Are Gender Neutral Pronouns acceptable in games in 2019?

Neutral Pronouns? Still good?

“Elverson/Spivak variant (ey/eir/eirs/em/emself, listed here on Wikipedia ) for gender neutral characters in my WIP.” It is something that @cvaneseltine mentioned in October 2015.

Facts: I am intending to write a story where the choices matter and each choice creates a different branch. I will write a story where the outcomes follow a centralized theme but with various plots and endings. So I don’t plan on using stats in my game. I am personally more of a short story and novella writer than a coder.

To introduce customization into my game it took nearly 5 hours of trying to write code for just the questions of name, skin tone, hair color, and eye color. Even in asking the forum assistance and troubleshooting it in dashingdan until it worked. So, I think I am done coding for now.

Are people opposed to reading stories that have gender neutral pronouns in 2019?

They are incredibly common in CS games. In fact, I’d even say that they’re a requirement (they’re not required by the company, but many readers here will express displeasure if there’s no gender-neutral option, a sentiment I share).

A piece of advice: *input_text is your friend when it comes to customization. Players can input everything from hair color to pronouns and you don’t have to code a single option yourself.

EDIT: Regarding my own preferences, if I were to read a book with the protagonist genderlocked to non-binary/gender-neutral, I’d prefer singular they pronouns (“they/them/their”) rather than the example you provided in your OP, only because I prefer grammatical clarity and those pronouns can be hard for my reptile brain to process (which isn’t to say you shouldn’t use them! People with those pronouns would be pleased to see their usage in a game!).


I assume you mean a story wherein each player is using the same pronouns? As opposed to having the option–you don’t choose “he, she, or they”, you just automatically use “they”? Or, “ey”, as you outline here.

Rather than limiting the main character’s pronouns, you could look at published games such as Diabolical, Congresswolf, and Undercover Agent, which leave the main character’s gender entirely vague. Creatures Such As We includes a gender selection but at no point actually refers to or deals with the gender or pronouns of the main character, so it could be ranked similarly. You’ll probably get some criticism–some people have a harder time getting attached to a character they can’t tangibly select the gender of, and some people might assume it’s genderlocked rather than just being completely gender open. And I can’t speak to how difficult it would be to write around any references to the main character’s gender, especially without knowing more about your project. But it is an option to consider.


Short answer: yes people will read it.
Slightly longer answer: yes people will read it, unless you go all pretentious and only have gender neutral pronouns there to lead to drama and a bad ending in order to whack a preachy finger about what cruelty people with gender neutral pronouns face.


That would take you trillions of years to finish. No, I’m not exaggerating. It’s why these games work in vignettes as opposed to each choice branching out. That is, if you intend each choice to branch out and not just a select few.

As to your question, if the story is good, I’ll play it. There’s a story here where you play as an atom, so why not a non binary human


There are a lot of games here with these pronouns

I think you should be able to choose the pronoun you want though.
There was a game here which automatically gave you a Zir pronoun if you chose to be non-binary (and there was also a character there with that pronoun) and I find this pronoun to be a bit weird and unnatural compared to something like They

1 Like

That is true, that it will probably take a while to write. But I have been kicking an idea around in my head for a bit and the only reason I haven’t sat down to write the novel is because there are several different places I could take it that would interest me.

So I can see how this would easily become 20 different story lines that will have a similar setting and circumstances. But will have various lengths and outcomes based on choices that were made. It changes the story and the information you learn along the way. The most successful example of this that comes to mind easily is the game Detroit: Become Human where your choices take different paths, but rather than playing 3 protagonists you only play one.

So questions about who you confide in, who you save, how you save them, who you let die, do you find a peaceful solution or do you kill your enemies.

Hypothetically speaking if you are lucky enough to find one of the secrets in the game but confide in the wrong person then you can end up being imprisoned. In that case it could be the end, or perhaps not.

DBH still operates in vignettes though. Even though you can make pretty huge decisions at the end, almost everything leading up to that point is fairly linear. You can get different outcomes in scenes but they all generally lead to the same points until the end.


Yeah that’s a slight understatement lol. I’d love a completely non-linear story, but sadly what you’re thinking of doing, or at least the way I interpret it, is simply not possible.

You may be right. :slight_smile:

But hopefully it will have some fun demos along the way to that eventuality.

I have been in a lot of sparing matches, where I lost the match, but enjoyed the challenge.


Hey bro you do you. You should write however you wanna write it and if you wanna put in pronouns and stuff do it as long as that’s what you wanna do and it doesn’t mess with your writing style


Magical Diary: Horse Hall (which is a great game but I digress) used these gender neutral pronouns and that game has been out since at least 2012.