Dad Hacks Zelda So Link Can Be Anyone, Not Just A Boy

Dad Hacks Zelda So Link Can Be Anyone, Not Just A Boy

Reader Tony has a young daughter who, fingers crossed, will soon grow up to play the classics. And when she moves onto The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, he's got a little surprise waiting for her.

Aware that as a young boy he got to play through his favourite Zelda games as...a young boy, Tony — inspired by Kenna W's "Zelda saves Link" hack — has dug into A Link To The Past and "replaced every instance of Link's male pronouns with gender-neutral language." Just in case his daughter wants to do the same thing.

It's a fairly simple flip. "Since Link's graphical appearance in A Link to the Past is fairly androgynous to begin with," Tony says, "the only aspect of the game that needed to be 'fixed' was all of the in-game dialogue referring to Link as a boy."

I combed through all of the in-game text and replaced every instance of Link's male pronouns with gender-neutral language. To prevent introducing any bugs or glitches in the game, I had to use words with the exact same number of characters; "boy" and "son" were easily replaced with "kid," but I had to get a little creative in other instances. Since I couldn't replace "he" with "she," I went with the Old English "ye," which I think works in the context of Link serving as an avatar for the actual game player.

Dad Hacks Zelda So Link Can Be Anyone, Not Just A Boy

An example of the changes Tony made to the game.

So why gender-neutral and not gender-swapped, since the game was originally conceived for his daughter? Because in making the hack available for everyone, it's for everyone, not just his daughter.

"I believe that the public conversation to date on gender-swapped video game hacks has left out the transgendered community and others whose gender identities are more complicated than the simple binary 'male' or 'female'," Tony tells Kotaku.

"In my gender-neutral hack of A Link to the Past, although Zelda remains female, the protagonist character of Link controlled by the player (and whom the player is supposed to most closely identify with) is completely gender-neutral and can embody whatever gender the player brings to the game."


Comments

    What a pointless mod. Link is canonically a guy anyway, so what's it matter?
    When I play a game and the main character is a guy, I am him.
    When I play a game and the main character is a girl, I am her.

    If the father thinks his daughter can't play a game where the main character is a male, then maybe he isn't raising her right.

      spot on.

      I'm getting really annoyed how everyone is getting so pc now days, It's starting to become a joke.

    This seems like alot of work for something that isn't a big deal...i mean Link isn't Trans he is a GUY

      I get why it is done, but I am with you, I don't think it needs to be done. Link is a guy, and he is saving a princess. It's the story that is told.
      Thinking it needs to be changed this way is but 2 steps away from turning princess zelda with flowing locks and dress into (my mind is drawing a blank on how exactly you would make a princess gender neutral) because having the mcguffin be a princess implies that women need saving from male brutality and down the slippery slope we go.

      The need to change existing narratives to accommodate the current state of things is selfish at best. If a team of writers decide a trans-gendered or bisexual or identifies as a wolf person character is more fitting for a particular role in a story then more power to them, if they fill a role with a standard male/female character don't instantly assume that it is done out of contempt for people with a less traditional sexual or gender identity. Also don't assume that it is done out of laziness either, straight white male and female people exist in the world, go out and ask around, the push to have every character embody minorities simply because they are minorities is stupid.

      Thought process shouldn't go "we don't have a black guy yet, let's put one in"
      It should be more "we need a character, foreign preferably so that we can add a second language" - "how bout african?" - "hey, sounds good, maybe a prisoner of war, adds a shady past thread we can pull on for character development"

        Like okay...but what about the vast majority of human beings who don't get represented in "the story that is told"?

        He didn't say that the devs made Link a boy out of spite to everyone else, he just changed it and made it available to everyone so that if someone wants a more representative player avatar they can have it. Also he combed through and changed everything so it doesn't affect the story at all. Also you don't have to play it. Also he's not selling it. Also it's not for you.

          That's kind of my point though, a story needn't try to represent everyone, it is an expression of the writers (and often interfering publishers granted) and a conscious choice was made to have Link be male.

          Dark Souls, Pokemon, Mass Effect, World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls/Fallout, Splatoon etc all offer an avatar system, Link isn't an avatar, he is a crafted character whose motivations are determined by the story being told.

          I don't disagree with the reasons why he chose to take the time to make the mod, it is quite sweet and loving as a father to do this for your child, I simply don't think it is needed in order to enrich the game that is nigh on perfect to begin with. And on another note, is it not more empowering to play LTTP then go outside with a stick pretending to be Link regardless of whether you are a guy or a girl? especially given the sheer amount of Link crossplay :P

            Stories...shouldn't try to represent everyone....is that what you're saying? I think we fundamentally disagree. I'm not saying there should be one story that represents every single person ever but I think there should be groups of media that represent different people for sure. That way when a little girl wants to play a fantasy game she doesn't have to be a man.

            Also, as an aside; how much of Link's character is based on the fact that people call him "he"? I've never played the Zelda games but from what I know homeboy is totally silent all the time. He swings a sword. He saves a princess. The story of the game that the devs were trying to tell isn't based around the fact that he's a boy, it's clearly not established through the game except in the pronouns (otherwise this guy's mod wouldn't be possible). There's no reason FOR Link to be a guy and there's no reason for Link to be anything else except that this one dad wanted his daughter to be able to identify with the protagonist of a game.

            And yeah!!! I totally agree with you I do think it's empowering to play a game and then identify with a character so much that you go outside and play as that character. This guy is making it easier for his daughter to do that without her having to remove herself from the character by Link arbitrarily being a dude.

              Except all reference material make by the creator of the game references Link as male.
              Nice to see that never playing the game makes you an expert in the game.

                Mate I never said I was an expert about Zelda, and as far as I'm concerned reference materials aren't part of the actual game. This kid isn't gonna read the official nintendo guide to LTTP while she's playing the game. Why does everyone throw such a fit when you suggest that games can and should be interpreted differently to how creators intended

                edit: also, what I said was there's no in-game reason for Link to be a male. Reference material by creators isn't an in-game reason. I'm not saying that Mario is a girl but I am saying that Mario could be a girl and the game would play the same and be easier for girls to identify with. Why is that so contentious

                Last edited 23/02/16 12:26 am

                  as far as I'm concerned reference materials aren't part of the actual game.
                  Here's the main issue I have with your arguement. As is becoming the norm for people like yourself, if something does not agree with YOUR interpretation of events, it doesn't exist. Well sorry to be the one to bring REALITY into this, but these things DO EXIST and are more valid that what YOU BELIEVE IN.

                  This kid isn't gonna read the official nintendo guide to LTTP while she's playing the game.
                  You know what, I agree with this. Not everyone is going to be reading guides and other materials during their time playing the game. However, just because she is not going to read them does not mean they don't exist.

                  Why does everyone throw such a fit when you suggest that games can and should be interpreted differently to how creators intended
                  Because that's not how the world works! You don't go to JK Rowling and say "Harry Potter is female because that's how I interpret the story in my mind". You don't go to Joss Whedon and say "Those Avengers up on the screen are female in my mind because that's how I see the movie". So why is it ok to go up to a video game creator, who has put out the information on THEIR characters, THEIR creations, and tell them that THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY CREATED?

                  Link, from INCEPTION, has been referenced as MALE. Why do you want to push that to be re-written for YOUR PERSONAL interpretation decades after the fact has been cemented in stone!?

                  there's no in-game reason for Link to be a male. Reference material by creators isn't an in-game reason.
                  Yes it is! The creator designed the character, story, gameplay, everything that is involved in this game. If they say that Link is male, then they are male because it's THEIR story being told. Don't agree? Then go create a story where everything is gender neutral and see how that works out.

                  In THIER game, the creator is god. END OF STORY. If they say something is a particular way, then that is how it is. You have no discourse in how the story is written. Interpretation is meaningless in SET FICTION

                  Here's the original manual, take a read: http://legendsoflocalization.com/media/the-legend-of-zelda/manuals/ZeldaNESManual.pdf

                  I'm not saying that Mario is a girl but I am saying that Mario could be a girl and the game would play the same and be easier for girls to identify with.
                  Mario is a male. However if you want to swap Peach with Mario, yes in a technical sense the game would play the same... But that's the nature of game mechanics.

              nexi said a story, singular, doesn't need to represent everyone. You took it and generalised it as stories, plural, which is different to what was said. nexi is saying the mistake most writers have made is NOT that they haven't created stories that don't include x/y/z (insert whatever group that hasn't been represented of your choice). The mistake is that they have only created that stories where w is always represented, while x/y/z are token characters are best if included at all. These are very different things.

              Not including a black guy/a female/what have you, should not be something to attack if that's the creator's choice. If the industry as a whole isn't creating stories with these elements, then that's something to have an issue with.

              Something people have understanding is that the LoZ series is at heart is about a boy saving a girl. There's nothing wrong with that story but people now days think there is and believe it's necessary to make Link gender neutral. Focus should be on how we create new stories that represent groups that haven't been represented before. Not try and jury rig existing stories for the sake of being inclusive.

              Last edited 23/02/16 12:55 am

                I think that's a really solid point, we as a community do need to put the onus back in creators' hands to create media that is more representative of marginalised groups and that does not necessitate re-making old media in styles that are beholden to more modern ideals.

                However, I think that in cases where older games have been remade in those styles (such as the one above) that's a good thing. There's no hole being left in the landscape of white/male focused video games or media in general and it's allowing people who have felt marginalised by mainstream games to feel included.

                "Something people have understanding is that the LoZ series is at heart is about a boy saving a girl" I'm not sure I agree and from what I know (admittedly a limited amount) about the series Link could be any gender and the story would play out the same. At no point does Link reference the fact that he's a man. At no point does he introduce himself as a man even! It's not part of his character except for that the creators said it was. They could've just as easily said Link was a girl. I understand that they didn't - I understand that it's their choice. But is it a detriment to the game - or even a fundamentally different experience - to play LTTP with Link as a girl? Or as a gender-neutral person? I don't think Link's gender identity comes into play and I don't think it's necessary to address.

                To be perfectly frank here I think it's a case of people with nostalgic attachment to a game they love being confronted by a different interpretation and rejecting it on instinct rather than critical analysis - which isn't to discredit the arguments made, it's just that everyone is citing outside sources and politics and documentation as reasons that Link has to be male. No-one has said "he has to be male because in the game if he didn't identify as male then x wouldn't happen".

                  I have no problem with this dad hacking the game for these results. His copy of the game, his skills, more power to him. My problem is with the overarching idea that Link's gender as a character doesn't matter in the franchise, and that Nintendo should take a note from this dad, and other examples, and make Link a girl/or have a choice, in future titles. The idea that the gender of a character matters not, while true from a purely game play point of view, is fundamentally wrong in the context of characterisation and world building.

                  I mentioned it below that for all intents and purposes, Link is a crafted character in the same way Mario, Samus, Lara Croft, Master Chief, Gordan Freeman, etc all are. While each Link is a separate character, the last 30 years worth of games has shown us that they're all connected and in essence represent the same entity. This applies to Zelda and Ganon as well. I've made this argument before, say Nintendo allows for the option to be either a boy or girl Link, does this apply to only one game? Do they retcon the entire franchise to say Link was of either gender? What happens now to the very character of Link? Do they simply become the "player character", like in a RPG?

                  While its extremely easy for people wanting our games to be more inclusive to say the gender of characters like Link doesn't matter and should be easily made to change, they often do not realise the background details surrounding said characters and what they represent to not just us the players, but also to the very creators and companies of those characters. Good stories require good characters with well defined traits, this is a universal law. Some of those stories allow us to create a character in our image and play as we would like, others should be through the character the creators intended. These are not interchangeable.

                  Last edited 23/02/16 3:56 am

            Link is NOT a crafted character. He is a mute avatar. No dialogue. No backstory until Ocarina of Time. You could replace him with an anthropomorphic squirrel, and the Zelda games would still play the same. Hell, the whole reason he's called Link is simply because he's the link between the player and the game.

              Characters don't just pop up from thin air. Nor do worlds and and stories. They go through an arduous process before finally finalised. LoZ is no exception. All of the original concept art for LoZ has Link as a boy, because the story Nintendo wanted to tell was boy save girl from evil pig.

              You say you could replace him with an anthropomorphic squirrel and the games will still play the same. I'd argue otherwise. Part of Link's image is that he is a young boy/teen and interactions within the game world are built around that fact. Could you change the game like the dad in this article did to make the games gender neutral? Sure. But then you could also make him like you said an anthropomorphic squirrel and the game would still play the same, but is that still "Link" and are we still playing Zelda?

              While the name Link may have originally been chosen because he's the link between player and game, it's evident that since the first game that Nintendo have built that character up with specific traits as you do with any crafted character. One of those traits is that Link is a boy and after 30 years, there's no sign of Nintendo intending to change that.

                The only specific traits that Nintendo has built up in Link are as follows:
                Is male.
                Wears green tunic and matching hat.
                Primarily uses a sword.
                That's it. That's the character in a nutshell. He has no real personality, no great range of emotion. If you didn't want to substitute him with an anthropomorphic squirrel, you could use the cardboard box from Metal Gear Solid. Furthermore, it's not even the same character for more than 2 or 3 games; Ocarina of Time Link is a not the same Link that was in Twilight Princess, or WindWaker. And those Links were not the ones in Link to the Past, or Skyward Sword. And the next Zelda game could be yet another new Link.

                  Dude, what you described is not even close to everything.

                  Traits of Link are as follows:
                  Brave
                  Big Heart
                  Determined
                  Likes To Fish
                  Makes friends easily
                  Likes to help people

                  THOSE are his traits. This list is what makes Link Link, and that is why changing anything fucks the whole thing up.

                  @Jagji
                  Absolutely anybody could have those traits. Not a single one of those is unique, and couldn't be applied to other characters in other games. In fact, those traits could possibly describe Commander Shephard (whether or not Shephard is a keen fisherman/woman hasn't yet been explored by the series, best to my knowledge). Come to think about it, you just summed up pretty much any RPG character.

              I was gonna say this. Link's gender is so inconsequential, nor is his sexuality - Zelda's interactions (from my experience anyway, I haven't played since Wind Waker) aren't romantic. In fact, Link is so non-masculine that Nintendo had to clarify the newest Link's gender and I never heard anyone say "it's just not going to be a Zelda game if Link is female." Link is not a complex character, Link has virtually no personality and only a tiny amount of motivations. His defining characteristic is that he's young, hardly specific or crafted. He was probably made a boy because back in the time of the original, video game protagonists were primarily male.

      I feel like it's a big deal if you're not one of the people represented by mainstream media. This guy wanted his daughter to feel like the player avatar in the game represented her (and in doing so made the player avatar able to represent anyone).

        On one hand I feel like he should tell the story as it's meant to be told, on the other hand I get where the dad is coming from. I like the fact that it's not a rant about the gaming industrys lack of female accessible characters (another story altogether) and he's not trying to sell anyone any ideals... he just did it for fun to make the game more in tune for his daughter... power to him.

        Would I do this? no. Do I love that LTTP is now being played by one more kid even if it's reskinned? yes..... Good stuff.

    Did he change Zelda to be gender neutral too?

      not to mention the Seven Maidens and the King of Hyrule should also be gender neutral, it's only fair.

      Gender neutral...

      Is that like a doll without the bits, or one of those anime sex monsters that come with grouped, equal amounts of bits?

        Both. Or whatever their soul "feels" like being today

        Cause that's how it all works right? As long as you don't identify as straight or male, you can be anything you want

          Anything eh?

          ... Some sort of pollen groin?

            If that is what your soul feels it is, then that's what you can claim to be and the world MUST accept you for it... According to these types of people.

              I feel that my pollen groin isn't represented enough in video games

              According to these types of people.

              So not according to you? I take it you have never known anyone with gender dysphoria before? Or perhaps you know better than the psychologists who diagnose it.

              'Cause, you know, mental health issues aren't a real thing and people just need to harden the fuck up, right?

                Wait, that's all I need to do to cure my anxiety? OMG, it's so simple. Thanks Cffndncr! I'll make sure to tell Welbot the same thing. It'll fix his cyst, too, right?

                  Damn, that money will buy a lot of cement. He's totally set.

                  (...ha!)

                Mental issues are a real thing. I currently go to a psychologist myself for depression, anxiety and a few other issues. I also ask about other topics too and I did ask about gender dysphoria. The reply was that it's not something that even psychologists subscribe to as a condition as it's still a newer theory/condition. Tumblr/self-diagnoses love to claim it's a thing, but in the study of psychology, it's not all that recognized

                  Except is has been diagnosed and in use since 1980 when it was classified as gender identity disorder. Both the WHO and the American Psychiatric Association classify gender dysphoria.

                  It wasn't all that long ago that depression and anxiety weren't considered "real" in the way we understand them today. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    On the one hand it's great to see parents doing cool things for their children, but on the other hand I'm kind of conflicted about the message he's sending with all of the legally grey things being done in the process. I'm no lawyer but I'm not sure this can be passed off as fair use of copyrighted material, especially when it's compounded with the already legally grey world of ROMs and emulators. I would much rather have seen him create an entirely new game for his daughter to show her that if she feels under-represented in her identity then she has the power to change it herself, rather than trying to change everyone else.

      His heart is in the right place, but legally he is breaking the law. The modification of material without permission from the developer is strictly forbidden. PC mods are technically illegal btw.

        LOL. He's not breaking the law. At best he's in breach of the ToC, which is a pretty trivial civil matter for which the only practical legal consequence is that he might be liable for any subsequent financial loss to the company... which in this case is nill since he's only released the hack, he's not pirating the entire game.

        Last edited 23/02/16 8:12 am

      LOL, modding a ROM is so low on the list of things to fine someone for.... pretty sure he's all good on that front haha.

      I would much rather have seen him create an entirely new game for his daughter

      Disagree. LTTP is in the top 10 games of all time, so he'd have a hard time creating an experience of that quality on his own.

      Generally, I'd agree that games should be untouched - Having Kratos or Duke Nukem as a girl would screw with the story as intended. However, we're talking about a voiceless protagonist who for all intents and purposes represents the player themselves in the game. In the same vein, you could totally replace Gordon Freeman with a girl and it would have 0 impact on how the games played out (except for potentially rerecording dialogue). The fact that you can simply swap out the male references in the text of the game and it has 0 impact on the story or gameplay is pretty telling.

    Im so tired of this " my "x" isnt represented therefore im protesting an original fiction work.
    why cant goldylocks be a boy? i wish she was a boy because im a boy and im super dooper special.
    this is what happens when being pc and a tumblr fanatic for gender diversity or whatever it is, gets out of hand.
    really starting to grind my gears with this crap turning the world beige :(

      Just like those Skyrim modders who felt that Thomas The Tank Engine was being unrepresented

      Literally who is protesting he made a mod of a game for his daughter and made it available online in case anyone else wanted it who are you arguing against

    I feel like I've seen this article before...

    http://www.polygon.com/2012/11/9/3623358/father-hacks-the-legend-of-zelda-the-wind-waker-for-his-young

    Is this the same guy?

    I rather like that Tony chose 'ye' in place of singular 'they': fits well with the theme.

    I get the feeling that if someone modded Tomb Raider so his son could play with a male character instead of Lara, people in the Internet would give him tons of flak instead of praise...

      that game exists and is called uncharted. There are fewer games like zelda that have strong female protagonists, whereas we don't need more games with strong white dude protags because we have literally millions of them

        I understand this, and the industry (where the change needs to come from) is slowly shifting in the direction that includes more strong female protagonists. I think what bothers me is the sense of entitlement? (not necessarily with this hack in particular but with the way of thinking that produces it) "This form of entertainment forces me to experience it as a person of the opposite gender and that makes me feel uncomfortable. Let's change it." I don't remember ever feeling like that while playing FFVI or Beyond Good and Evil or Mirror's Edge. Seems to me as reprehensible as those guys that never pick a girl in fighting games because they feel emasculated.

        What's next? An option on digital readers that allows you to flip names and pronouns in books so you can read the adventures of Bilba and Gandalfina, or the such? In a "perfect" world, where you can make sure that every form of entertainment caters to exactly the kind of person you are, wouldn't empathy quickly die?

          Here's the thing, though. Your statement of "I don't remember ever feeling..." is the root issue in this debate.

          You didn't feel that way. That doesn't mean everybody had a similar experience. It's difficult to remove yourself from the situation, but here it is: of course you didn't feel that way. Why would you? You can say that, well, you had a dozen games in which you played a woman and you never felt underrepresented, that they didn't alter your experience, but that doesn't mean everybody else can say that. Can you understand that this isn't about you? That it really has nothing to do with you and doesn't impact your life in the single smallest, littlest bit? This is about one dad slightly altering a 30 year-old game for his baby to be played 10 years from now. He put it online for others to play if they wanted to try it out, but in no way is it impacting anybody else's relationship with the game unless they explicitly allow it.

          The reaction is baffling. Not yours in particular, as you've been civil. But in general, the response is so incredibly disproportionate to what's happened that I can't begin to understand it. And that's okay, because I'm not here to try to tell anybody that they can't feel the way they do. I fully understand the concept here, the knee-jerk reaction to being presented with something that challenges the status quo in some way, even if the thing you're being presented with does not affect you. In a way, it's like saying, "I hate peanut butter. I've always hated it. I don't see how anybody could like peanut butter. How dare you make a peanut butter sandwich. I don't understand why you'd do that; I've never liked peanut butter!" You know what? You don't have to eat that sandwich. Ever! In your whole entire life! This isn't going to turn all sandwiches into peanut butter sandwiches. And even if it did, which would be entirely ridiculous I think you'd agree, there are so many other things to eat! Someone else eating it isn't gonna hurt you... unless you're allergic to peanuts, I suppose. But I mean, that's taking the analogy a bit far, really.

          You not having a specific experience doesn't mean that others haven't had that same non-experience. It doesn't mean that you can rightly say, "Nope, this isn't a thing; I never felt it." Can you at least cede that point? Just because you've never felt a certain way, and perhaps can't imagine ever feeling that certain way, doesn't mean that your experience is true for everybody. Maybe instead of leaping to hyperbolic conclusions, you could use this opportunity to have a discussion and ask questions and try to understand how other people are experiencing things, rather than rejecting it outright.

    Ignorance of how issues affect others is totally understandable... but some of you guys here are wearing it like a badge of honour. Maybe, just maybe, if you come across something you 'don't get' or see no problem with that doesn't make it a non-issue.

    Not only that, but some act as if you are so deeply affected by any attempt to offer an alternative that speaks to others. Do you know how incoherent you sound when a homebrew alternative to a mostly white and male collection of stories is offered and you call that 'getting out of hand' and turning the world 'beige'?

    Also, for those decrying the particular change of Link from boy to any other gender identity; for the most part, Links gender is not at all integral to the plot of these games and the stories. It's easy to take for granted that so many characters are often unnecessarily a guy when you're a guy; we just don't often appreciate how subtle cues or visual aids really help immerse ourselves in the wonderful world of the game, and how often males are catered to.

    For those who question 'Why Link? Just go play a game that allows a choice of character like X or Y', you're missing the point that so much of our gaming heritage is in these old games and is something to be shared and enjoyed. That sharing is often made harder when the story is presented in a way that makes the player feel disconnected, and frustrating when the design choices are not intrinsic to the mechanics nor even the plot to a large extent. Some plots will of course be male-centric (or, to be fair, a very particular concept of masculinity and power fantasy) and fair enough... but I'll be damned if there aren't an overwhelming number of those available often to the exclusion of others when one accounts for the finite resources that many publishers and developers have for games.

    I don't see how anyone loses if we ask those who aren't represented what can be done to help share our obvious enjoyment of games. It's almost impossible to understand what that feels like if we're privileged to be so catered to; so be humble enough to listen to others when they highlight a way their experiences with gaming differ from yours. What this guy did is lovely, and deserves praise for thinking of others in a way so many in this comment section seem positively unwilling to do.

      if you don't like someone's art, you don't alter it to fit your own worldview. you just grow up and move on with your life. some things just aren't made for you. why don't we just go through all of our art throughout human history and alter it so that a few unhappy people are more comfortable.

      Last edited 23/02/16 8:49 am

        Couldn't the same be said about... well, everybody in this thread? No one is altering history here, or affecting everybody's experience with art. It's a dad changing two or three words in a single game--not changing the character's gender at all, by the way, but allowing his daughter to decide for herself whether the character is a boy or a girl, for the sake of erring on the side of the idea that she might be able to picture herself in that character's shoes a little better. Is that really that awful? Is that really a reason for you to be uncomfortable?

      Look, I don't disagree, I think it's cool and nice and I'm glad it exists. The problem is that as someone with experience in schools and youth counselling, they are not the only ones trying to simplify the discussion. Yeah, there is that ridiculously flawed strategy of relating absolutely everything to your own perspective and actions, which - yes - only - highlight ignorance, however, I don't think questioning the efficacy or philosophy of such an approach is the same thing. Stating something IS lovely and demanding other people praise him kind of conflicts with people whom might want a visible reason to praise him. If they don't get the perspective, why would they? (This is not dismissal but an obstacle)

      The fact that you can't understand why other won't just praise him due to whatever reason they might have, is kind of telling. Simply supporting something because of a basic association with equality is a progressive stance undermines discussion and critical thinking - which was likely a strong contributor in first establishing that perhaps others deserve to represented also, not just the identity of creators ALL THE TIME. It seems strange that we'd like to suppress difficult questions along with the intentionally offensive ones, making no attempt to assess the difference between exploration of the idea and outright ignorance.

      It seems this dichotomous approach is becoming more and more enticing, like or morality or value is inherently linked to how quickly we can rally support behind which ever option we deem "better". It's strange that if I said male-only representation was fine for everyone, I'd likely be criticised for it but if I said gender neutral representation was fine for everyone, I wouldn't. That's not to say either is bad at all, but both approaches utilise different narrative strategies, structure, tone, conventions etc. to convey their message. They are different in construction and utilise equally valid techniques, making personal preference that much clearer. A one-size-fits-all has never worked and I can understand people whom see value in other modes of storytelling feeling as if the craft they love (and others judge as being pointless by omission - which is a valid complaint) is being ignored when these alterations are made and demanded without anyone accepting a conversation that has a legit reason to exist in a creative discussion. Being labelled "unwilling" like old school propaganda displays an ignorance for the craft that these people value, also. So in one fell swoop, the construct of what people enjoy has been undermined with people refusing to engage that discussion whilst being labelled a whole bunch of things.

      Some people like to question, some find true joy in the discussion, some are garbage speaking from a place of prejudice and some are blatantly defensive, wilfully ignorant and dismissive of perspective they ignorantly assess to have no value because prejudice has been assumed. Despite great intentions, if you aren't willing to assess without letting generalisations take hold, it's not really progressive or holistic. Whilst there are so few strong, organic or meaningful roles for women and trans in games, saying that something being gender neutral makes it for EVERYONE implies that we are all inherently linked to our gender's perspective and that others are less valuable. I definitely don't see playing as a female "not for me", I enjoy and value a different perspective. I feel like it's quite possible to make things for everyone without dismissing an existing framework that still has great value in narrative. We're getting to the point where the fingers are being pointed at the art being made and not the art that isn't. We need more diverse stories, this is true but I'm not sure why that goes hand in hand with undermining existing stories which are still valuable by any narrative or creative standard.

      Although, they are privileged... so none of this is real. That's not a cop out at all.

      Last edited 23/02/16 10:55 am

    I have a solution. If you don't like it. Don't play it. Those who will appreciate, will do so.

    *Sigh*, it really isn't that big of a deal. It's a dad trying to do something nice for his daughter and providing an alternative for those who are finding it difficult to determine/cope with gender identity issues, it's as simple as that. Good on him!

      Yeah, probably shouldn't questions things. Only certain things that are OBVIOUSLY dumb should be questioned, instead of the things we might not understand.

        If you don't understand something, it's best not to comment on it unless you genuinely want to learn about what it is. Take the time to learn and try to understand instead rather then give uninformed and biased opinions. The bottom line is everyone is different and everyone has a right to be themselves. If this helps someone then great, if it doesn't then who cares? Why should it matter to those it doesn't affect?

    Didn't this happen months ago? Or is this another father doing the same thing for their daughter?

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