We've seen a fair few stories like this over the years, where a young Nintendo sends in a letter to request a specific new game or to submit their own development idea and actually gets a response. Nintendo of America's Customer Service team seems to have the whole thing nailed down, often sending sweet replies and making the kid's day that bit brighter, and sometimes helping them to develop an even closer connection with Nintendo for years to come.
Initially posted last week, a tweet showcasing a similar story has been going viral over the past few days. Twitter user @PleaseBeGneiss explains that their child sent a letter to Nintendo to ask for the inclusion of non-binary Pokémon.
"Dear Nintendo," the child's letter reads. "Could you please make non-binary Pokémon? Also I want that because I think it would be cool and so non-binary people would feel more comfortable about it."
You can see that initial letter in the second tweet below, but here's Nintendo's response; sent out by Nintendo Consumer Service Rep, Liz Daniels, the message thanks the young fan for writing in and for their "awesome idea", saying that "we want to make sure people of all kinds feel welcomed and comfortable while playing our software."
To top things off, Nintendo's representative says that they'll send the feedback to the appropriate departments to "review and thoughtfully consider" the request, and also included some special goodies as a gift.
Of course, we all know that the development teams at Nintendo – or in this case, The Pokémon Company and Game Freak – will continue to make games without being influenced too much by fan requests, but the gesture's very welcome all the same. Nice work, Nintendo reps!
[source twitter.com, via uk.news.yahoo.com]
Removed - unconstructive
Wow, pretty nice for them to actually write back. And to be honest, there are quite a few genderless Pokemon like Ditto, Magnemite, Starmie etc.
That's so sweet!
They already exist. There's a ton of non-binary pokemon out there.
Removed - unconstructive
I thought non-binary pokemon already existed but nice of them to write back. Lovely little story.
Removed - unconstructive
Removed - inappropriate; user is banned
Why would you not be ok with it? People have a right to express themselves however they wish and the world has to put up or shut up.
There are non-binary people in the world. deal with it.
Wow, a lot of utter troglodytes in this comment section, bullying a literal child for their gender identity and/or not understanding extremely specific Pokémon lore...
Enby rights BTW.
I wrote Nintendo as a kid for a 4th grade project. I asked them about how to unlock Mewtwo and Mr. Game & Watch for smash bros melee. They did reply! It was pretty cool as a 4th grader to get a note from Nintendo. I do agree with most though, there are plenty of genderless Pokemon.
Not. Clearly fake.. meh
Isn't every legendary Pokemon non binary in the pokedex? And even then does anyone so much as look at the gender of their pokemon when they catch them? I know I couldn't care less.
Removed - unconstructive
Interesting that all the legendaries, well most of them... don't have a gender and are un-breed-able. Kinda seems like they are either asexual or non-binary already. Also, if you can't play a game because your "gender preference" isn't represented in it then you have much larger issues to deal with.
Removed - unconstructive
Removed - unconstructive
Unfortunately, apart from the answer, there is little to celebrate in this story as they are just bad parents using their child to receive attention and show the ideals they stand for.
@Clyde_Radcliffe I understand that's a sarcastic comment, but I'd love to see that. Let's have an episode where 2 Nidokings fall in love. It would send such a powerful message of inclusion to kids.
While that's nice and all, as someone who worked as a customer support, that statement is very generic. "I'll send it to the right department" is just a formal way of saying, "We'll think about it but not really". And this is from Nintendo of America. If this was from Gamefreak Japan, then maybe (Still highly doubt it though)
As a parent of young children who have uncles and pseudo-uncles that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I can tell you they think about this on their own and as a parent who loves them and all the uncles, I support their thoughtfulness 100%. My kids care about how others feel and, even from a young age, are well aware that people don't treat others equally. Specifically, my daughter has taken a stand in her class to educate some young boys who made derogatory remarks, presenting a well thought out speech. I had no idea it happened until her teacher reached out to tell us how proud she was. So, for the handful of you that think kids aren't smart or thoughtful, I live with two that definitely are and have been for a majority of their life. It's sad to see the doubt of something that should be so positive.
And, as far as people being upset about the lack of non-binary inclusion, I think it's more about being able to relate than why isn't it there. Kids are empowered when they can relate to something they like and that only makes for a positive experience.
It's nice from Nintendo that they responded, but as it was mentioned, maybe that option would be better in Trainers. Non-binary Pokemon have existed since Gen II.
Come to think of it, what happens if a Ditto transforms into a Pokémon with Attrack and uses it?
Removed - inappropriate
@Collector How many kids do you have? I have 2 that I find myself bragging about regularly. I'm proud of what they accomplish and I'm in awe that they exceed my expectations daily. Times when I think they can't do that, not only do they accomplish the task but they shock me to the point that I make sure people I know are aware... not because I need attention, but because I'm PROUD.
My dad is 80. He still brags about the veg I grow in my backyard. Trust me, he's not doing it for his own attention.
To anyone assuming that parents are just using this to advance their political agenda or flaunt their ideals... please consider the daily life of kids who are nonbinary. Consider the trauma they face when their school and state leaders pass laws that bar them from sports or restrooms- that this clearly sends a message that they aren't welcome in their community. It's so easy for cisgender(cisgender = people who identify as their birth sex) people to take for granted that we can jump onto any sports team we want, walk into any restroom we want, hold hands with our partner in public all without worrying about snarky comments, judgement, and often violence. I work with young people in my profession, and nonbinary youth are definitely conscious of these bigotries. At the very minimum they are capable of expressing themselves in the letter such as the one shown in the article.
Side note, nonbinary =/= genderless. Seems like quite a few posters have conflated these terms.
Isn't Mew non-binary? And pretty much all other legendaries/mythicals and maybe ditto
@noobish_hat You're right that it would make more sense for the player character, but to be fair it's not completely impossible that they would do that. Animal Crossing NH has no gender options for the player and the other characters always refer to you as 'they' instead of he/she. I don't know if that was in the Japanese release or just the localisation but it's possible Game Freak could do something similar.
So many angry people in the comments.
Ask yourself why you’re angered about this story. It doesn’t concern you. Whether the kid had help or not, this isn’t affecting your life at all. Appreciate the niceness for what it is.
Surely there are deeper things to be angered by. Like equal rights for LGBTQIA+. Like racial equity. Like inclusion across the board.
Jeeze. Fully grown adults bullying little kids like it’s nothing. Question your lives.
I think part of the issue may be that representation is a much more complex issue than what a children's video game can illustrate. You can have the best of intentions, but it doesnt mean that the message will resonate the way it should. Lets keep things friendly in the comments - peace and love everybody 💛❤💜💙💚
lets not start any unpleasant debates, please
Removed - unconstructive; user is banned
@boywundr I have one and I've been a martial arts instructor to kids, having said that I don't need to be told how kids behave in general as I'm more qualified than most to know. And in this case it is obvious that the most likely scenario is the child is being used by the parents, if you really deal with children as you say you know I'm right.
Removed - offensive remarks; user is banned
@Bustacap ya something seems a bit off but if a kid really did write these than good for them knowing all about are world and the people in it👍
@Dirty0814 So don’t read Nintendolife articles then? Nobody’s shoving anything down your throat. If you want to be small minded and ignorant to the fact that there are genuinely non-binary kids around, be my guest.
The Pokemon Company is literally not going to care if you and your kids stop playing. You’re literally a single person to them.
As for the rest of us, we won’t be bullying little kids, thanks.
Removed - unconstructive
Removed - offensive remarks; user is banned
Meh. As others have said this feels like empty praise, Nintendo can only do so much in terms of adding things to Pokémon since that largely falls on developers (and localizers to a lesser extent). The better corporate entity to send that letter to would’ve been The Pokémon Company International but even I have my doubts on ever getting a response from ‘em.
@Dogorilla IIRC recent Pokémon games have a similar system, you get a choice between two genders and a selection of skin tones but the game never explicitly asks if you’re a boy or a girl.
One issue I DO remember being brought up back in Gen 6 was that clothing, hairstyles, and other cosmetics were still locked to either gender (with girls having the lion’s share of the options). I have no idea if the same is true for Gen 7 and 8 but getting rid of that system and adding motor gender-neutral options could help.
Pardon my ignorance, but I would assume the large number of Pokemon that lack an officially stated gender would be considered non-binary? At least Ditto would be, in my mind, since it can literally breed with anything, even some Pokemon that cannot breed with their own species.
I'm sad, but not surprised, to see all the negativity in the comments though. Not only is this a Pokemon article on NintendoLife (which is ALWAYS extremely negative these days) but it's about a topic which has a lot of people who are just utterly intolerant of it.
It hurts literally no one to allow people to express themselves as non-binary. If that's not how you choose to live your life, that's fine, but you don't get to silence other people because of it. No one it telling you that you can't be binary. No one is demanding you change. They simply want the right to live their lives how they please, something CIS folks take for granted. Mind your own business and leave them to theirs.
Removed - discussing moderation
@Eel I think think that ship sailed the minute this article went live. Probably should have shared it with comments disabled from the start, sadly.
@Ghostchip Hell, some regulars are non-binary! May I introduce Cryogonal as an example?
@Menardi sorry to disappoint you, but the only thing I've done here is post that one message.
And now this one.
If you have further comments about the moderation on the site, please use the contact form, to ensure the right person reads it.
@Menardi Same here. Too many sites become virtue signaling like some kind of social apocalypse is coming.
It is so funny to see people wanting freedom of speech but only for one side
Didn't you know that only positive (PRO) comments are constructive?
This comment is edited. And for good reason. You see, I made a comment here like everyone else. I started by talking about Pokemon, and then shifted to speaking of the real topic here. I followed every site rule. I was polite. But I didn't hide my views. Unfortunately people don't like opposing views.
A large portion of my comment involved things that are politically correct. Here's a quote: 'people can do what they want'. I was nice. I was loving. I did everything I should've. But unfortunately, on this site, and many others, people really can't. People aren't allowed to have a different mindset than what some consider correct. Even if you follow every stated rule, well you'll still get a big portion of what you said taken away.
My comment got 8 likes. Quite a few for being so far down, and yet, I find something strange about it. I know for a fact, that my comment would have much less, maybe not even one, if it wasn't edited by the moderators. This comment right here, by the time you're reading it, might be edited. I can't say for certain. But regardless, I'm saving the original this time.
As an American, I can tell you that this is the opposite of free speech. This is people pushing an agenda, and regardless of whether or not you agree with it, not letting anyone else have even slightly different opinions. Heck, the only reason why this has so many comments, is because they removed simple jokes. I may like this site for Nintendo stuff, but it clearly doesn't want people to keep using it. Thank you for this frustration, and showing that the only allowed opinions here are the ones dictated by those with the power to change anything and everything people do here.
Another edit. I'm leaving the site. And I don't plan on really coming back too soon. I'll be missing Kate's articles, Crab Thursday, and many of the people here. But I have to leave. I'm not wanted here, and it frankly wouldn't be the same. See you quite possibly never again, Low_ink.
@Zuljaras Apparently it's OK to make derogatory remarks, so long as it's against the right people. Such is the general state of affairs in the west today, silliness. It's all so tiresome.
@Eel Thank you, I appreciate your honesty. You know how these topics can be. Probably for the best to simply disable them for this particular article.
@Collector Good to know (about parenting and teaching, both very commendable for sure). I do deal with children as I said and I do not think you're automatically "right". It is possible for a parent to brag about their kid and not seek anything beyond joy. I can't imagine you never brag about your kids or your student's accomplishments. Maybe I'm being an optimist...
I'm new to the site, but can I find out why they're deleting comments? And just the comments that go against the opinion of the article?
Is this lack of freedom of expression and discrimination frequent here? (legitimate question)
What.. unconstructive comment? heheh
Hello all. I have removed a bunch of unhelpful, unconstructive or downright offensive comments and will continue to do so as required.
This is a nice little story about a kid getting a response from Nintendo, but apparently that's too much for some people to take on a Tuesday afternoon.
Please consider what you're posting before hitting 'Reply'. If it's not pleasant or additive to the conversation in a positive way, it may well be removed.
@Menardi I do not see any harm in disagreeing with others beliefs and lifestyles as long as you do not openly abuse them and advocate for violence.
People saying we have non-binary pokemon referring to Ditto and other ones don't get the memo I think.
I think, (and I could be wrong) that there are referring to pokemon like yeah that's a man, or that's a woman. So like pokemon like Machamp, or Gardevoire present their genders quite obviously.
I think the best Pokemon that does this (but is, unfortunately, gendered) is the Hatterene line. It's 100% female, but I know several of my friends in the LGBTQ+ community refer to her as the trap pokemon.
This is a problem in itself because non-binary people should not be considered or feel like a trap. Could you imagine if Hatenna could be a boy or girl and then its final evolution was genderless? I think this is what would bring in representation.
This also brings up a whole other argument that I don't feel like naming or getting into, but yeah, representation matters.
@dartmonkey Thank you ❤️🏳️⚧️
@Collector @Zuljaras Didn't used to be until now... I always liked the freedom of speech on here and the different views always made for some interesting debates in the comments section. It's one of the things that makes this site great. Somebody seemingly wants to turn the place into ResetEra. 😐
@Zuljaras Or advocate politically against their right to an equitable society.
@Collector I don't know the exact comments that were deleted, but I know there's a really long list of things, from harassing to inappropriate to swearing to offensive, etc. It's up to the moderator, but I've seen plenty (not here, today) that make you take a step back and then are deleted. I think your opinion, if it's a healthy conversation, is totally fine. Like you and I, great conversation and seems legit.
@Collector You can read the Community Rules here:
@Zuljaras Precisely, there is such a thing as passionate, polite general discourse. Naturally it is much easier to dismiss foreign views as subhuman or written with ill intent (as you might expect, there were in fact no especially "unhelpful, unconstructive or downright offensive" comments, certainly none more so than the thoughts expressed by those who hold a different view, whose input of course remains untouched), hence the above silliness. The author would be wise to simply disable comments for the article rather than arbitrarily reduce and remove thoughtfully-written comments based on what they personally agree with (then again, it's all about the clicks at the end of the day).
@dartmonkey Well said!
We had a similar experience a few years back, my son wrote to tell them how much he loved Super Mario Odyssey, and how he’s completed it before me. Nintendo UK wrote back, directly referencing the contents of his letter and even sent a few pins. A lovely moment for us
@dartmonkey Well then this was the first and last time I visited your site.
I had the opportunity to read several of the deleted comments and they were anything but offensive or unhelpful, on the contrary they even highlighted an important point about what led the child to write a nintendo that should have been taken into account by the author of the article.
I see this as a lack of freedom of expression and discrimination against opinions other than your own so I certainly find better sites to participate. But still thank you for the reply.
@ZebZed I think you're right that it doesn't specifically ask 'are you a boy or a girl', but characters throughout the game do refer to you with gendered words/pronouns unlike in Animal Crossing. And yeah the clothing being locked to a particular gender is annoying, I don't know whether they changed that in Sword/Shield.
@Kislevi03one IIRC Japan isn’t that much better as far as LGBT+ rights are concerned and xenophobia (unless you’re a tourist or an English teacher living on a work visa) is still commonplace, I’d recommend moving to Canada instead.
@Radbot42 If they’re referring to the Hatterene line (and possibly Sylveon) as the “trap” Pokémon it’s in large part due to the line’s coloration, it’s the same colors (or close to) as the ones used in the trans pride flag.
@Clyde_Radcliffe Bad timing of me to join the site then, I have no interest in a community that is forbidden to think with its head and is silent when it says something that others do not agree.
So I replied a few minutes ago after reading the article… and now I’m going through the comments, assuming there’d be other similar stories and replies like my own. Wow, I have never seen so many comments removed! Sad to see. Plenty of positive too though, so that’s good.
@Menardi The author isn't removing any comments. And locking down comments sections is only ever a last resort; pre-emptively locking them would be depressing for everyone involved.
We'd like to believe that people can celebrate positive stories about video games and calmly discuss differences of opinion where appropriate and without glib remarks that contribute nothing to the conversation.
Nice. Wonder what the freebies were as well
@boywundr I agree with that, we disagree but we keep a civil conversation.
My problem is that I read several of the deleted comments and there was nothing offensive or anything in them, they just went against the opinion of the article.
Actually my brother sent in a letter to Codemasters about 25years back asking for them to bring back Dizzy (the egg that was big on Amiga and Spectrum) and gave level design ideas and they also replied and offered him some cool merchandise (their excuse was they were focusing on racing games). So it does happen.
Yeah I really really dislike that my comment got removed for being "inappropriate" cause that makes it sound like I said something really controversial like something against non-binary people although all I did was questioning if really a kid would have written something like that or if his parents told him too. Cause I have absolutely nothing against non-binary people, I think everyone should life there live how they want to and do what makes them happy (as long as it doesnt harm others)
edit: it got changed to "unconstructive", thx
This is really cool… at this kid’s age I don’t even think I knew what that word meant. And even if I did, I wouldn’t have understood, especially enough to ask for Pokémon to be designed that those considerations.
I truly love Nintendo and this is proof of their heart warming values and commitment to creating positive experiences and fun.
I’m a bit way through Ask Iwata and even in there, he lists one of the core values as essentially making sure customers are having fun and being comfortable.
@Collector Thanks for your calm reply. We'd be happy to have you return if you ever change your mind.
This is just in: How to force your child to write bs to a company for internet points. More after the break.
Technically non-binary Pokémon already do exist since the the very beginning that Pokémon was created (not counting the fact that almost all Pokémon started out as genderless in gen 1 games) but that kid is probably not old enough to know or understand that yet so he or she is probably just following along with the influence he or she is getting from the people around her or him. People should not bash or lash out at this kid for their naiveté.
@dartmonkey I would certainly hope so. I believe you understand that there is a little more to an adult discussion on a topic that touches on hot button issues like these than "celebrating a video game," whatever that means. It is fine to produce articles that touch on these issues, they certainly invite a degree of discussion, but you cannot expect to only receive one of many viewpoints, and it is disingenuous to claim impartiality when perfectly non-rule breaking thoughts are removed for arbitrary "offenses" while others remain in their entirety, many of which actually are "inappropriate" or "unconstructive." I would suggest for future articles that the comment section either be disabled for clearly controversial topics from the outset, which is something I'm sure many users of opposing views here would agree is a helpful suggestion, or that discussion of all sides of the issue be allowed to take place without the usual politicking that so often stifles some views while promoting others and unnecessarily alienates many well-intentioned users who otherwise enjoy NintendoLife.
That's a lotta removed comments... don't know if I feel entirely safe here anymore...
My, I am sorry for my incredibly unconstructive comment earlier this evening. I am not sure what befell me back then and I was clearly not my usual self. Let me redeem myself by saying this is a lovely story, it almost sounds like a fairytale
@mariomaster96 To be fair, most of us at least have an idea when we are young. There are plenty of examples of individuals knowing and living their fullest even at a young age. I... was not brave enough to do that lol
@Devlind This just in: Rando on the Internet assumes full knowledge of situation they have nothing to do with.
@JaneBear Yeah, it’s amazing how many teens are out and proud in my younger brother’s year at school compared to how many from my year have only come out recently.
The real question we should be asking ourselves is: what's a "young Nintendo"?
Nice of Nintendo. . But aren’t there already nb Pokémon? I think most legendaries are, as well as rotom and others 🧐
@G-Boy This was my first thought 😂 Perhaps pointing this out isn't quite 'constructive' enough to warrant discussion.
We're locking this comment section now, mainly because I have to go and eat something. Thank you to all who contributed in a measured, positive manner and added constructively to the conversation.
Regarding the comments removed, several of them weren't offensive per se, but simply weren't adding anything of substance to the discussion or served only to 'egg on' others.
You can read our Community Rules at the link below, but I'd like to remind everyone that while you're entitled to your opinions, we're not obliged to host them. We want NL to be a welcoming, positive space for all, and as always it comes down to the old "If you can't say something nice..." chestnut.
Tap here to load 84 comments
Leave A Comment
Comments have been disabled for this article.