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'Donkey Kong Dad': The things we make can have a positive effect
July 15, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

July 15, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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"I realized the things I do, the things I can be doing, can have an effect on people, and ultimately a positive effect."
- "Donkey Kong Dad" Mike Mika in an interview with Wired Game|Life.

A few months ago, Mike Mika decided to do something special for his young daughter. He didn't anticipate that his overnight ROM hack to allow his child to play as conventional damsel-in-distress Pauline would explode into a sensation.

"I make games, and when she asks me for something I should be able to do, I should be able to deliver," he tells Game|Life in a new video interview (above). "What I did not realize was that this was coming on the tail end of a pretty big thing going on online, particularly [Feminist Frequency's] Tropes vs Video Games... It exposed that there are still issues with this."

Mika received a wide range of responses to the ROM hack, including claims that he was vandalizing a work of art and veiled death threats. However, he received a great deal of positive feedback as well.

"I've been making games for almost twenty years," he says. "This thing I did really turned it upside-down for me."


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Comments


Katy Smith
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When I first heard about this story, it really touched me. When I was little, my favorite game was Zelda because you got to play as a left-handed girl...just like me! (Yes, I know, link is a guy, but you tell that to a seven-year-old who didn't read the manual). I was so happy to see someone who got how important it was to have a character to identify with as a little kid. Kudos to Mike!

Daneel Filimonov
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Amazing! This is why I got involved with games. It can profoundly change the way we look at the world and each other. Kudos to Mike!

Eric Deplume
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These Mika articles leave me with mixed feelings. This shows he is a great father and I admire the love he has for games. But I wish he spent less time in the news and more time keeping his company afloat.


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