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]