Children want to be the heroes of the stories they’re playing. But for a five-year-old girl, there aren’t that many female heroes to emulate. One father, Mike Hoye, got tired of switching genders while reading the game’s text out loud and made a mod to change all the pronouns in Windwaker from masculine to feminine.
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 mod doesn’t change any of the visuals, but Link is androgynous enough that the gender swap isn’t too big of a stretch.