The Call of Duty franchise is many things, and with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the franchise has become more inclusive than ever before. The first-person shooter’s campaign promises plenty of blockbuster action and conspiracies to uncover. It also allows players to determine their character’s background. With the new character creation menu, much like a role-playing character sheet, you can choose your name, skin color, origin, and even gender in Black Ops Cold War. The last option certainly caused quite a stir though. Following criticisms of the initial implementation, the latest update now has a non-binary option for gender.
The usual male and female options are straightforward. However, back in the August reveal, the third option was pegged as Classified. While it could represent those who are non-binary, it definitely carried a slightly negative connotation to it.
While Creative Director Dan Vondrak put it down to a thematic choice rather than commenting on representation, it was not enough for the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War community who identified with the non-binary gender. Some changes needed to be made.
Not having the option felt like the representation was not all that complete. Worse, it implied that the non-binary gender was worth hiding. With the massive community that the franchise has, representation needs to be more front and center. Treyarch has since taken the feedback seriously, and implemented the change with the launch of the game.
Whether these options make sense in the overall structure of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is irrelevant. After all, when you are fighting a shadow war for an ex-president who certainly didn’t shown any love for the LGBTQ+ community, some suspension of disbelief is to be expected.
However, the addition of the non-binary option in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is an important inclusion. At least when you are fighting a war, you can do it as yourself.