It has been a big news week for Nintendo, with their announcement of going into the mobile gaming market, their hints at a new Nintendo Hardware device simply codenamed “NX”, and the launch of the Nintendo’s newest edition of Mario Party and their next wave of Amiibos, along with that one Walmart exclusive Golden Mario Variant. Out of everything I could talk about today, for this post I want to focus on a wonderful little critical Huffington Post blog post against Nintendo’s choice of celebrating their Women characters for Women’s History month.
This month Nintendo had decided to release a series of promotional art work of Nintendo’s take on the iconic Rosie the Riveter World War II posters with some of their leading ladies from their popular games. These posters stars: Rosalina, Nintendo’s newest princess, Princess Zelda’s alter ego, Tetra, from their incredibly popular (and just recently released in HD) “Legend of Zelda Wind Waker game”, Samus Aran, one of the first female protagonist of the 8 bit era from the “Metroid” series, and Platinum Star’s own, and recent to the Nintendo family, Bayonetta from “Bayonetta 1 & 2”.
Samus is akin to Wonder Woman of the video game world. A independent woman that has been around since the beginning of the console lifespan and a trend setter in her own right.
The author comments on the lack of Princess Peach representation in these promotional posters, and I agree with her idea that Nintendo might have chosen not to go toward with her as one of the stars because of how often the Mushroom princess has been kidnapped in all of the Mario games.
The author does takes issue of how Tetra is kidnapped by Ganondorf and must be rescued by the hero of time, you, and once the plot reveals how this leader of a pirate gang is actually the reincarnation of the princess of Hyrule and wielder of the Triforce segment of Wisdom. She is prevented from leaving the underwater -and protected- Hyrule Castle, until Link rebuilds his missing piece of the triforce lest Ganondorf recaptures her and assemble the entire Triforce and gets his one wish of returning the land of Hyrule to it’s original state, destroying all the land and inhabitants that lives above the sea.
Then the author goes on and talks about how Bombette, from Paper Mario, and Toadette are “just pink versions of the male characters” forgetting that they are not pink characters of male characters but pink characters of their entire species.
Toadette’s biggest characteristic is because she a girl because she, and all other toads, has no personalities . If I was to put on MY over thinking cap I would argue that the toads have no personalities because they are all no-name proletariats, there to only serve Princess Peach, the only member of the Bourgeois in the Mushroom kingdom
The author also mentions how ‘problematic’ Bayonetta, a character that has passed the Bechdel Test, is for having an uncomfortable levels sex appeal in her game. As someone who played through both of the Bayonetta games just last year, Bayonetta has always come across as someone is determined in her mission, never to be distracted by anything petty like men or shoes. She is sexy not because it is bad character aspect of her personality, but because she is so much in control of anything that heaven or Hell could throw at her that her sex appeal has become a luxury, using it to taunt her friends and foes.
Bayonetta is so confident about herself she has achieved Self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. She has reached her full potential, she is pursuing it, and she does not care any anyone else thinks of her. She is having fun
The author of this Huffington Post closes with mentioning games with more powerful women characters, like Naughty Dog’s “Last of Us” and Ubisoft’s “Beyond Good and Evil” as a few other non-Nintendo games that have done women characters the right way.
From my own point of view, as a reader of the post and as an avid videogame player, this post smacks of looking a gift horse in the mouth. Out of all the video game companies out there, from Sony to Microsoft and Steam, Nintendo is the only one going out there and putting themselves on the line to celebrate women in the media. I do not see any other companies going out of their way to plan, make, and execute a promotional event for Women’s History month, but after the blow back from Nintendo I have an educated guess on why they might want to abstain from talking or mentioning politics with their female characters.
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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays