Girl in the Machine
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Gender Switcheroo

Happy Halloween, Readers!

After I’ve played a game a few times, I enjoy thinking about what would happen if one or two small things about the game had changed. Some people might not consider it such a small thing, but I like to change the sex of one or several of the characters in my imagination. The idea is that our assumptions about the essential nature of the characters haven’t changed, but our expectations make the situation somehow different.

In the spirit of Halloween, masks, and passing, here are a few of my favorite considerations:

Final Fantasy X: Surfer girl Wakka and that gothed-out punk Lulu make one helluva pair. It makes me giggle to think of spunky, carefree girl-Wakka terrorizing the quiet and withdrawn male-Lulu. Poor guy.

Final Fantasy X-2: Imagine the campy adventures of male Yuna, Rikku, and Paine. Oh, wait. It’s already painfully campy. Maybe we just shouldn’t think about it at all?

Thousand Arms: This is an old one. I really would have enjoyed the game so much more if Meis had been a woman (or gay) and surrounded by a harem of men. It just sucks that, on top of the crappy game play, you have to go on dates with the women to power them up! . . . Nelsha in particular would’ve been so adorable!

Phantom Brave: This game just makes me melt as it is—I love the dynamic between poor Marona and Castille. If one of them were to become a boy, I would insist that the other change sex as well. Their relationship is so pure and sweet because it lacks romantic potential. Of course, they could be homosexual--and I totally support the idea that they're gonna grow up to big big ol' lesbians together--but I don’t think it would be so overt (Although Nippon Ichi does try to pull some pretty interesting things with its characters!).

The Legend of Zelda: My mom has been playing Twilight Princess on the Wii for a while, and it’s a trip to watch. One of the best parts is that she renamed Link “Princess.” When I pointed out that Link was a male, she countered with, “No, Princess is a butch lesbian.” Touché.

Kingdom Hearts: Sora, Riku, and Kairi—changing the sex of any one of the characters makes the story far more interesting to me. Imagine the lesbian tones of female-Sora and Kairi seeking to find each other. Female-Riku could have added an interesting jealous love triangle to the game. . . but who’s to say that isn’t already there? Then there’s the full-blown homoerotic adventure when you include male-Kairi, making the Kingdom Hearts series my number one candidate for giving a character a sex change.

Feel free to share your own ideas in our comments section. Also, let us know if you’re doing any video-game related costumes to celebrate, and watch out for crazies tonight!

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 Posted by Calabar
 5:45 AM + Link to this post

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