World's biggest mod site bans pronoun-removing Starfield mod: 'We stand for diversity and inclusion'

(Image credit: Bethesda)

As is usually the case with Bethesda RPGs, Starfield is a dream for modders. There are bugs to fix, a clunky UI to replace, and plenty of wide open spaces to fill with nonsense. Our list of the best Starfield mods is growing, and there's plenty still left to do.

It's not all creativity and wonder, however. Someone made a mod that removed the option to select your character's pronouns from Starfield's character creator, and uploaded it to popular mod-hosting hub Nexus Mods. Which then deleted it.

Even if you play Starfield, you might not remember it even has the option to change your character's default pronouns. It's a low-key choice that only gets brought up as you finalize your character. And yet, it's been the subject of bizarre rants like streamer HeelvsBabyface screaming, "Sorry, did you want to get immersed in our world? Well, guess what? Fucking pronouns!" as well as Steam forum complaints like, "It was disheartening to see that Starfield, a game I had eagerly anticipated, had incorporated woke elements that detracted from the immersive experience."

Nexus Mods confirmed that it had deleted the mod, saying, "Hosting this mod was not for us and it is certainly within our rights not to host content on our platform," in a statement to 404 Media. "It's not a 'political statement' or an 'alignment to one side or the other in the culture war.' 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."

As the paradox of tolerance explains, the one thing an open and tolerant society cannot permit is intolerance. When bigotry goes unchallenged by a community, that community becomes intolerant. Previously, Nexus Mods has banned mods that replaced Pride flags in Spider-Man Remastered, and temporarily banned US political mods during the 2020 election. On both occasions, nothing of value was lost.

"A reinforcement that this has been the best course of action has been some of the hatred, vitriol and threats of violence coming from a very, very small minority of the community," Nexus Mods went on to say. "Frankly, we are not sad to see them go."


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Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.