Nintendo is considering creating non-binary Pokemon and described it as an “awesome idea” after receiving a handwritten letter from a young fan.
Twitter user Slate, @PleaseBeGneiss, shared two images on social media – one showed the letter their child had written to Nintendo, and the other was of the thoughtful response by customer service representative Liz Daniels.
In the first letter, Slate’s child said how they wanted Nintendo to make nonbinary Pokemon, saying it would be ‘cool’ and help the game be more inclusive – making everyone feel more at home in the digital game.
Liz said she thought it was an excellent idea and said they would look into it, but some Twitter users were quick to pour scorn on the idea – saying that Pokémon were animals at best so their gender shouldn’t be an issue.
The letter from the child, in America, reads: “Dear Nintendo, could please make nonbinary Pokémon? Also, I want that because I think it would be cool and so nonbinary people would feel more comfortable about it.”
And Liz replied: “Thank you for writing to us! Sorry for the late reply.
“In your letter, you asked us to make nonbinary Pokémon. I think that is an awesome idea. There are so many varieties of Pokémon, so it would make sense to have a variety of genders as well!
“We want to make sure people of all kinds feel welcomed and comfortable while playing our software. I’ll send your feedback to the appropriate departments to review and thoughtfully consider.
“Thanks again for sending us this letter, I’ve included a few special items with this response for you to enjoy. I hope you continue to have wonderful adventures with your Pokémon for many years to come.”
Slate shared the image on Wednesday, June 16, with the title ‘my kid wrote a letter to Nintendo and they wrote back’, and soon it had racked up 70,000 likes, thousands of shares, and scores of comments.
One Twitter user said: “Pokémon are animals the only reason they have genders in [the] game is for breeding. Making a Pokémon non-binary is just neutering it.
“Like if a non-binary person wants to tell me why I’m wrong I’m all ears but I don’t think animals even care if they’re boys or girls unless they want a partner.”
Another added: “Unnecessary. I was not aware of any Pokémon ever having any gender. They are just Pokémon and my children always referred to them by name never as he/she.”
A third commented: “Isn’t gender technically a human construct? Animals, and in theory Pokémon, which are just animals, follow whatever it is that their instincts tell them. I have no idea how an opossum or a pangolin expresses their gender identity.”
One fan suggested there’s already a precedent, as they wrote: “To be fair, Mewtwo has no specified gender and has both masculine and feminine voices.”
Another user was thrilled, adding: “This is cute why are people upset even if there already are ‘genderless’ Pokémon, what’s the harm in a little kid asking for explicitly non-binary characters?”
A third joked: “When I was 11 I wrote a letter to Nintendo criticizing Wii sports figures for not having arms, this is much cooler.”
“Was feeling a bit s*** about life, the universe, and the general state of our fucked up world. Then I saw this, and yeah, there’s hope,” added another fan.
Nintendo has been contacted for comment.