Mike Mika's three-year-old daughter loves playing old video games with him. One day, when they were duel conquering Donkey Kong, she became a bit miffed because she could only pick Mario to rescue Pauline, and not the other way around. That's not only due to Mario being the worst (just ask Wario, he'll tell you all about it), but mainly because Mika's toddler daughter wanted to play as a girl.

"She's played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn't in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that," Mike posted to YouTube. "So what else am I supposed to do? Now I'm up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline."

DAD OF THE YEAR! GIVE HIM ALL THE BABIES TO RAISE! (It would actually suck if your reward for being dad of the year was being given even more kids to take care of. Dude should get a Hawaiian vacation!)

This is similar to the instance last year when Mike Hoye hacked Zelda and switched all the gendered pronouns in the game from male to female for his daughter.

Game makers, it appears the people of the world have spoken, and they want some change. Girls don't just want to dress-up real and virtual Barbie; they want to slay dragons, too. And maybe some boys want to dress up Barbie, too. I know my brother sure did. These games need points of access for all genders.

Perhaps in a word where more video games had badass, capable, confident female protagonists, there wouldn't be a need for this type of hacking. It's sad for both girls and boys that there are so few women heroes — girls don't get to see themselves saving the day and boys never get to respect the fact that girls CAN save the day (and that can be interesting and cool for the boys, too!).

Come on, game programmers and designers, let's get some pixelated lady heroes up on that screen. It's time.

[LA Times]