Stardew Valley fan launches petition to add inclusive pronoun options to the hit game

Image shows a pixellated LGBTQ+ flag, flown in the game Stardew Valley

Cosy, cute and charming farming simulation game Stardew Valley, developed by ConcernedApe (Eric Barone), is due to receive an exciting new update packed with fresh content for fans to enjoy – but an LGBTQ+ fan has highlighted one major drawback.

Atmos Fierce, a “textile artist, drag performer, and content creator” from Canada, launched a petition at the end of September urging ConcernedApe to add pronoun options to the in-progress 1.6 update.

In the petition, Fierce states that “now is the perfect time to make a change like this to the game.”

He continues: “I truly hope that this change can be made for the sake of all the amazing queer Stardew players who I have had the pleasure of encountering in this community.”

At the time of writing, the petition has had over 2000 signatures.

Stardew Valley, which has sold over 20 million copies, currently only allows the player to choose between male and female identities as they take over what was once your character’s Grandpa’s farm. Atmos highlighted how this “excludes non-binary players from fully feeling represented in their gameplay.” 

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‘Trans and non-binary Stardew players know that they aren’t alone in this’

Speaking to PinkNews, Atmos said: “I have been absolutely blown away by the response I have had to the petition so far. I knew my community would be supportive and excited about it, but it really has begun to reach a wide audience and they have been sharing so many personal stories and words of support. 

“It would be unfortunate if we don’t see any change come from this petition, but I think that it has already achieved so much by letting trans and non-binary Stardew players know that they aren’t alone in this.”

How the Sims 4 helped pave the way for gaming inclusivity

This is far from the first time that gamers have pressured developers to be more inclusive and representative in games.

In 2021, streamer Momo Misfortune called for customisable pronoun options in The Sims 4. The petition gained more than 25 thousand signatures and in 2022, EA announced the addition of set pronouns such as he/him, she/her and they/them – as well as customisable pronouns. 

This added to an already-inclusive game, which had a positive reputation for “deconstructing gender.”

The Sims 4 has continued to pave the way for inclusivity as they recently added hearing aids, top surgery scars and chest binders.

Atmos told PinkNews that he was “really inspired” by Momo’s petition and had wanted to start one for a while but “didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes as a cis queer person.” 

“It finally got to the point where I realised that I may not have millions of followers, but I still do have a platform, and it’s my responsibility to use that platform for good to elevate the voices of the trans and non-binary Stardew players who need this change,” he explained. 

You can help support the cause by signing the petition.

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