Link’s Gender Is Irrelevant

Link’s Gender Is Irrelevant

There’s a strange notion going around (mostly on social media) that Link not being female in recently revealed Legend of Zelda game is some how ‘a shame’. While there is a lack of female protagonists in modern video games (there’s a history of games fronted by female characters, do your research) the argument that a Male Link is a ‘shame’ feels flakey at best. Link’s gender is irrelevant, his gender is never made obvious (bar Twilight Princess perhaps) nor does it play a part in the plot.

You could place a random person, who has little experience with video games, and let them play any given Legend of Zelda title. Don’t mention Link’s gender, just let them play the game. The chances are the person playing wouldn’t of guessed, or even cared/ paid attention, to the gender of Link. There’s no ‘masculine’ traits given to Link, nor is there any feminine traits. The character’s gender is never focused on, nor does it have any part in the games plot or overall experience.

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This argument would ring true , in a hypothetical world, if Link was indeed a female. The past games wouldn’t be changed in any shape or form, the stories and experiences would remain the same. The fact is, Link’s gender is irrelevant, and the calls for Link to be a female feel more of a result of frustration than desire. This is understandable given how this year’s E3 has become tarred by Ubisoft’s excuses to why there’s no playable female assassins in Unity.

The issue (and it is a issue, though it’s being used by some as a vehicle rather than a cause) is still a hot topic. While Ubisoft stumble with their reasons, and other developers just go on with life, the focus on Link’s gender seems utterly irrelevant at this point. I could perhaps understand the gripe if Link turned up with a huge beard, drinking beer while wolf whistling women and shouting in a deep generic action hero voice, but the fact is, Link’s gender has never been obvious or relevant. Dealing with the issue of sexism, and under representation ( a issue that effects races as well as gender), is a noble deed, but aim for the top, don’t clutch at straws. Link’s gender is irrelevant.

Sean Halliday


3 Comments

  1. Kamille
    June 13, 2014, 3:02 pm

    if Link were a girl the franchise wouldn’t be as popular. Marketing 101.

    • Justin Ross
      June 14, 2014, 1:49 am

      That’s not marketing at all. As a game developer this statement makes zero sense.

  2. Cantracted
    June 13, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Not once have I ever thought Link is female. He’s a boy, always has been.

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