The newest update of survival title Rust is adding female player models to the mix. The catch with Rust is that players don't have the option of creating their own character. Instead, the game assigns your character different attributes based on your Steam ID. Prior to now, those attributes included your skin color, facial features, height, limb size, and penis length.
"The new player models have been merged in less painfully than we'd imagined. This update brings aboard the new female models," wrote Rust developer Garry Newman. "We understand this is a sore subject for a lot of people. We understand that you may now be a gender that you don't identify with in real-life. We understand this causes you distress and makes you not want to play the game anymore. Technically nothing has changed, since half the population was already living with those feelings. The only difference is that whether you feel like this is now decided by your SteamID instead of your real life gender."
The team actually let players know about the upcoming change in July 2015. At the time, Newman let players know the new player models were incoming. He also explained that players didn't really have a choice in the matter.
"To clear up some confusion, when we it does go live you won't get a choice of whether you're female or male. We're not 'taking the choice away' from you. You never had a choice. A man's voice coming out of a woman's body is no more weird than an 8 year-old boy's voice coming out of a man's body," he said in the devblog update.
The team behind Rust has already weathered a round of negative feedback based on the additional race to the random element. That change went into the game in March 2015 and some players weren't happy that they were forced to play a character of another race. Newman has previously explained that the concept is for each player to be completely unique in the game. He wants each unique character to act like a fingerprint, so your actions will follow you around.
"We wanted a way to recognize people beyond their names, kind of a fingerprint," Newman told Kotaku about the previous update. "We already kind of have this; players recognize each other via their voice, and that's pretty interesting. So we wanted to push it further. Our ideal scenario is one in which no two players look the same, so you'll recognize someone in game by their face to the extent that nametags will be redundant."
The Rust team isn't going to be changing the current system anytime soon and Newman himself sees it as somewhat of an odd social experiment.
"I'm more interested in seeing what happens when we add the female model," he told Polygon. "Whether women will get attacked more because they're perceived as weak, or whether they'll get attacked less because they're perceived as vulnerable. That stuff is interesting to me."
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