clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wait, why can't Link from the Legend of Zelda series be a woman?

PBS Game/Show continues to provide some of the best discussion points in gaming, and I'd like for you to watch the video before we move forward. This is an interesting one.

Finished? OK.

It's fascinating to me that Nintendo calls Link a stand-in for the player while then claiming that gender is irrelevant. It may be irrelevant for you, it's very possible that Link's gender identity doesn't matter when you play a game.

But other players like to pour themselves into a character that at least superficially resembles themselves. It can be a bit harder to think of a character as representing you when they don't resemble you or your life experiences in any way.

There's no real reason for Link to be one gender or the other in terms of the game world either, as his gender rarely has much to do with the story. You could even add an option to change Link's gender without having to adjust many, if any, aspects of the game.

Doing so would likely cause an outcry from Nintendo super-fans who like things the way they are, but that's gaming for you. It might be a good idea, from Nintendo's point of view it may feel like a risky idea, but it would be interesting to see what it would change for the series and how we think of it.

The likely "real" reason Link can't be a woman is because he's always been male, and there's a business risk to making what may feel like a drastic change to one of Nintendo's most popular franchises.

I'm curious for your thoughts on this one.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.