When you boot up Splatoon for the first time, this is what you see. Girl? Boy? The game doesn’t pick one for you, which is different than how most games approach this decision.
Most video games, even ones that allow players to swap genders and customize your character, choose male/boy/guy as the default. When you boot up Bloodborne, here’s what it looks like:
Here’s Mass Effect:
Many games are like this, though some are bucking the trend. In Destiny and Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’m told, which gender it defaults to is randomized! Neat! I like that.
These are games where I played as ass kickin’ lady and had tremendous fun doing so. But while creating my character, being male is where the game defaulted. Chances are, this is merely an oversight by the designers, though also it’s possible they’re pandering to their likely player base.
Splatoon choose to be agnostic about this choice, and while it’s a tiny detail (in a game full of awesome tiny details, mind you), it’s one that I appreciated. For once, a game didn’t assume.
I went with the girl, obviously. She’s super cool.
Nintendo has taken this approach before, too. Take Pokemon, for example:
It could be a happy accident, it’s hard to know. But given how Nintendo designed Splatoon’s cover art, and how prominently the girl’s been in the marketing, maybe it’s all connected.
All I know is writing this article makes me wanna go play some more Splatoon.
You can reach the author of this post at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.