Minecraft Protagonist is a Student at Greendale Community College
This past weekend, Marcus “Notch” Persson, the now-legendary creator of Mojang’s Minecraft, wrote a lengthy blog-post offering up some details about the blocky little avatar who stars in his hit game. Unofficially named “Steve,” Notch explains that the user-avatar was, in fact, never meant to have a gender at all.
“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.”
A statement like that can’t help but remind me of the much beloved (on the internet, at least) Community—specifically Greendale Community College, which serves as the main setting for the show. Ever politically correct, the school’s mascot is the Greendale Human Being, who looks like this:
Delightful. Just a grey blob. The Human Being is, obviously, meant to represent all of humanity and not exclude anyone, and in many ways, so does “Steve.” I think Notch would probably fit in well with the Community gang.
To go a little further, though, it’s pretty cool that Notch is pointing this stuff out, mainly because video games are so traditionally thought of in male terms. To remove gender from the equation entirely, the industry’s over-masculine stigma is lessened and potentially opened up to all.
And of course, making the situation a bit more transgressive, Notch closed his explanation with this little gem:
“…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!”
Take that indeed.