Notch: Minecraft is Full of Hermaphrodites

| 28 Jul 2012 19:30

Minecraft's Steve isn't a guy, nor a woman. He/she is also gay.

How women are represented in games is a hot topic as of late, but perhaps a more pressing issue is why, sometimes, they're not represented at all. Minecraft creator and former lead developer, Markus "Notch" Persson, has decided to weigh in, and explain why there're no boobs in Minecraft.

"If it wasn't for the fact that the default Minecraft character is referred to as 'Minecraft Guy' and that I once jokingly answered 'Steve?' when asked what his* name was, Minecraft would be a game where gender isn't a gameplay element," he wrote on his blog.

The traditional feminist response to that argument is that having the central character display traits of masculinity and then arguing that he is "genderless," perpetuates the idea that males are the "base" gender and that females are an exception or a permutation.

"The human model is intended to represent a Human Being," Notch continued. "Not a male Human Being or a female Human Being, but simply a Human Being. The blocky shape gives it a bit of a traditional masculine look, but adding a separate female mesh would just make it worse by having one specific model for female Human Beings and male ones. That would force players to make a decisions about gender in a game where gender doesn't even exist."

The game's no-gender, or perhaps pansexual, policy even extends to the various other creatures inhabiting the universe. Notch points out that all the animals in the game have both male and female characteristics. The cows for example, have both horns and udders. He also notes that every animal can breed with any other member of its species.

"Obviously, I'm not saying this is a good way to deal with gender in all games, as the better your graphics are, and because of how quickly the human mind tries to identify the gender of other humans, you are going to have to make a decision as a developer about gender, but I felt we could get away with it in Minecraft," he added.

Notch concluded the post with an apology for using gendered pronouns - hence the little asterisk in that first quote - and a charming little barb aimed at bigots.

"Also, as a fun side fact, it means every character and animal in Minecraft is homosexual because there's only one gender to choose from," he wrote. "Take THAT, homophobes!"

Source: The Word of Notch

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