If you were worried about gender roles in a game like Minecraft, former lead designer Marcus “Notch” Persson doesn't want you to even think about stuff like that. The game was purposefully designed to be genderless, or as close to it as the designers could get within a blocky 8-bit graphic design.

According to a blog post on tumblr [via BeefJack] from “Notch”, the former lead designer says that when he was in charge of the game the last thing gamers needed to worry about was whether things were male or female...
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.

The human model is intended to represent a Human Being. 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.

I don't know if I can really buy that only because the “character model” still looks more masculine than genderless, something even “Notch” admits to. But maybe because in real-life guys are generally more rectangular and females are generally more oval shaped, so having Minecraft characters as squares automatically makes them closer to representing males than females.

Anyway, Marcus expressed his regrets about specifying a gender to the default-guy as well as the “masculine” terms used to identify the Minecraft character. I'm guessing this post was in response to a lot of feedback regarding gender representation in the game, this is also hinted at in the twitter feed.

You can check out the entire post over on “Notch”'s Tumblr blog.

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