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'Notch' explains gender in Minecraft

Minecraft Screenshot - Minecraft

Markus "Notch" Persson, creator and former lead developer of Minecraft, wrote a blog post on Saturday about the game's approach toward gender.

"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, noting that he regrets using masculine pronouns to refer to the default character.

Notch explained that the human model is meant to represent a human being, not a male or a female per say:

"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 other mobs are genderless. Cows, for example, have both udders and horns, and chickens resemble roosters but still lay eggs.

"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," he wrote. "But I felt we could get away with it in Minecraft.

"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. Take THAT, homophobes!"

Follow @wita on Twitter for tales of superheroes, plumbers in overalls, and literary adventures.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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