Pokemon Sword/Pokemon Shield

  • Video Game
  • Game Freak
  • E/7+
  • Reviewed by Jesse King

If applicable, the main character customization allows for a diverse range of options in…

  • Race
  • Gender

If applicable, there are side characters who are diverse in…

  • Race
  • Gender

While, this is Pokemon, so let’s face it, they aren’t going to go deep into social and political issues, I thought it was worth reviewing for this for the diversity in the skin colors of its characters. First, the character customization allows for racial diversity of your character, but that should be fairly standard at this point (at least for games where you have more control over what your character looks like other than just the gender). I think what is of more note is the cast of characters. While it is never stated exactly what race they are (this is Pokemon, so real world places probably don’t apply anyway), your best friend/rival, Hop, has dark skin, and so does his brother, the Pokemon Champion, Leon. There are other dark skinned characters as well, including the water type gym leader, Nessa, the fire type gym leader, Kabu, and the dragon type gym leader, Raihan. In addition, Chairman Rose seems to be perhaps biracial as while his skin is just sort of tan, his younger brother, who you can meet in the Crown Tundra DLC, has much darker skin. While Pokemon has pretty much always done this, there is also a good balance of women characters too. While I wouldn’t call Pokemon a ground breaking game for diversity, I think Pokemon Sword/Shield, and the Pokemon series as a whole for the most part, deserves some credit for providing diverse characters in the way of skin color.

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