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Nexus Mods boots Starfield mod that removed pronoun options

‘Frankly, we are not sad to see them go’

An astronaut in the cockpit of a spacecraft sitting on a planet in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

Nexus Mods removed a Starfield mod that got rid of the game’s pronoun options in its character creator. The popular mod platform has held steady on its decision, despite reactions from a loud minority of Starfield fans, who have chimed in on the game’s Steam page and community forum. “Frankly, we are not sad to see them go,” Nexus Mods told 404 Media, noting that the “vitriol” came from a small part of the broader mod community.

“It’s not a ‘political statement’ or an ‘alignment to one side or the other in the culture war,’” Nexus Mods said. “We stand for diversity and inclusion in our community and the removal of diversity, while appealing to many, does not promote a positive modding community.”

This mod was the endpoint of some toxic discourse surrounding Bethesda’s new space opera RPG in the week following the game’s release. A YouTuber made a viral rant about the pronoun options in the game’s character creation screen — players can choose between she/her, he/him, and they/them — claiming this broke immersion. In the days following the rant, the Steam Discussion forums had a few trending discussions about Starfield being “woke” or “political.”

While that initial wave of conversation has died down, this mod — and its removal — seems to have inspired another wave of conversation. Another round of reviewers clearly upset by this minor character creation option have left negative scores on Starfield’s Steam page, citing “awful character creator” and “Politics (If You Know You Know),” as recently as Monday.

Nexus Mods’ decision is in line with past actions. In 2022, the popular mod site banned an account that created a mod for Marvel’s Spider-Man that removed Pride flags from the city. A Nexus Mods blog published at the time explained, “we are for inclusivity, we are for diversity.”

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