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New Nintendo "Paper Mario" remake features transgender character

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The remake of the Nintendo game "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door" includes a transgender character, according to a review of the game, which was remade for the Nintendo Switch platform in the U.S. 

The character Vivian, who appeared in the original version of the game, released on Gamecube in 2004, is one of three sisters who are some of the game's villains, opposing its hero, Mario. 

Her sisters, Marilyn and Bedlam, often call her a boy. And in the new game, she reveals the bullying hurts because they are misgendering her. 

"Truth is, it took me a while to realize I was their sister… not their brother," Vivian tells the player at a point in the game. "Now their usual bullying feels heavier."

While the revelation about Vivian's gender identity is new in the U.S. version of the game, she was included on ING's list of favorite LGBTQ+ video game characters in 2018. The publication, which reviews video games, had Vivian on the list because in the non-English versions of the game, Vivian has always talked about her gender identity.

In the Italian version of the game, Vivian says she is proud of her transition, according to ING. But in the English version, she was portrayed as a cisgender woman.

The reveal of Vivian's gender identity in the new game, which was released on Thursday, was shared by video game review YouTube channel Nintendo Life, which gave fans a preview of the entire game.

CBS News has reached out to Nintendo for comment and is awaiting response.

In a 2018 report, GamesRadar, a publication for video game players, tallied 179 games had LGBTQ representation, but only 83 had playable characters who were queer.

And in 2024, GLAAD said LGBTQ representation in video games was lacking — with less than 2% of games for Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo having LGBTQ representation. 

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