There’s a great article up on Wired by-and-about the dad who hacked Donkey Kong so that his daughter could play as Pauline, relegating Mario to the position of captured love interest.
Mike Mika wasn’t thinking about feminist agendas or affronts to the patriarchy when he made Pauline a playable character for his 3 year old daughter. They had just come off of a Super Mario Bros. 2 binge and Mika’s daughter loved using Princess Toadstool. The duo also had watched the gamer classic The King of Kong, so Donkey Kong was on the playlist. But Mika’s daughter wanted to know why she couldn’t play as a female character in Donkey Kong.
“Kids ask parents all the time for things that just aren’t possible,” Mika says in Wired, “but this time, this was different. I’m a game developer by day. I could do this.”
So, he did:
You can read the whole story up on Wired (linked below).
This story immediately reminded me of a dad who hacked The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker for his daughter last year so that the pronouns in the game would refer to the hero (Link) as a female.
We love reading about dads who use their skills to make their kids happy. To a nerd that can program, hearing your child ask for something in a game doesn’t make you come up with excuses about the world – it makes you want to solve them.