Notch Regrets Calling ‘Genderless’ Minecraft Character ‘Steve’

There’s no gender in Minecraft. At least, creator Markus “Notch” Persson never intended for gender to be any sort of gameplay element.

In fact, Notch says in a recent blog post about gender in Minecraft that he regrets jokingly referring to the character most people referred to as “the Minecraft guy” as “Steve,” and wishes he’d gone with a genderless pronoun instead.

“The human model is intended to represent a Human Being,” Notch writes. “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.”

Going further, Notch points out that every mob in the game exhibits traits of both genders: chickens look a little like roosters but still lay eggs; cows don’t have udders or other gender-specific traits; and so on.

Notch admits that Minecraft’s lack of dealing with gender as a construction of the way people experience the world isn’t the greatest — it’s basically a function of graphical fidelity — but in a game such as Minecraft, he thought “we could get away with” creating a gender-neutral world. You can read the rest of the post here.

“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!”

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2 Comments on Notch Regrets Calling ‘Genderless’ Minecraft Character ‘Steve’

LTenhet

On July 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm

…. He clearly has a goatee.

Phil Hornshaw

On July 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

@L Tenhet

I dunno, man. Take it up with Notch, I guess. In his blog post he said all the characters were meant to have both male and female characteristics….

Then again, maybe that’s revisionist history of some kind. No idea.