By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mar 11, 2013 10:10 AM EDT
The Dad of the Year Award goes to game developer Mike Mika, who hacked Donkey Kong to let his daughter save Mario as Pauline.
Mika is the proud father of a three-year-old girl who loves to play old video games with him, including the all-time-popular Donkey Kong. One issue, however: not that the girl doesn't like Mario, but why can't things go the other way around? Why can't Mario be the one in trouble and Pauline the hero who comes to the rescue?
Long story short, daddy came to the rescue and tweaked the game so his daughter could play the game as the girl and be the hero who saves Mario, who is now the dandy in distress.
"She's played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn't in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that," Mika explains on YouTube. "So what else am I supposed to do? Now I'm up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline."
In a very similar case last year, another dedicated father named Mike Hoye changed the text of "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker" to enable his three-year-old daughter to play as the female protagonist.
"I'm not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don't get to be the hero," Hoye explained at the time. It's a perfectly legitimate and logical explanation, and it seems to work out in Mika's case as well.
In Mika's instance, what seem to be Facebook screenshots uploaded by one of his friends also popped up on Imgur and Reddit. The Reddit user who posted a link to the screenshots goes by the handle boomboombooya and even suggests this is not the first time Mika has used his digital skills to show his affection.
"He also proposed to his wife through an Easter egg in a shipped game he worked on and has the greatest vintage video game collection I (and most others) have ever seen in person," the Reddit user reports.
All things considered, Mika seems to be an awesome father who will not sit by and watch his kid think she can't do stuff because she's a girl. Mario, hang on! Pauline is coming to the rescue!
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