You can finally play as a black Pokémon trainer in Pokémon Sun and Moon

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Today, Nintendo dropped the latest trailer for its new pair of Pokémon games: Sun and Moon.

In addition to introducing fans to five new pocket monsters and a new region to explore, Nintendo also made a point of highlighting in the trailer that, for the first time in the game's 20-year history, people will be able to play as black Pokémon trainers with markedly darker complexions.


In the past, Nintendo's only addressed the concept of race indirectly, in response to a mild scandal involving a particular Pokémon, Jynx, that some considered to be racist. 2011's Pokémon Black & White brought the series' first two black gym leaders, Iris and Aloe, but they were merely bosses you could fight, not playable characters.


2013's Pokémon X &introduced another black trainer that could be fought in battles and gave players the ability to choose a slightly tanner skin tone for their customized characters. While this option was a step in the right direction, there were some people who felt as if Nintendo had left them out by not including a darker tone that read as more undeniably black.

Today, though, that concern was addressed.


Nintendo hasn't commented on why it's expanded its color palette now, but it may have to do with where Sun and Moon take place. Keeping in tradition with the past two games (which were set in fictionalized versions of New York City and Paris), Sun and Moon begin in the Alola Region, which appears to be loosely based on Oahu, Hawaii's third-largest island.

It stands to reason that at least some of the people born in a region with a more tropical climate would tend to have darker skin. Even if that wasn't the exact logic which inspired Nintendo's choice, it's a move that's likely to resonate with a lot of players who've yet to see themselves reflected in one of the most successful video game franchises of all time.


Pokémon Sun and Moon will hit stores on November 18th.

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