Minecraft developer Jens Bergensten recently tweeted that he’s “testing a possible feature for the future, an optional (via your profile) 3-pixel arm model for players.” The standard Minecraft arm is four pixels wide. Gamers are assuming a slimmer, 3-pixel arm is being developed for female players. Whether that’s the reason for the optional feature doesn’t really matter – gameplay with be unaffected by such a cosmetic change.
Minecraft has 100 million registered users. “First it seemed like it was mostly boys, but now a lot of girls are getting engaged in Minecraft,” said Dr. Natalie Rusk, a research scientist at MIT. She sees the gender shift as a positive one as she hopes it will lead young female Minecraft players into learning how to code. Only 18.5 percent of high school students who took the AP computer science test last year were girls. Educators and scientists like Rusk are looking to bring the gender gap. Minecraft just might help.