Today I turn to you for help, Internet.
I am working on a chapter of my book proposal on feminist and queer video game hacks and mods.
Of course, I’ve found popular media accounts of the dad who made Pauline the hero of Donkey Kong for this daughter and the dad who gender flipped Link into a girl for his daughter. And, to be honest, I am interested in interrogating the popularity of stories in which dads are the hackers and daughters are merely the recipients of hacked games over stories in which daughters hack games for themselves!
But I was wondering if any of you out there knew of more obscure game hacks that speak to issues of gender and sexuality. Old or new, I’m interested in learning about them all!
Let me know in the comments! I’ll be happy to give credit in my final project.
UPDATE: I found this great article that articulates a lot of my qualms about the “best dad ever” hacking stories described above!
The discourse centering on Mike Mika’s Donkey Kong hack aims to present men as positive forces for gender equality in gaming while distancing them from feminism. These strategies help to relieve anxieties that might implicate men in the shaming and rejection of girls from gaming cultures. Additionally, the suggestion that this kind of ROM hacking is new and limited to loving fathers obscures a long and rich history of ROM hacking that includes women hacking games for their own ends.
I would love to learn more about this topic, please feel free to share other great articles or examples of feminist ROM hacks in the comments below!