South Park: The Fractured But Whole, a new video game based on Comedy Central's irreverent animated series, allows players to choose their avatar's gender identity, Eurogamer reports.
Unlike Ubisoft's previous South Park role play games, which only allowed male avatars, The Fractured But Whole now lets players pick female, transgender, or cisgender characters.
Your avatar's gender and racial identity actually determine the difficulty level of the game. Playing as anything other than a cisgender white male negatively affects outcomes such as the amount of money your character receives and “the way other characters speak to you” throughout the game.
“Don’t worry, this doesn’t affect combat," says Cartman during the identity selection process. "Just every other aspect of your whole life.”
Choosing genderneutrality leads to an interesting encounter with Mr. Mackey, the school counselor.
“There’s nothing wrong with not identifying as a binary gender," Mr. Mackey says. "You can be whatever sex you want... Even if it’s none."
"Just be careful," he continues. "There’s a lot of people out there who don’t accept you for what you are and you’re gonna have to deal with them."
If you do opt for a trans or nonbinary identity, your avatar will be attacked by "rednecks" who yell, “We don’t take kindly to your types around here. Let’s welcome this thing to our town!”
A 2014 episode of South Park, "The Cissy," explored gender identity. The Emmy-winning series, which features numerous LGBT characters like Big Gay Al, has also tackled LGBT-related topics including ex-gay ministries and Japanese yaoi.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is available October 17.