender itself.
GENDER IS NO MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/HA9WNkOdzx
— SPLATOON 3 (@slippdipp) February 17, 2021
Wait did Splatoon 3 just completely remove gender? pic.twitter.com/DM4IOmBIlj
— Emily Pyro, Local Demon Girl (@ChefPyro_) February 17, 2021
Many expressed excitement at how inclusive the change is, and developed fan theories related to the change and the color scheme of the game. For example, some tweets noted the colors in the logo are the same as those in the nonbinary pride flag.
WAIT THERES NO GENDER OPTION IN SPLATOON 3 ALL SQUID KIDS ARE NON-BINARY CONFIRMED
— bit (@splatbit) February 17, 2021
SPLATOON 3 SAID NONBINARY RIGHTS pic.twitter.com/F1YSJVIqTC
— ️ ♡B•R•E•A•D♡ ️ SPLATOON 3 (@yuana_lee) February 17, 2021
This isn’t the first time fans of the game have queered Splatoon. Many fans were convinced that Pearl and Marina, the faces of Splatoon 2, were dating.
Splatoon isn’t the only Nintendo franchise to do away with gender choices. Animal Crossing: New Horizons uses similar language, asking players to choose their “style.”
We’ve reached out to Nintendo to confirm these details, and we’ll update this article with any response we receive.
Splatoon 3 is scheduled to be released in 2022 on Nintendo Switch.