A man whose daughter enjoys video games has released a lovely hack for the game Zelda: Windwaker in which all of the gender pronouns have been switched, thusly creating an environment that allows his young girl to be the hero and cementing himself as the Greatest Dad in History. This simple trick allowed a bit more gender equality - or flipping, in this case, in an industry where it's incredibly rare for a woman character to save the day. Here with Zelda, the graphics already supported the idea that the boy needed saving and the girl did the saving - all this man had to do was switch some words around.
Of course no hack is ever as easy as it looks, and doing this sort of switch-up required a bit of the ol' Dolphin emulator to make it happen. For those of you interested in creating a bit more of a positive place for girls to be superstars, head over to the "Blarg?" post here to do it. In the words of the creator of this modified environment:
"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."
The creator of this vision for the future goes by the name Mike Hoye and was interviewed this week by Daily Dot, asked there about not just the game, but his daughter's playing of video games as well. Hoye speaks on how he's both scared and encouraged by his young one growing up in our modern technologically futuristic world.
"It's more than a little scary. But it's also pretty inspiring, to see how fast she learns and grows. The situation in tech now is, depending on what corner of that world you're in, either "kind of bad" or "extraordinarily bad." but it's also changing. But those changes don't just magically happen. So on the one hand, yes— I've had that in mind while I did this, and it feels like it was valuable work as a result.
On the other hand, this is also something I'm doing just for Maya, hopefully to make her a little bit happy this year, and maybe in a few years when she has a better sense of what's going on, to show her that the culture around software isn't carved in stone any more than the software itself is."
Keep that in mind, folks, when you're thinking your device, game, or anything in-between is stuck on crappy mode. Make it better! And let us know about it, too!