Pauline to the rescue!: 150 words on modding

Pauline to the rescue!: 150 words on modding

Last night, for his daughter, a father altered one of my favorite video games to swap Mario out for Pauline, making her the heroine by saving Mario from Donkey Kong. His modding the game brought awareness to the hegemonic, patriarchal value behind the American assemblage that centers hero within masculinity. Changing the gender to a younger, pig-tailed, white woman who saves an older, moustached, white male destabilizes the default, normalizing, invisible, and universal position of video game hero as only male. In addition, first-person video games in today’s age now provide choice for players to embody desired characters, including women as main characters, so this mod actually modernizes the 1980s game. Dismantling the gendered, visual discourse of the traditional Donkey Kong is a feminist act. With a woman doing all the running, hopping, and saving, while the man just waits and stands there, this counterhegemonic version legitimizing heroines over heroes has become an even better kind of Donkey Kong.

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