Minecraft developer Jens Bergensten has revealed on Twitter that players may soon be able to opt for slimmer, three-pixel-wide arms for their characters. As for why, that isn't quite so clear.
It's great that work on Minecraft is continuing apace, more than five years after the alpha version first sprung to life, but why this of all things? It's hardly a dramatic change, after all—the standard arm width is four pixels—and the rest of the model is untouched.
Testing a possible feature for the future, an optional (via your profile) 3-pixel arm model for players: http://t.co/EqfvH9pIjA July 15, 2014
Bergensten wasn't forthcoming with any rationale for the change, but one poster on the Minecraft forum claimed the change was made "so female skins can look more female," something skin creators, himself included, have complained about in the past.
"I think opening additional options for skins is a good thing," the user, xilefian, wrote. "This is an option skin creators have been wanting for a long time."
It's as good a reason as any, although others quickly pointed out that male and female skins alike can benefit from the change. Regardless of the reason, the hitbox will remain the same so the actual gameplay will be unaffected, and the slimmer arms will be an optional toggle, meaning that players who prefer the stouter look of the original can stick with it. Bergensten also clarified in a follow-up tweet that players who want to take advantage of the slimmer style will also have to update their skins.
More examples of the change can be seen on Imgur.
Update: Bergensten's name was misspelled in the original report. We regret the error.