It’s finally Starfield week. Even though its release date isn’t until September 6, reviews for Bethesda’s RPG will drop later this week, and then those with early access will be able to start playing on Friday. It’s a week that has been years in the making. However, even though no one other than a handful of reviewers and those who helped make the game have played it, some people have predictably started to worry about Starfield being woke.


A discussion sparked on Steam’s Starfield community hub by someone asking “Will it be woke?” has generated so much chatter that at the time of typing this, the question has almost 1,000 answers. As you will have already guessed without even needing to look at the 65-page thread, quite a few of those nearly 1,000 replies range from narrow-minded to downright bizarre, further proving whatever the word woke used to mean, no one is entirely sure what it means anymore.

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Top of the pile is “It might be a bit, but not anywhere close to the mess that Baldur’s Gate 3 is”. Baldur’s Gate 3 has become the surprise hit of 2023, launching a month earlier than Starfield on PC to avoid having to compete with it more than it will have to over the coming weeks. Ask the commenter why Baldur’s Gate 3 is woke and I’d hazard to guess they’d struggle to give you a straight answer. It seems putting sex in a game makes it woke now, maybe? Yeah, I’m not sure what they’re getting at either.

Astronaut stood in front of a large glowing artefact

Something else that makes a game woke (apparently) is making its women look more like actual women and less like robots made in a factory specifically for men who complain about things being woke. The change to Aloy’s design in Horizon Forbidden West and the reveal of the female protagonist in the new Fable had both games labeled woke by a certain corner of the gaming world because its women looked more realistic. It seems should Starfield dare to do the same thing, then that will apparently qualify it as woke too.

There is a silver lining to this question being asked and it getting so much attention. While plenty of the replies will leave you banging your head against a wall, there are just as many asking why it matters if a game is woke, and also quite a few asking those complaining to please explain what they think woke even means. If you’re excited about Starfield like most of us are whether it’s woke or not, there is still a little bit of bad news. Xbox has dropped its Game Pass for $1 trial, so no signing up on Starfield’s launch day to try and beat the game before your 14 days run out.

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