So everything Catherynne Valente has to say about Skyward Sword is something I have screamed at the television after ensuring the Wiimote was not in my hands so I wouldn’t be tempted to throw it and ruin everything forever. I’m quoting her final paragraph here, but the whole thing is worth a read, to understand how pervasive this dumb bullshit is, and how alienating it is for half your fucking audience, game devs, I mean FFS seriously.
When I was a kid, I remember being so happy that I could play the Princess in Mario Bros 2–and she wasn’t really lesser than the other PCs – sure, she didn’t have much upper vegetable-hauling body strength, but she could fly. And she wasn’t shown as punishably useless or constantly throwing herself at Mario, even if she was pink. If I get into how Princess Peach is currently portrayed this post will never end, but the point is I was a little girl gamer. I am an adult female gamer. And when I see this regressive, ugly gender war crap laid out in the very latest games, I don’t understand how the world of late 80s gaming could have let me be a Princess who could fight, a girl who could wear the Metroid suit with no one the wiser, could let me believe Tails was like me, when the kid games of 2012 make damn sure that their audience knows being a girl is a sad, regrettable, even villainous thing, and if a male is even vaguely irritated with one, he should treat her as a low-level enemy and stomp on her face.