When Nintendo confirmed this past week that, at least in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the character Link would remain strictly male, many people were understandably disappointed. The last few months had been full rumors suggesting there would at least be an option to play the game as a woman; even I not-so-secretly hoped the Internet Rumor Mill was right on this one. With so many conventions and tropes being thrown away for this new Legend of Zelda game, why not make the game even more inclusive to women by adding a female avatar? Some took the news as a slight against women, or further proof that Nintendo was still a “backwards” Japanese company; others – I think it’s fair to say – were indignant, even angry. Personally, I had the privilege to simply shrug my shoulders and say “maybe next time.”
However, those on the other side of this discussion were just as angry. In fact, they were furious at the very idea that Nintendo would – nay, should – let players flip the gender of a traditionally male (albeit very androgynous) videogame character. “Just another example of feminists trying to ram their beliefs down my throat,” they might say.