Rust is the novel open-world survival game developed by Garry Newman, the person behind the massively successful Garry’s Mod. Thanks to the last update, players will now have their character’s gender automatically assigned.
The game is still on its early access stage and it has been able to amass millions of people, but the latest modification seems to have upset some of its players.
The reasons behind the update
Newman acknowledges that players may not enjoy playing the game as a woman if they are male, or as a man if they are female. The game automatically decides which gender to set for the player’s character, and it binds it to the player’s Steam ID. A statement made by Newman reads “you’re probably not stuck with your face forever,” which hints at the possibility of facial trait modification instead of changing your in-game genre.
But Craig Pearson posted on the development blog something that suggests that there is a much deeper reason for this new function. He commented that players now may be stuck with a gender that they do not identify with in real life, but that in reality, it is the same for much of the world’s population. The sole difference game-wise is that the gender you play as will be determined by your Steam ID instead of your real life gender.
Newman added to the whole matter that there is no choice being removed from the player, as the first versions of the game forced you to play as a “bald white guy.” They are aiming towards incorporating more races and variety to the player’s in-game physical appearance.
It is pretty common for RPG and survival games to allow players to choose their genre, and this goes along many male players wanting to choose female characters or female players choosing male characters. Some argue that this is a decision based on laziness since the developers would have to implement customization menus in order for players to choose their character’s genre. But the development team is strong in its position, as they have already implemented arbitrary assignment of physical appearance in the game.
The development team believes that a different character race or gender doesn’t remove any sort of enjoyment that players may experience from the game. Newman stated on behalf of Rust’s development team that “we understand this causes you distress and makes you not want to play the game anymore.” Perhaps the whole matter is a statement on real life and gender identity issues, as Rust is a game about human survival.
Source: The Verge