Friday, March 15, 2013

Saving Mario

Sometimes, it takes the eyes of an innocent to point out the sexism that pervades our world. Mike Mika's daughter asked why she couldn't play Donkey Kong as Pauline to save Mario in Why I Hacked Donkey Kong for My Daughter.  Donkey Kong is a game from an earlier era when players were assumed to be male.  But, times have changed.  (Or have they?)

image from
Mika is a game developer. With some help from friends, he was able to hack into Donkey Kong so that his daughter can play as Pauline to save Mario, or Mario can save Pauline (as in the original).  The hack  went viral in social media.

But, the responses surprised him.
The comments under the YouTube video can, at times, be just as horrific as they are encouraging. While some of the things people have said about my daughter are almost comically inappropriate, they are still downright disturbing. One person wished her “dead” because “it would do the world a favor and be one less feminist in our future.”
There are so many things I want to say about this. But, I have a busy day ahead of me and can't get back to this until the weekend. Discuss amongst yourself in the comments and I will do another write-up on Sunday.

Watch the video and read the comments.
Read Mike Mika's article in Wired.


  1. YouTube comment threads are always really depressing.
    It's as if by common consent, all the most miserable,lonely,
    embittered,semi-literate losers decided to
    congregate there.
    I wonder if it may be the medium itself that selects
    for bad commenters
    -- video might disproportionately attract people who don't
    read well. I stay cheerful by
    reading YouTube commenters as seldom as possible.
    When you can't avoid them, take consolation
    that they are an unrepresentative bunch.


  2. Exactly. How could this man be "surprised" by stupid and disturbing YouTube comments? Has he never used YouTube before?

    Vimeo is better for serious stuff, I think.

  3. Related to this, there is a meme making the rounds on FaceBook today that suggests typing the following into Google Search: "women should", "women shouldn't", "women need", and "women want". The results are horrifying. Rosemary Hill (Romi), the knitwear designer, brought this to my attention.

  4. Sadly I have to agree, totally not surprised by a lack of restraint or sophistication in the youtube comments! Commenters often just "react" without thought. There are no boundaries in that forum.
    I don't know if I want to check out those google searches suggested above, to satisfy my curiosity, or not!! I'm anticipating plenty of eye-rolling in my near future ;)


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