Pyre was released yesterday for the Playstation 4. The game is a fantasy-based role playing game, where you put together a team to compete in The Trials. The Trials are a magical sports competition, and the only way for criminals to win a pardon. Each character has a special skill, like super-speed.
Pyre has been getting great reviews, like a 9.7 from IGN. As of this writing, it’s fourth place on Steam’s Top Sellers list. (Right behind Dream Daddy!) And one more thing — it’s one of the few RPGs to let you have gender-neutral characters using “they/them” pronouns.
Of course, while rare, it’s not unheard of for RPGs to address gender and sexuality. Bastard Bonds is a game that objectifies the male form in the same way that many, many video games objectify the female form. Persona 4 features Naoto Shirogane, a non-binary character. Though not an RPG, Electronic Arts released an update to The Sims 4 removing gender-customization restrictions — meaning you can have genderqueer Sims.
This is not to say there hasn’t been pushback against more diversity in video gaming. One of the best stories is when game publisher Beamdog added a transgender character to Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. After GamerGaters threatened and harassed the developers, Beamdog responded by agreeing they could have handled things better… so they were releasing a patch to give the trans character even more backstory.
Pyre is the newest game from Supergiant Games. Supergiant is also known for the critical hits Bastion (9.0 on IGN) and Transistor (also 9.0). Given the success of Pyre so far, hopefully this will make inclusivity more common in gaming. Even just a simple option like Pyre offers helps a great deal. Gaming is for everybody.