A quick little refresher for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: Minecraft is essentially a grown-up version of Lego. It’s a game with no real set goals, objectives or motivations, other than creating something out of nothing. You mine elements from the ground, combine them into new elements, and with that you build whatever you can think of. And there are, like, zombies and skeletons and exploding monster things, too, because come on, what’s a video game without exploding monster things?
Anyway, in a post on Minecraft creator’s Markus “Notch” Persson’s tumblr page, Notch explains how he consciously made a decision that every living thing in the game would be neither male or female, and that any living thing can reproduce with any other member of the same species, which technically makes everything in the game intersex and homosexual.
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 decisions about gender in a game where gender doesn’t even exist.
All the other mobs in the game are genderless and usually exhibit the most prominent traits of both genders. Cows have horns and udders (even if I’ve later learned that there are some cows where the females do have horns), and the chicken/duck/whatevers have heads that look like roosters, but still lay eggs. For breeding, any animal can breed with any other animal of the same 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.
There’s no point to this post. I just wanted to clarify, so there’s an official word on it. 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!
Personally, I think it’s kind of nifty that he created the game with the intent of completely removing any and all labels from his characters. Your character is simply a cute little avatar who punches cubes of rock out of the ground and fights skeletons, and anything else is simply a matter of how you want to be seen. And if you haven’t actually played Minecraft yet: seriously, it is like bonkers addictive, so only go for it if you happen to have a ton of free time handy.