Gender issues weren't really a concern when I played Zelda back in the day. Link, the main character in the classic Nintendo game, was just a blob on the screen with a sword and a shield -- Link was more an "it" than a "he" or a "she." But these days, with all dem der fancy technological advances, it's evident on the new Zelda games (as I'm learning) that Link is a boy. He's a he, and one dad isn't thrilled about.
After Mike Hoye tried fruitlessly to change the pronouns on the screen from male to female to help his daughter visualize herself as the heroic Link, he did what only awesome, feminist dads would do: he hacked into Zelda and made Link a girl.
Here's how he described it on his blog:
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.
Stop it. How thoughtful and loving and determined is this guy?
In case you're some tech wizard, or know one, Hoye details how to switch Link from a girl to a boy in step-by-step instructions, but be forewarned. It's mucho complicated. He lost me in the first paragraph where he uses such big time tech words like "GameCube" and "download."
In any event, this story just warms my heart. Little girls can be named Link, little girls can rescue the good guys from the dragons, and little girls can be heroes.
Onward! (Raises sword and shield, sticks out elfin shoe, and starts to march.)
How sweet is this?
Photo via Kamikaze Stoat/Flickr