Move over Mario, Pauline's got this. One particularly rad dad just hacked Donkey Kong so his young daughter could play the game as the heroine.
Playing Video Games Enhances Decision-Making
Mike Mika's three-year-old daughter Ellis asked her father why she couldn't play Donkey Kong as a girl instead of as Mario. "I had to tell her, ‘This game doesn't let you do that,'" Mika told NPR. Ellis, who loved playing Super Mario Bros. 2 on the NES as Princess Toadstool, was bummed.
Fortunately Mika is the chief creative officer of the game development company Other Ocean Interactive and his daughter's response made him realize he had the tools to hack the classic video game.
"Kids ask parents all the time for things that just aren't possible," he wrote in an essay on Wired.com. "But this time, this was different."
So Mika spent all night working in Tile Layer Pro to create Pauline sprites and palettes that would replace Mario. He even swapped out the "M" in the bonus indicator with "P" for Pauline. In the morning his daughter asked to play Donkey Kong and discovered that she could play as Pauline.