Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Dad Challenges Retro Gender Roles By Hacking ‘Donkey Kong’

By Annie-Rose Strasser on March 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

"Dad Challenges Retro Gender Roles By Hacking ‘Donkey Kong’"

Share:

google plus icon

Mike Mika might be the world’s best feminist dad.

When his 3-year-old daughter discovered that the girl character in Donkey Kong, Pauline, could only sit distressed and wait for a male character to help her, Mika decided to do something about it. So, The Verge reports, he hacked the popular game to make Pauline a functional character, and the male character, Mario, became the damsel (or, lord?) in distress:

Thankfully Mika happens to be a competent developer, and after a few late-night hours spent hacking the NES version of Nintendo’s classic, he accomplished the role reversal his daughter had wished for. Mario was now under Donkey Kong’s control, and Pauline was tasked with rescuing the plumber in distress. Following the successful endeavor, Mika shared some details of how he swapped the characters on a YouTube page demonstrating the hack. “I’ve redrawn Mario’s frames and I swapped the palettes in the ROM,” he wrote. “I replaced the M at the top with a P for Pauline.”

Mika uploaded this video on YouTube to demonstrate how it worked:

Technological hacks for thinking about and subverting gender barriers are gaining in popularity. Another father recently did a gender swap for the game Zelda. And a recent invention, a Google Chrome browser extension called “Jailbreak The Patriarchy,” swaps the gender pronouns on websites to show how gender dynamics affect our views of the world.

‹ PREVIOUS
Conservative Media Star James O’Keefe Pays $100,000 Settlement For ACORN Pimp Sting

NEXT ›
Fox News Anchor Shouts Down Criticism Of Ryan Budget

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.