Why can’t Link be a girl? The better question is, why can’t Zelda be a main character?
The former is the question asked by the PBS Game/Show in its latest video. The host argues that Link of The Legend of Zelda series is simply a title given to the protagonist chosen by the game universe’s gods. He goes on to say that if that’s true, then having a female Link would work within the lore while encouraging more women to play the games.
But where does this idea come from that all women want from a game is to play as a female character? Every game protagonist doesn’t have to be a stand-in for the player. It’s childish, and a discredit to its audience.
I think I stopped “making myself” in video games when I was like, 12. When I can choose, I usually make female characters in games now. Why? Because it’s different, and it’s fun to do after playing so many male characters in games.
But saying you have to have a “player insert” in a game is ridiculous, and it’s equally ridiculous to think that just because Link is suddenly female that more women will want to play the game. It’s pandering. Men and women enjoy different genres of games, as this infographic shows.
That’s not to say that women aren’t “welcome” playing League of Legends, or that a man is somehow less masculine if he plays Candy Crush. But it does suggest that making Link a girl won’t make thousands of women everywhere play the next installment.