Hello, My Name Is Steve

February 25, 2013

The hero of our favorite game here is named Steve, a joke mentioned by Notch one time.

But Notch made Steve specifically genderless, colorless and all around “equal” so that anyone can put themselves into Steve’s shoes and not feel like they’re not playing as themselves. A player supposedly has to feel like they ARE the character, that’s part of the immersion of gaming today (again, like most times, I don’t agree entirely with this, but I am not your average gamer, so take what I agree with with a grain of salt) and so it was a smart move to make “Steve” the way they did.

And while this appeals to everyone as the way to do things, it’s again an example of something that can only be done in a game like Minecraft.

Minecraft Isn’t Your Ordinary Game

Nowhere in Bioshock do you get to choose who you play as. You’re Jack; there are no bones about it. You have no choice in the matter. Same as in most games, you play a certain protagonist with a certain gender and a name and a history and a race. Only in Minecraft is all this stuff thrown to the side in favor of general anonymity, and it works. But is this a good thing or a bad thing? It depends. Role playing games are popular BECAUSE it’s the opposite of Minecraft. You get to choose what gender and attributes you want and can have and really make it a representation of yourself. Minecraft kind of only has half of that. Yes, the character is generalized enough to be anyone, but outside of that “Steve” doesn’t have powers you can max out, or choose which traits you want to give to him. It’s almost like they wanted to go that way and then abandoned it.

But what purpose would that serve in the game? Let’s face it, you rarely face other players–real or AI–and so there’s no point in having a trait such as “Pickpocket” in Minecraft. What would that get you?

top hat creeperCreepers don’t have pockets, they don’t wear pants. THERE’S NOTHING TO PICKPOCKET. Could you imagine if Creepers wore pants though? Just like, big baggy brown trousers? That would be awesome. Nothing else, no shirt, I mean why would they? Creepers don’t have arms. They don’t really have legs either, I guess, but the visual would be funny. Or maybe, like, a top hat. Let’s dress a Creeper up with a mustache, a monocle and a top hat, and a cane that just floats next to him. And while we’re at it, give him some dialogue. Make it go-in a British accent of course-, “Pardon me sir, I’m going to have to explode on you now, nothing personal, just business, ya know. Cheerio.”

Can we get a mod going for that? That’d be amazing. Not all Creepers either, just one Creeper. One fancy dancy Creeper. What the hell was I talking about? Oh right, “Steve”.

Who Cares Who Steve Is?

I mean, let’s face it, we can argue back and forth all day long about whether or not there should be some things in Minecraft and there are things in Minecraft that don’t work, but in the end the game works, and is fine the way it is. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken, right? In fact, “Steve” is so uni-sexed and raceless that his name isn’t even “Steve”, as I mentioned above. If you go to the Mincraft wiki you will notice that the character’s name is actually “The Player“.

I guess it works in the end, and Minecraft isn’t a game about character development or emotional attachment to a character, so it really doesn’t matter what “Steve” is. Shit, “Steve” could be an 8 legged Octopus who flies around in a Fighter Jet and it’d still be fine.

Actually it’d be more awesome.

I have some good ideas, is there a way I can contact Notch? Let me know.

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