Link doesn’t need a better plot

"Zelda: Links Reforged" | Art by Chasing Artwork. Used with permission.
As a female gamer, I feel like I’m scrutinized a lot. I don’t usually mention the fact that I’m a woman when I’m online gaming because a) I don’t think it should matter, b) if I do, and we lose, then the reason we lost MUST be because I’m a girl, and c) if I do and we win, I get a lot of attention and the guys in the lobby often start hitting on me.

So I have to be good at every video game and every style to get approval, and even then it’s not the kind of approval I appreciate? I have to dominate at Halo to be considered a “real” gamer, even though that kid over there sucks just as much but it’s okay because he’s a boy? I’m not trying to whine here or say, “Woe is me, blah blah blah,” I’m just generally curious about this attitude.

Gender is the chromosomes we got stuck with.

It reminds me of when I hear people complaining about Nintendo and that they need to offer better plotlines in their games. “Link should talk.” “The story should be more interesting.” “Please kill Navi.”

Ummm… no. Except maybe that last one.

Here’s the thing, Legend of Zelda does what Legend of Zelda does best, which is interesting gameplay and puzzle solving. We’re not going to see intricate plotlines along the levels of a game like Mass Effect, because that’s not Nintendo’s strength. And remember when they did something drastically different with the release of Majora’s Mask, and so many fans complained? (Ironically, that is one of my favourite Zelda games, though I’d argue Nintendo was still playing to their strengths with that release. It was amazing.)

Where am I going with this? I promise. Hang in there.

Nintendo is in a whole different league than PlayStation or Xbox. That is not to say those leagues are better than one another; comparing PlayStation and Xbox is like comparing apples and oranges.

I have to dominate at Halo to be considered a “real” gamer?
That’s right, I said it. Nintendo is the dog toy in the other room. Nintendo is doing what Nintendo does best, good clean fun over brooding philosophical concepts buried deep within rich mythos and huzzah for them.

So if I’m good at League of Legends, but horrible at Halo, that’s okay. I’m still a gamer. Women who play video games are gamers. People who play racing games are gamers. People who play FPS games are gamers (Video Game High School, anyone?).

I prefer to treat Nintendo like a friend, appreciating their strengths and not dwelling on their weaknesses. Is it so wrong that we should treat the gaming community the same way? Appreciate their strengths and not dwelling on their weaknesses. Great. Now take it a step further and let’s just realize that gender is neither a strength nor a weakness. It’s the chromosomes we got stuck with. My mad Jinx skills however, those are ALL strength. </rant>

(Also, cool artwork above by our Artist of the Month, Chasing Artwork.)

Allison Barron

Allison Barron

Commander at Geekdom House
Allison is like Galadriel, offering wisdom where needed but turning treacherous as the sea when competitive games are involved. She is the executive editor of Area of Effect magazine, co-host of the Infinity +1 podcast, and staff writer for Christ and Pop Culture. When she’s not writing, designing, or editing, she is often preoccupied in Hyrule, Middle-earth, or a galaxy far, far away.
Allison Barron

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