Rust will randomize everything from race and gender to penis length

Rust, the massively-multiplayer survival game, is throwing character customization out the window.

Online multiplayer survival video game Rust is populating the barren frontier with a diverse cast of players. The only catch? You don't get any say over customization. Everything has already been randomly generated for you and attached to your Steam ID, so it's yours for good.

Huh, kind of like how genetics work in real life.

The game made waves back in March when it threw skin tone into the mix. "Everyone now has a pseudo unique skin tone and face," says Facepunch Studios Founder Garry Newman. "Just like in real life, you are who you are – you can’t change your skin colour or your face." The reactions have been varied, to say the least. While some have responded with (explicitly racist) complaints, others have praised Facepunch Studios for the update.

The community has begun self-policing racist language used by players in-game.

Race comparison in Rust.

Facepunch studios wants to show players how arbitrary race is, letting them step into someone else's wooden sandles for a change. It's time to say goodbye to white mobs of naked men holding rocks above their heads and usher in an age of racially diverse naked men holding rocks above their heads.

Speaking of which, get ready to see a lot of nudity.

Every player spawns into the world of Rust the same way they spawned into this one: naked, with completely random physical features. Every body part is determined randomly. Every. Body. Part. Penises can vary considerably, as evidenced by this NSFW video shared by Reddit user u/M4STER_TROLL. As expected, this trait has been locked in by your Steam ID. You won't find any male enhancement drugs in the wildnerness.

More excitingly, a recent devblog has shed new light on the upcoming female model.

The female model in Rust.

The developers confirmed that, similar to the male model, they "really don’t want to make the female model unrealistic in the sense of her being aesthetically idealised." Testing in-game could happen as soon as next week.

Personally, I love this system. I'm tired of seeing MMOs populated exclusively by white dudes with the physiques of Greek gods. Maybe experiencing life with a body different than their own idealized version of themselves will encourage gamers to play with a little more empathy.


Recent college grad, armed with a backlog of games and too many opinions.

Published Jun. 23rd 2015
  • K.W. Colyard
    The video cracked me up. Kudos to them for the unique idea of randomizing character creation outside of player control, though. It's a really interesting idea.
  • torimor
    I love this idea a lot! The only problem I can see is if your gender was also randomly chosen. I wouldn't want to play as a guy character so I probably wouldn't buy it...haha...enough games already make me play as a guy.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    This is absolutely ground-breaking. First of all, I have to say I LOVE what they are doing with the female models in Rust. They look SO PERFECT I CANT EVEN.

    This will be an incredibly interesting social experiment. I would throw up some argument here about how Rust is taking away player freedom to be treated how they'd like, but in reality it's throwing everyone under the exact same bus. Nobody is going to know who anybody else could be, and that's interesting..

    Even more interesting will be the people who receive different genders/races with their Steam ID's and aren't comfortable with the idea of playing as that gender/race for whatever reason.

    I really hope the psychologists are watching this one, because this experiment could reveal so much about us as a whole. Go Rust! And to think I doubted you.
  • Jackson Ingram
    The best part is that, eventually, Rust will be a complete melting pot, so that no race will be in the minority. I'm hoping that people who are "uncomfortable" with playing as a different race/sex will have to ask themselves why they feel that way. And it's not just a simple question of immersion. I mean, non-white gamers have to play white characters all the time, and Rust is in first-person anyway, so it's not like you spend a lot of time looking at yourself.

    If you go to their devblog, you can see their progression of female models, from the earliest design to the one they've settled on now. You can tell that they're making a real effort to make them realistic. I can't wait for the model to be implemented into the game. Hopefully this will also take us another step away from the over-sexualization of breasts and the human body in general.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    You have no idea (okay maybe you do) how much over-sexualization negatively affects self-image for women. I'm usually struggling to stay confident in myself, but these work-in-progress models for Rust look so great. Just seeing these bolsters my confidence 10-fold. This is what the female body looks like. This is how it should have been all along. Fucking media... </3
  • Jackson Ingram
    True, I definitely can't fully understand the effects of over-sexualizing the female body, but I'm going to keep listening and learning and hopefully I can become a better feminist ally and advocate for better representation in the media. Rust is taking such a great step in that direction! It gives me a little more hope for the future.
  • GameSkinny Staff
    I LOVE this concept. So much.

    1. This is crazy revolutionary for inclusion in games.

    2. This is CRAZY REVOLUTIONARY for media studies and theories of player agency in relation to their avatars! There's so much research about customized avatars and narrative avatars, but I randomly selected and randomly diversified avatars is totally new. This design choice is going to be studied and talked about in schools; this could change the literature of avatar studies. This is massive. I am so excited!
  • Jackson Ingram
    It's pretty ground-breaking. My friend sent me this video Extra Credits did on the decision to randomize skin tone. It sums up a lot of great points! I'd love to see more MMOs go this route.

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