You can now choose to play a woman in Minecraft.

Although it is 2015 and women have long made up nearly half the world's population, Minecraft has only now recognised gender diversity in gameplay by adding its first playable female character named Alex. She will launch on 29 April at no extra cost for all consoles. Apart from the unisex name, she brings thinner arms, redder hair, and a ponytail, according to Minecraft.

Minecraft is an immensely popular video game that Microsoft bought last year for $2.5 billion. It allows gamers to construct 3D-like worlds out of textured cubes. Until recently, most of the characters in Minecraft were male, and the main character you were allowed to play was one of eight versions/skins of Steve, a man with a blue shirt, dark hair, and beard stubble.

Minecraft has acknowledged that Steve didn't represent playerbase diversity, so it developed a more feminine character. Alex first appeared on Minecraft versions on the PC and Mac as a randomly-assigned character that could not be selected in-game. Starting Wednesday, the Alex skin will become fully available for gamers with Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox consoles.

Alex, like Steve, will come in eight different skins and won't change the gameplay. A similar update for Minecraft's Pocket Edition, played on smartphones and tablets, is planned for this summer.

Sections Microsoft Games