Minecraft’s mascot “Steve” might have a boy’s name and a goatee, but that doesn’t mean Steve is a man. In fact, Steve isn’t supposed to be a man or a woman, Steve is just Steve, according to game developer Markus “Notch” Persson.
“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,” Notch explained in a blog post about gender in the blockbuster game.
“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.”
As Notch pointed out, all animals in the game exhibit 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,” he said. “For breeding, any animal can breed with any other animal of the same species.”
It’s not necessarily that Notch wanted to make some kind of profound statement about gender or anything like that, though, but rather that the game’s simplistic graphics restricted character design. On the other hand, that means that with only a single gender represented, everybody in the game is gay.
“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,” he concluded. “Take THAT, homophobes!”
So there’s sexual tension between my sheep? Minecraft just got about 100 times more interesting.