Game designer Mike Mika flips game so that woman saves Mario.
Fed up with his daughter always having to play the guy saving girl, game developer dad Mike Mika recently hacked classic Donkey Kong so that the Pauline character could save Mario.
In a piece written for Wired, Mika explains how much he enjoys it when his young kids ask to play classic arcade game, with his three-year-old daughter being especially interested in taking on Donkey Kong.
"She's not very good at it, but insists on playing it over and over again until she finally hands me the joystick in total frustration," he commented.
"Finally, one day after work, she asked to play Donkey Kong, only this time she raised a pretty innocent and simple question: 'How can I play as the girl? I want to save Mario!'"
Getting together with his developer-partners, Mika set about flipping the roles of the characters in Donkey Kong, which is no easy feat given that he had to program animations for the new protagonist.
To his shock, his work was picked up by those debating how women are portrayed in games and YouTube videos of his project went viral.
"I didn’t set out to push a feminist agenda, or try to make a statement," he said, concluding: "I just wanted to keep that little grin lit up on my daughter's face every time we sit down to play games together."