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Why Sheik’s Gender Matters

GeekParty writes: "Nintendo has finally revealed what Sheik’s actual gender is. Bill Trinen of Nintendo said she is, 100%, without a doubt, female — just Zelda in ninja clothing."

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DiscoKid1110d ago

People shouldn't use virtual characters to represent themselves. We define who we are, not video game characters.

TheNewSquid1110d ago (Edited 1110d ago )

Isn't the whole idea of playing a video game that we're using a virtual character to represent some version of ourselves, whether it's through accuracy or wish-fulfillment of some sort?

DiscoKid1110d ago (Edited 1110d ago )

I certainly do not kill people, neither do I have the desire to do so.

The idea of playing video games is fun. Any other reason is questionable.

Ripco_Keller1109d ago

People shouldn't make other people's decisions for them.

Spotie1109d ago

People should do whatever the hell they want with virtual characters.

crxss1109d ago

Has always been female just as Link has always been male. Their gender doesn't matter. It's Nintendo's story. For those who want to see male Shiek or female Link I wouldn't hold your breath

Chrono1109d ago

You sure about Link being male?

contradictory1109d ago

when was this up for debate to begin with?
it's literally Zelda wearing ninja clothes
even Zelda can't cast Rule63 spells

SpiralTear1109d ago

But the DeviantArt community can.

Kamikaze1351109d ago

It has to be part of an elaborate prank. How can anybody possibly think Sheik is a guy? Lol

ChickeyCantor1109d ago

Actually zeda's physical features change also. It's a transformation. But in the end it's still Zelda.

Fullmetalevolust1109d ago

Well written opinion piece. While it seemed more plausible that Sheik is female, it was nice to ponder about her/his gender and what it could mean from both sides.

spartanlemur1109d ago

Indeed it matters, but not for depends on what the game sets out to do, and has nothing to do with the subjective morality this author wishes to promote.

If a game is character-oriented (in the sense that setting and politics are there only to support a strong lineup of central characters), it shouldn't matter as the objective is how we come to empathise with this player character and the people around them. The point being that the character is an enigma so we grow as we try to see things from their perspective. Max Payne 3 is an example of this as is Tomb Raider. These games often have linear stories, as we try to understand why people make decisions rather than influence the, ourselves.
For this sort of game, the more diverse protagonists can be the better, as similar characters get boring.

If the game is environment-oriented, it's important that we empathise with the protagonist right from the start for two reasons:

1: through our familiarity with a main character we understand to be similar to ourselves (or an avatar of ourselves) we have a sense of grounding which allows us a good base to start exploring the world. Things will feel a little *too* alien if we have to understand a very different world in addition to a very different protagonist from ourselves. This is similar to how fantasy books tend to follow certain traditions and differentiate only so much so as to keep us feeling somewhat familiar with the world (dragons are ubiquitous)

2: decision-making, often important in such games becomes more valid. If I can't empathise with someone, how am I supposed to make decisions from their point of view? I end up projecting myself, a white male through a different character, meaning that a Chinese woman would have the brain of a British male. You could say "choose what you think they would choose", but then why not simply have the author decide that for me in a linear plot? I get that many talented authors are able to do this to some degree, but I'm not a talented writer (perhaps for this reason), and nor are many gamers (or we'd all be authors).
Decision-making is both more valid and more relatable when the protagonist is either a custom-made avatar of yourself (or ideal self) or as close to you as possible.

Games which adopt this approach are Skyrim, Mass Effect and The Witcher series.