Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Stardew Valley 1.6 makes clothing gender-neutral

The Stardew Valley 1.6 update is finally here for PC and Mac. It adds new and exciting changes to ConcernedApe’s (aka Eric Barone’s) farming sim, ranging from new dialogues to bug fixes.

Fans of the whimsical farming sim have been on tenterhooks waiting for the 1.6 updates since it was first announced and leading up to the official release; developer Barone has been teasing what to expect. From drinkable mayonnaise to additional pets, there’s a little something for everyone when they return once more to Pelican Town.

However, one of the biggest changes is something as simple as the clothing that you can wear now. Previously, there were clothing variants that were unable to be worn if you were male or female, effectively locking players out of clothing options through their gender. This has now changed with the 1.6 Stardew Valley update, modifying the gender-specific clothing variants entirely so that they are no longer restricted. A welcome change.

That said, some players feel let down by the game developer’s failure to add a non-binary option with this update. The LGBTQ+ player base has long desired a non-binary option for the game’s main character, the farmer. In 2023, content creator Atmos Fierce launched a petition that urged Barone to add pronoun options to the game’s 1.6 update. At the time of writing, the petition has over 7000 signatures, with 83 of them being added today. No doubt in response to update 1.6 having not added a non-binary option.

“I’m excited for the Stardew update generally (haven’t had a chance to play yet since I play on Switch) but, like many others, I’m really disappointed with
@ConcernedApe‘s silence on adding nonbinary and pronoun options to the game.” Twitter/X user Hayley posted on the social media platform. “Something like that shouldn’t fall to mods.”

What has further exacerbated the situation is that the 1.6 update does include fixes for mods. For example, one change is that “non-binary NPCs can now pathfind through any gendered route (e.g. men’s or women’s locker room), instead of defaulting to female routes.” This leads people to assume that Barone does know of the demand for non-binary options.

Regardless of disappointment, the addition of non-binary options isn’t entirely out of the question. Gender plays a significant part in how NPCs and the game address you, with some marriageable candidates having different reactions to your farmer depending on their gender.

Until Barone says otherwise, their continuous work on the farming sim indicates that they aren’t done with the game completely. Whether we’ll see a non-binary option come to Stardew Valley sometime soon, however, remains to be seen.

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