The XX Factor

Fairies Are For Boys, Too

Up until now, Pixie Hollow, the multiplayer online game from Disney only allowed players to don a female fairy persona. But now they will also be able to choose a male fairy, or “Sparrow Man,” as Pixie Hollow calls it. According to Salon , some children had longed for male fairies since the launch of the site, giving their female avatars’ short hair and gender-neutral names.  “Launching Sparrow Men was a direct response to our community’s feedback,” the site’s product director Jason Everett said, explaining some parents and grandparents had told the team “their sons and grandsons wanted to be able to play Pixie Hollow but they wanted to play as boy avatars,” and that girls also wanted to be able to play as boy avatars.

After the Peter Pan animated movies, Disney started a franchise around Tinker Bell and her fairy friends with movies , books , even a magazine . And though this might be Pixie Hollow’s first male fairy, this franchise has had male fairies and sparrow men for a while . Judging from the game’s popular forums, some children were a bit wary of how the addition of sparrow men could change the virtual world’s dynamics: “It might ruin the integrity of the game. It’s about being able to fly around the Hollow with little to no inhibition and enjoying your time…if we add Boy fairies, it may turn into one of those school dance things, where they find their places to hangout and we avoid them…lol,” wrote player Dawn Starvale .

With the addition of the male avatar came a new member of the Never Council, which represents the team on the site and provides feedback to the players about the game. Fairies Kit, Marina and Sweet Pea welcome a sparrow man named Slate. Sadly, his name does not come from his deep love for a certain online magazine, but simply reflects his “tinker-talent.”