News Article

Father Gender-Bends Link For The Benefit of His Zelda-Loving Daughter

Posted by Damien McFerran

Now that's fatherly devotion

It can't be easy for young female gamers growing up in a world dominated by men. When you're still searching for your own identity and place in the world, it must be confusing to be forced to adopt so many male personalities in the games you play.

Doting father Mike Hoye didn't want his daughter Maya to face this problem. He hacked the original files for The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker to make Link female, and then allowed his offspring to play gender-swapped version of the game using an emulator on his computer.

As he explains on his blog:

Maya and I have been playing through Windwaker together; she likes sailing, scary birds and remembering to be brave, rescuing her little brother and finding out what’s happening to Medli and her dragon boat.

She’s the hero of the story, of course.

It’s annoying and awkward, to put it mildly, having to do gender-translation on the fly when Maya asks me to read what it says on the screen. You can pick your character’s name, of course – I always stick with Link, being a traditionalist – but all of the dialog insists that Link is a boy, and there’s apparently nothing to be done about it.

Well, there wasn't anything to be done about it, certainly not anything easy, but as you might imagine I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers.

Now that's what being a dad is all about. Mike Hoye, you have our respect and admiration.

[via kotaku.com, exple.tive.org]

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User Comments (117)

Tricoloryoshi

#1

Tricoloryoshi said:

Cool, I show respect for the father!!! Though if the girl gets really into gaming he'll have a lot of work to do. :p

KAHN

#2

KAHN said:

that's pretty cool, i guess. nice pops. i wish my 3rd one was like that. but if he can change the appearance of Link, why can't he edit the dialog boxes?(and why aren't the game screenshots below female figures?)

MrWalkieTalkie

#4

MrWalkieTalkie said:

Now do New Super Maria Sisters Wii! XD

But seriously, thats very sweet of him to do so much for his kid. :)

Haxonberik

#9

Haxonberik said:

Meh, that's not a good idea, I wouldn't feel good if I was led to believe Samus was a man when I was little, only to discover later on that it was a big lie.

shinpichu

#10

shinpichu said:

Bravo, sir. Personally, considering Link is usually supposed to be something of a blank slate character, I think some Zelda game should include the option to play as a boy or a girl.

superfamicomguy

#11

superfamicomguy said:

What a cool thing to do. If she grows up to be a gamer, that will be an epic story to share with her friends :)

AVahne

#12

AVahne said:

If she starts gaming more seriously, give her some Metroid once she gets a bit older.

Link-Hero

#14

Link-Hero said:

I love it when parents force lies onto their children. When the time comes in the future when she gets older, she will eventually find out what she was REALLY playing and come to a realization that the thing she loved as a child was a lie. A big fat lie.

Didn't you just LOVE it when your parents did stuff like this to you!?

EDIT:

Another thing I realized. When a big video company does something like this (changing the story/characters/other elements) to a game believing it's better for the children, everybody gets mad at them, but if a parent does something like this, it's considered "OK", "awesome", or even "cute".

Doesn't make any sense to me. >_>

Stratostar

#16

Stratostar said:

He didn't need to do that to teach his daughter that she can be whatever she wants to be.

zipmonStaff

#18

zipmon said:

That is awesome, 10 points! Link has a long history of genderbending and I'm all for overturning gender norms at any opportunity :)

sinalefa

#20

sinalefa said:

Go save Prince Zelda!

As long as she is not led to believe that girls are superior to boys, I guess it is fine. No gender is superior, there are awesome boys and girls.

TrueWiiMaster

#21

TrueWiiMaster said:

Eh, I think the whole "girls can only relate to girl characters" thing, and vice versa, is ridiculous. I mean, did tons of boys have problems with Samus? Or Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark? Or Bayonetta? I understand that the vast majority of games star male characters, but I don't believe that excludes girls from feeling like they're in the hero's shoes. It wasn't long ago that this site featured an award winning short video about a girl who felt she became Link when she played, even though Link's a guy. To praise someone for changing the game as if such immersion wasn't possible for a girl doesn't make any sense.

theblackdragonAdmin

#22

theblackdragon said:

Confusing? How can this possibly make anything less confusing for her? I kinda agree with Link-hero on this one. He's not doing his daughter any favors by having done this for her; someday she's going to realize he's been feeding her lies this entire time. Do you all remember how you felt when you were told that Santa and the Easter Bunny weren't real, and how you reacted toward the person who revealed the news to you? How you felt toward people dressing up as them during the seasons? How it turns off the 'magic'? I'd hate for her to eventually associate such feelings with a solid video game series like The Legend of Zelda.

There's no point in sugarcoating the idea that Link is male or trying to pretend the world of gaming isn't dominated by males. He is what he is, and we can't change the past. What we can do is focus on the future, voice our desire for solid female protagonists in video games, and do our best to support them when they arise.

Haxonberik

#23

Haxonberik said:

@theblackdragon @link-hero Nice to know people share my opinion, she will probably feel very bad when she knows she had been told a lie, kinda like Santa. But please? Who actually thought the Easter bunny was real?

SuperKMx

#26

SuperKMx said:

Did he also overdub Back to The Future and Ghostbusters because the stars were men?

Just wondering.

Zombie_Barioth

#27

Zombie_Barioth said:

I think its kinda sweet how he went to the trouble of changing everything for his daughter, kids have really active imaginations and she was bound to make up stories about being the hero but this way she can really be in the story.

@Link-Hero Thats because its overzealous censorship, not just little things like 16-bit blood but the likes of which 4kids was famous for.

I agree though shes bound to become a big Zelda fan so she will eventually find out the truth so why hide it and shes going to look awful foolish telling her friends Link is a girl, there are better ways to make her fell empowered than censoring video games. What about the rest of the vast games and movies out there?

Tasuki

#30

Tasuki said:

Wow thats great. The things that parents will do for their kids.

I just have one question though. Sorry if this is the wrong place but how come if someone starts a thread about hacks or emulation it gets locked or remove yet here's an article about a guy who hacked a game.

Link-Hero

#31

Link-Hero said:

@theblackdragon

Yes. Thank you. When I found out that Santa, the Easter Bunny, monsters, ect, were not real, the magic and enjoyment for those holidays drained significantly making me slowly stop caring about those holidays.

You know what would have been better then changing an already existing game? By making your own Zelda like game but make Link a girl instead. You can easily change the story/other characters/whatever to your liking to be more centric around girls or something like that.

Doing this will show how much he loves his daughter by making something she will love for years but yet not force lies onto her.

shinpichu

#32

shinpichu said:

@Link-Hero
Changing texture/text files on a disc is significantly easier than making a full game.

Also, just out of curiosity, if you had kids, would you let them think Santa is real?

Link-Hero

#33

Link-Hero said:

@shinpichu

No, I wouldn't. I hate it when people lie to me, so why would want to do that to my children (that is, if I ever have any)?

theblackdragonAdmin

#34

theblackdragon said:

@Link-Hero: exactly! RPGMaker has been around for a long, long time, and y'know what? Making up adventure stories for your kids has been around even longer still. Shoot, making up a story about a little girl running around and saving the world for your own little girl would be a truly wonderful gift that she'd cherish for her entire life — and maybe she'd even pass it down to her own kids someday, or some other special children that come into her life eventually. Not a hacked version of an existing video game.

shinpichu

#35

shinpichu said:

@Link-Hero
I see. I wasn't trying to imply anything about you, so I hope I didn't give the wrong idea.

@theblackdragon
Like I said, hacking a game is significantly easier than creating one on your own(though I figure that goes with saying). Maybe he just doesn't have the skill/creativity to come up with his own game/story.

piojito_O

#36

piojito_O said:

That is one thoughtful and dedicated father. =)

Being forced to play as a male character never bothered me, personally. The only times I choose the female role is when there's an option to marry a pretty boy. XD -falconpawnched-

Not sure how well it will work out for his daughter, but he had good intentions.
mayhaps, if more parents followed that kind of mentality, it would help cut down on stereotypical (shoe hoarding,princessy brats) girls; ugh I'm sorry but I just find that to be such a pointless/superficial/waste of a life.
Although my dad's efforts to raise me that way,^ was what lead me to kinda stray from those things, ironically enough.

theblackdragonAdmin

#37

theblackdragon said:

@shinpichu: if he had the knowledge to hack a game like that, surely he could've given RPGMaker a whirl. i'm sorry, but I don't see that as a valid excuse, and I hope his little girl isn't too bothered when she finds out that Link is really a boy, that he has been and (probably) always will be one.

Intrepid

#38

Intrepid said:

@Morphtroid I laughed so hard when you mentioned that! I'm suprised everyone is being so civil.

In my opinion, it was nice that her father did this, but it is unnessecary. Video games, as a medium, have always been typically male centric, because more men than women play video games. As such, the protagonist is also usually a male. Things have changed since then, though. Girls can now be the female character in Pokemon instead of being a boy (though personally, I have not met a single girl player during the red/blue games that ever thought it was a big deal). I feel that for girls that play games with male characters, it isn't really a problem because they appreciate it for what it is: A story about a person doing something. They can relate to the person in other ways that stretch beyond gender, and can also just find other aspects about a game to like. Does the reader of a book or the watcher of a movie like it any less because it is about someone of the opposite gender? No. I see plenty of girls cosplay as Link instead of Zelda, and Mario instead of Peach.

grimbldoo

#39

grimbldoo said:

In Twilight Princess, I almost thought that link was a girl for some reason. My sister had already started the game with her own name, so when I walked into the room, I saw link being referred to as a female and thought that he was one :P. Then I realized that it was Link, started my own file, and had fun :D.

@theblackdragon #22
My parents didn't even tell me about Santa so by the time I got into elementary school and found out about him, I knew he wasn't real...Christmas is still fun for me >:3.

@shipichu #35
That is why TBD recommended RPGMaker. It allows you make an RPG easily.

Void

#41

Void said:

I dunno.. I imagine it will just confuse her in the long run when she makes friends who are gamers.

Link-Hero

#43

Link-Hero said:

@shinpichu

He could just copy and paste any of the Zelda storyline's. None of them are really that complex. You can easily change/apply whatever you want without being too different from any of the games in the series.

Programs like RPGMaker are made so coding is not 100% required. If you do need to change any coding, there are simple guides online that you can use.

If you're not an artist, it comes with pre-installed graphics so you don't have to make your own. If you want to make the game look more like a Zelda game, you can go online and find Zelda graphic templates that other people made.

If he puts this much effort to changing a game, I'm sure he can put a little more in making his own.

shinpichu

#44

shinpichu said:

@Link-Hero
Hm. I wasn't aware RPGMaker was capable of making Zelda-type games. You learn something new every day, I guess.

Anyway, regardless of what anyone thinks of this particular instance, I think making it possible to pick between a male or female Link(or just having a female Link) in a future, official Zelda game wouldn't be a bad idea.

mamp

#46

mamp said:

@theblackdragon
While I agree with your statement I also don't believe anyone's life has ever been destroyed by finding out Santa wasn't real and I'm pretty sure no one gave up on Christmas because Santa's fake. What I'm saying is that it's the people you share those moments with that make it magical. I think it's a kinda special that a dad would do this for his daughter, how many dads out there would do something like that for their kids?

I remember Miyamoto saying something about Link's name being that way so the players could feel that connection to the character. I think this guy just found a flaw in his statement

theblackdragonAdmin

#47

theblackdragon said:

@mamp: I wasn't saying her life would be destroyed, I was suggesting that some of the 'magic' of the Zelda series would be lost upon the revelation that she'd never played the real game. If he'd made up a Zelda game for her entirely (or made up a new Zelda story) where Link was a girl, that'd be one thing, but he modified an existing game and is passing it off to her as the real thing. Rewriting established gaming history just because we don't like it does nothing to help empower female gamers.

grimbldoo

#50

grimbldoo said:

@mamp #47
We may never know if he actually found a flaw or not because he acted without his daughter previously experiencing the game.

Damien Mcferran wrote:

Doting father Mike Hoye didn't want his daughter Maya to face this problem.

It doesn't say, "to face this problem any longer," it says, "to face this problem."

DarkNinja9

#51

DarkNinja9 said:

if she was a true gamer she wouldnt let the main role characters's gender get in the way she be more focus on how the game and gameplay is -.-

so in other words the dad is the one with the prob but good for him i guess... but its nice how the parent has to hide things and lie to there kids you know cuz thats way better example for them just look at lindsay lohan ;)

another thing i dont see how the whole games out there are just "males" there is games with female roles out there and us guys play them and we dont complain about how we need a male character for that game instead -.-

Maskeraid

#52

Maskeraid said:

Well, if he gets to genderbend link in this game to show that women can be heroes, then I say we gender bend ganondorf to show her women can be villains too. He already wears curlers in twighlight princess, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch. :P

nindocrash

#54

nindocrash said:

If there's somewhat of a comic book, reference here,
then this is just normal alternate reality. so this is fine by me.

WiiLovePeace

#57

WiiLovePeace said:

I don't think the gender of the character in game means anything. They don't move on their own, I control the character thus I am the character in the game, regardless of their sexual organs, it makes no difference its still a game & all for fun.

ToxieDogg

#58

ToxieDogg said:

This is absurd.

What's this guy going to do next? Reshoot parts of action movies with female actors then edit them back into the original movies to make his daughter think that the main characters were women?

A complete waste of the guy's time and effort, IMHO.

Mr_Nose

#59

Mr_Nose said:

Please don't post specifics, and no, it's not okay to post in support of piracy, hacking, and emulation as per our Community Rules. Thanks in advance! — TBD

zezhyrule

#60

zezhyrule said:

Maybe try playing a good game with an actual female lead? Or uh, does it really matter? Well I guess Link does make a pretty good girl.

Zombie_Barioth

#61

Zombie_Barioth said:

I wonder just how old she is, if her dad is this over protective she must be pretty young. Who knows she might not even be able to remember her dad's version of Wind Waker when shes older.

At any rate being over protective is just as bad if not worse than trying to turn your daughter into a girly-girl and burying her in dolls and dresses. Rather than editing games he should be showing her real games with real heroines like Samus Aran, Shantae, or Claire Redfield.

shinpichu

#62

shinpichu said:

@SirGreatNose
Lol at people who still think emulation and romhacking are always the same thing as piracy.

Also, so making fangames is okay, but romhacking isn't?

KingDunsparce

#63

KingDunsparce said:

After thinking through it, why does it really matter if they make Link a girl anyways? Games with male roles should be played with male roles while female roles should be played as female. Playing as a boy shouldn't really matter and this is kind of a form of censorship.

Mr_Nose

#64

Mr_Nose said:

@shinpichu Not at all, been a fan for years. I loves me some homebrew, too.

I just think it's funny how taboo these things are on certain sites, yet the author of this piece is ready to hand the guy an award for tailoring his daughter's world, to prevent her from having a male role model in a video game.

Sam_Loser2

#65

Sam_Loser2 said:

Seem a little over-board. Kinda bothers me. It would also bother me if Chell from Portal was made a male.

Wilford111

#67

Wilford111 said:

I don't see why so many people are getting worked up over this. I really don't think it's as big as Santa or the Easter Bunny. What's the big deal?

LittleKing

#68

LittleKing said:

Oh, I see. Being a dad is completely censoring things that don't need to be censored and lying to your children about the true sex of the heroes in the games they play. :p

I doubt his daughter would grow up thinking only boys could be heroes. If she would, editing one game isn't going to prevent that. How about just explaining the concept to her that you don't have to be male to be heroic? To me, Link is a blank slate, so it doesn't really matter what sex he is; he's just supposed to represent the player in the game, and his sex is never made a big deal. If anything, this just makes it a little easier for her to connect to Link. Also keep in mind that Tetra already exists in the game, and she's pretty cool. In fact, I find her more interesting than Link since she's less of a blank slate. It's not like the game contains 100% males.

I have to agree with TBD that rewriting old games does nothing. It's like killing off a superhero to change him to another race/sex to fight against racism/sexism. Isn't that racist/sexist in itself? These characters were created as males, for whatever reason, and should remain that way. No one should force them into getting a sex change just because they think it's sexist that the hero is whatever sex they are; that's just reverse sexism. We've just flipped the coin. Instead, if you want more female leads in games, speak up, but don't rewrite the gaming history books.

Also, I hope he made Ganon a female too, then, to show her than not all villains are male; to balance things out. Instead of male vs male, many games would become female vs male. I think she'd get warped just as much from that. Plus, he has to make Tetra a male pirate/prince, fulfilling other stereotypes in the process. Switching roles solves nothing at all.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I hate the guy. I just think he's going about his business the wrong way. Either way, though, you have to give him credit for going through all that trouble. :)

chiptoon

#69

chiptoon said:

I don't buy that there's anything wrong with this. So she might have a different view of Zelda than some of you do. I don't think it means that she'll necessarily like it less. And if she does I don't think that matters either. I think that she'll grow up knowing that she can do whatever she wants in the world, and that she doesn't have to accept the way things are presented to her. That's a great lesson for anyone. Its a lesson that took me 33 years to learn. Which is a lot of wasted time.

Games played by kids will form part of their subconscious worldview (along with everything else they absorb), which will guide everything that they do in life. And games are strongly connected with empowerment. That is more important than anything.

AyatollaofRock

#71

AyatollaofRock said:

It's interesting. I don't know if the Dad's driving this or if the daughter did actually want to be able to play as a girl. I'm sure if she just gave Link a girls name that would have been enough.

From my point of view though rescuing the princess is a pretty typical theme that I don't feel we should need to retroactively dismantle on the basis of current thoughts on gender. I mean many of these characters and stories are designed by men and are a natural expression of the people that created them.

I do wonder what a zelda style game created from a female perspective with a female hero would be like. I imagine it would differ somewhat from the typical zelda story and not just be a simple gender switch of characters.

Popyman

#72

Popyman said:

This is both charming and gross--just like Santa. I can see his reasons and kind of respect them on one level but when you get down to it...it it alright to lie like that? It rubs me the wrong way, always has.

EaZy_T

#73

EaZy_T said:

The general response to this is really quite sad.

Why wouldn't a father want his daugter to more easily relate to the hero of the story?
Also, he is reading the dialogue to her, so she is quite young.

Gamesake

#74

Gamesake said:

Santa brings you toys if you're nice, Link is a girl, Playstaytion is a good console--enough with the harmful lies! People need to quit misleading each other and start living in the REAL world.

Zombie_Barioth

#75

Zombie_Barioth said:

@EaZy_T @chiptoon

Its not the motive its the method. Hes reading everything to her so shes obviously young enough to need his help in that regard but at the same time probably doesn't care if the hero is a boy or not. She relied on him to understand the story yet he was still actively changing it on the fly. Thats a form of censorship and despite the good intentions deceitful and overprotective.

This in no way helps her relate to Link or any other character for that matter, and for all we know she might actually think thats the story for Wind Waker. This could be a cherished, nostalgic memory for her and hes ruining it with lies and deception.

Frapp

#76

Frapp said:

Having read his recent blog entries I wonder what's more messed up — this guy's head or the amount of people who actually respect him for doing this? It's awful parenting. Lying and censoring like this will likely have adverse effects on his daughter.
Good luck with the parenting, Mr Hoye. I pity your child.

Trikeboy

#77

Trikeboy said:

What a bunch of soulless people on this page. Mommy and Daddy lied to me about Santa and it crippled me. Blah blah blah... GROW UP!!! We have all been there, and we lived. Do I resent my parents for a little white lie? no. Will I tell my kids about Santa Claus? Yes. Do you know your Grandparents believed in Santa Claus when they were kids. OMG!!!! Parents lie, its a fact of life. You can either be a grown up about it and move on or you can become a bitter loser.

This is what the girl will remember in 20, 30 or more years:
1. Her father spent time with her.
2. They had fun together.
3. He tried to teach her important life lessons.
4. There was something they were able to bond over.

It doesn't matter that she is playing a Zelda game as a girl, what matters in the long run is her dad was there for her and they had quality times together. He went out of his way to modify a game so she could relate more to it. What will she fondly remember years from now at his funeral? "Daddy lied to me about a game character" or "My Daddy loved me"? In an age of absentee fathers, this guy is one of the best fathers around right now and I applaud him for what he has done. Most fathers think a weekly trip to McDonalds is being a father, they are sorely mistaken. Giving your child fond memories of you and being there are the best thing a parent can do.

In response to Haxonberik, who on here played the original Metroid when it came out on the NES? Nobody thought Samus was a girl until the end of the game where her gender is revealed. You all survived that. This little girl will be able to survive finding out Link was a boy.

Adam

#80

Adam said:

Making a game with RPG Maker takes fewer technical skills but more creative skills. The guy can hack a game, doesn't mean he can make one, certainly not of Windwaker quality.

I was not upset when I found out Santa wasn't real. And I can't imagine anyone becoming upset when she finds out her dad put an S in front of a few words.

He didn't do the most amazing thing in the world, but clearly the little girl is enjoying it. I see no reason to poopoo his efforts. One day she will find out, and it will still be the same game, only she will have special memories attached to it that others might not have. It's not like that will suddenly disappear.

Flowerlark

#81

Flowerlark said:

I don't mind always playing as a boy, personally. It's actually nice that my name is Lee- a gender neutral name, so I can name my characters after myself no matter the gender without it being weird or awkward.

aaronsullivan

#82

aaronsullivan said:

A bunch of guys with all the millions of dollars of video game production and advertising aimed squarely at their own preferences vehemently cry foul at a little girl having a few days effort by her dad make her feel like she is a bit more like the hero in her favorite game.

True story.

grimbldoo

#83

grimbldoo said:

@Trikeboy #78
tl;dr. It's not wise to tell others to "grow up" when you are the one on a child-like, upset rant. Do the grown up thing and calm down before you post. Your rudeness only serves to make your targets ignore you.

theblackdragonAdmin

#84

theblackdragon said:

@aaronsullivan: I like how you've lumped everyone who's expressed dissent together as male. After all, only someone with dangly bits could possibly have a problem with this sort of thing.

grimbldoo

#85

grimbldoo said:

aaronsullivan wrote:

a little girl having a few days effort by her dad make her feel like she is a bit more like the hero in her favorite game.

The thing is, she had not played the game before her dad had modded it.

Shiromikio

#86

Shiromikio said:

I'd agree with the camp that says it's nice of the dad, but unnecessary. It's joining a character (whether male, female, alien, object, etc.) on an adventure.

If he feels he should continue with it, good luck. Still, I hope he'll explain to her as soon as she's a little older, give her the option to play the original or modded game, so she doesn't end up in little arguments with other schoolkids about whether a whole parade characters are male/female and then finding out she got different stories. More likely for the memory to be of dad going out of his way to make a game better just for her (she could then play both and decide what she wants), not that dad took a game she liked and made some stupid changes to it so she couldn't play it the way other kids were playing it.

Rect_Pola

#87

Rect_Pola said:

Given how I can't actually think of any female protangonists suitable for a younger demographic, I can see why he's trying and Wind Waker was definitely the Link to do it with. I don't see why'd he flip the sibling's gender too, but whatever. Nowhere does it say how old his daughter is, so she might be in for a surprise down the road. Beyond that, I really don't see a problem. The fact you can swap this particular Link's gender and nothing would change says alot.

WaxxyOne

#88

WaxxyOne said:

Eh. How about leaving the game alone and telling your daughter that gender doesn't matter, hence in this game the hero happens to be a little boy, while in Metroid you get to play as the universe's most awesome bounty hunter who happens to be female?

Now for the sexist test; Flip the genders. What would people be saying about a parent hacking Tomb Raider to replace Lara Croft with a male character because they didn't want their son to play as a female in a strong, heroic role? I bet you wouldn't be giving them your admiration then. Double standard, indeed.

Trikeboy

#91

Trikeboy said:

@grimbldoo You tell me to grow up when there are dozens of childish posts? OK, my first paragraph was kind of a rant but I stand by the rest of the post.

BulbasaurusRex

#92

BulbasaurusRex said:

Who says he hasn't already told her he's a boy in the real game and that this is just a special modification he made just for her?

Anyway, he'd better not try it with Skyward Sword, or the romantic undertones are really going to confuse her.

grimbldoo

#93

grimbldoo said:

@Trikeboy #88
Yes, the fact that you are justifying yourself in that other people had posted similarly does not boast maturity.

I do, however, agree with your third paragraph, and I believe that TBD, Link-Hero, and Haxonberik would agree as well, but it is not what we are arguing about. It is easy to take that from Link-Hero's comments, but he was simply stating that she would end up disappointed when she figured out that her favorite game was not all that she thought it was. I refer you to comments #22 and #48, both by TBD, to further back my statement.

Trikeboy

#94

Trikeboy said:

@grimbldoo why would she feel disappointed? She got a (slightly) customised game made especially for her by her father. She has an unofficial special edition technically. She finds out that others play Link as a boy, to her, they are the oddity.

This topic does raise a good question though. Which games, where there is no option to select the protagonists gender, would work with only changing the gender and pronouns? Quite a lot actually. How much would change if Mario was female or if Samus was male? I wouldn't play the game any different. Lara Croft could be changed to a guy. Lets face it, Uncharted is basically Tomb Raider and the idea behind Tomb Raider was essentially Indiana Jones. If I put Drake into Tomb Raider, would the game change? What if I gender swapped Fox and Krystal from Star Fox, would that change how the game plays?

Game developers should allow gamers to choose gender now genders are equal. Back in the 80's not many girls were gamers, which is why most of the early protagonists were male. Now it is just as normal as boys for girls to be gamers. My girlfriend is a serious gamer too and she always, if given the option, chooses a female character. Give Mario a sister, let Link be a girl etc.

Adam

#95

Adam said:

Hacking Lara Croft would be pointless. There are thousands of games starring men. There are not a ton of epic adventure games starring little girls. Double standards don't apply because this is not a standard.

The girl wants to play Zelda. She wants to pretend to be the main character. This man went to unnecessary lengths to make that work for her. No one here got hurt.

grimbldoo

#96

grimbldoo said:

@Trikeboy #94
Since you have already read all of the comments, you already know the explanation as to why she would be disappointed.

Yes, all of those characters would be fine as the opposite sex if they had started out that way. I would be genuinely upset Samus was changed into a male.

SanderEvers

#97

SanderEvers said:

Untitled

;)

Well, most RPG like games nowadays lets you chose to be either a boy or girl in the game, though that wouldn't really work for games like Zelda. But there is enough choice...

Schprocket

#98

Schprocket said:

Untitled

So how many of the nay-sayers are actually parents?

You all seem to be answering from your own injured and/or clinical perspectives, none of which are any more right than they are wrong.

Calling this censorship, whilst it seems apt, is possibly the most ludicrous application of the word I've seen.

Any discussion about the long-term effects on this guy's daughter are pure time-wasting conjecture and probably more about personal hurt which should have been long dealt with.

This particular Dad loves his daughter enough to provide a choice for her to identify with and for that I admire the guy.

After all it's a game, for crying out loud, not a belief in some ritualistic childhood untruth and certainly not one perpetuated for a lifetime.

(Well I should have checked my facts about Coca-Cola inventing the modern Santa first so this tail-piece has been edited with the link to reflect that :) )

theblackdragonAdmin

#99

theblackdragon said:

@schprocket, et. al — he's not providing her with a choice. he's no different from Nintendo having made Link male, as he's made him female and given her no other option. His stance is that he's doing it because girls deserve to be the hero too, and we do — but not at the expense of gaming history. He's sugarcoating the harsh reality for her, and it's not doing her any favors at all. Is he going to go through every popular movie and redub it so that the male protagonists have female voices and are referred to as female too? Or is he going to go through all of the TV shows she's going to watch later on and do the same? How about all the books she's going to read? Will he edit all her magazines too?

I've seen a couple people say that she'll grow up and be thankful that her father spent so much time with her and blah-blah-blah — did you not read the part where he says he did this so that he wouldn't have to translate everything for her on the fly anymore? He's done this so that he doesn't have to spend so much time with her, he can sit her in front of the game and let her go without worrying that she'll read a male pronoun in reference to her player character. Good luck when she grows up a bit and decides she wants to try a game he doesn't have the ability to illegally hack.

I agree with the people saying that there's no reason for everyone to not have a choice with regards to male or female player characters, and yes, most of them are completely interchangeable. But going back through gaming history to gender-swap, are you going to go back through your kid's history books and make half of our presidents female too in order to show strong female character IRL? You can't go behind and clean up afterthefact just because you don't like what's been done. She'll know the truth someday. This is only delaying the inevitable realization for the female gamer.

topics like these only serve to raise my blood pressure, so i'm out of this thread. make of my statements what you will and assume what you please, I no longer care to reply to any of it.

KiwiPanda

#100

KiwiPanda said:

I think that it's a fine thing to do. I'm still pretty young, and IMO, if the father's daughter is anything like me and the people I know, she won't hang onto a protagonist's gender rather than thinking about the main storyline and overall game itself. When someone reviews a game, they don't take away some points because they don't like the fact that the hero is a male or a female (or at least not a reviewer I know of), they assess what it has in it. When I talk about video games at my middle school, whether the hero is a woman or a male never comes up, it's what you get to do that is the bigger topic, along with the occasional talk about music, visuals, and achievements, none of which involve the star, very much. His daughter should play some Zelda games that aren't hacked, with a male being the hero. When she realizes what's what, there's no big deal; she still has an awesome game to play. I don't see anything bad about changing the gender, though, just nothing really game or life changing, either.

Gamesake

#101

Gamesake said:

@grimbldoo Samus Aran was originally a man. They changed his gender during development of the first game. Good thing too, seeing as how upsetting it would have been for you.

Frapp

#102

Frapp said:

Blackdragon raised some very valid points in her first and second paragraphs. No one has questioned why he feels the need to translate anything for her? At age 3 children's imaginations are extremely robust and I'm sure the thought would never have occurred to her that "girls can't be the hero." Girls role-playing abilities are incredibly strong, especially in their early years. I certainly never had any desire or need to do the same for my kids when they were growing up. Quite the opposite.
Mr Hoye's thoughts and actions scream 'control freak' to me. Furthermore, for a so-called "self-confessed Zelda nut", his choice of games is a shocker [though, it's my favourite Zelda by far]: that's a lovely ending he's got planned for little three year old Maya – can't have her imagining herself controlling a male hero, but it's ok for her to plunge a sword into the villains head at the end.

Trikeboy

#104

Trikeboy said:

@grimbldoo Sorry but I haven't seen an explanation. I see a lot of childish debate. As a father myself I can understand where this guy came from.

theblackdragonAdmin

#105

theblackdragon said:

@Trikeboy: I hope one day you can understand where I'm coming from, because right now you are either willfully ignorant or woefully mistaken. Or you could be just stirring the pot because you can, idk. I haven't yet decided which.

Trikeboy

#106

Trikeboy said:

Wow, I'm so glad I am not cynical of the good that can exist in this world. Why must everyone speculate on the negative? Maybe she will grow up to be hate filled because one game character got gender swapped by her evil father who tried to stuff her into a bubble. On the other hand, she could shake it off like a normal human being and not let playing the Legend of Zelda as a girl ruin her entire life.

grimbldoo

#107

grimbldoo said:

@Gamesake #101
Yes, I know that, but how many games have they made since then?

@Trikeboy
I see you did not read one of TBD's comments. Never did she state that the child would be devastated, only possibly upset.
You sir, are victimizing yourself just because you are a father and we are disagreeing with this father's actions. Knock it off.

LittleKing

#108

LittleKing said:

@Frapp I thought that too, regarding the ending of WW.

@Schprocket

So how many of the nay-sayers are actually parents?

Probably two in ten? I'm not one.

Calling this censorship, whilst it seems apt, is possibly the most ludicrous application of the word I've seen.

Not really. To censor is to simply remove or alter parts of something you dislike. He couldn't deal with Link being male so he censored this fact by making him female through a hack.

Any discussion about the long-term effects on this guy's daughter are pure time-wasting conjecture ...

I agree with this. I don't agree with the personal problems part, though.

provide a choice

Where does it say he explained to his daughter that Link was male but that females could be heroes, then asked her whether or not she wanted her father to hack the game to make Link female? I'm pretty sure his daughter would've just chosen to play the game, rather than have her father bother with this.

After all it's a game, for crying out loud, not a belief in some ritualistic childhood untruth and certainly not one perpetuated for a lifetime.

It's not just about the game, it's about the concept.


This was also one of the worst games to do this to. God knows it's not hard to convince anyone to think Link is female to begin with, especially considering he never talks. All he did was prevent his daughter from hearing the word "lad" a few times. Yep. You know, because hearing/reading the word "lad" completely breaks the realism in a narrative where the sex of the character makes no difference whatsoever.

It's not like I think the guy's evil or something, and I don't think it matters at the end of the day whether or not he did this. In fact, I think that's the point; it doesn't matter. Yes, heroism and strength are connected to males in gaming. Most gaming heroes are male. Changing a few words in a game with a main character who's sex is wholly unimportant won't do squat. It's not like they bombard the player with references to Link's sex! In fact, by screwing up the script but not changing the assets you make things more confusing. If this happened to me and I didn't know, the first thing I'd do is ask why Link's little "brother" is a girl. Not helping things.

Trikeboy

#109

Trikeboy said:

@grimbldoo I have read every single one of the comments on this thread actually. I think she will be fine when she learns the truth about Link, you don't, TBD doesn't and others don't. All discussion, on both sides, is purely speculation. Children are more resilient than people give them credit for.

Henmii

#111

Henmii said:

Lol! I think what he did was totally unnecesary!! She could just enjoy it the way it was!

DrDaisy

#112

DrDaisy said:

I wonder if Nintendo will ever make Link's gender optional like the heroes of the Fable (after the first one) and Mass Effect games. It would be so totally worth all the misogynistic fanboy rage that would be sure to surface from backward gamers.

Joygame51

#114

Joygame51 said:

Hey , what about Santa???? You mean I'm nearly 60 years old and someone is telling me that I have been lied about Santa??? OH COME ON...., Santa is real.
I have known about Santa being a SAINT for a long time whats the lie ...that he is a fat guy in a red suit ? Next you will be telling me MARIO was not a PLUMBER and gommbas do not exist in the real world ? NO NO NO !

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