It's never a bad time to revisit this GDC Vault talk from Ashly Burch and Rosalyn Wiseman about how gender and sexuality portrayals in video games are received by audiences. Burch and Wiseman have done some research into how games impact the social lives of young people, and how important representation is to boys versus girls.
The results are fun and interesting, and especially yield important takeaways for media makers hoping to broaden the appeal of their work. In particular, Burch looks at surveys indicating that boys seem to care less whether they play as male or female characters as they get older, while girls seem to care more about playing as their own gender.
"What's interesting to me about this is that if men don't care over time, and women prefer to play as their own gender more over time, it seems more advantageous to include female protagonists," says Burch. "So why are we not catering to the demographic with the stronger desire?"
Header image is a "female link" clipped from some official Zelda artbook, images of which seem to've originated on GoNintendo.
You can see the massive kingdom and all its tiny lurking enemies, characters, palaces and waterfalls. Remember playing it as a kid and feeling like the whole world was enormous, like you could never see all its secrets? Zoom all the way out and see the whole world in your browser, or in to watch everything move around in the orbits you remember. Pretty neat.
There are some more fun classic animations to play with on the JADSDS website. Thanks to Kotaku for scouting this off Reddit, and for recommending you try the map on mobile!
What if the green-capped adventurer of the Zelda games was a little girl who lived in a mysterious floating city?
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We often understand failure in games through the language of death. Why? Read the rest
When I think of Zelda, I think of lots of things: smashing pots, collecting rupees, throwing boomerangs, and dancing to sick beats. That last one is a pretty new addition to my personal Zelda memory palace, but it's stuck there anyway thanks to Hitmane's new mashup of Juicy J's "Bandz That Make Her Dance" with the whimsical "Saria's Song" from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
The song, which has been played over 200,000 times on Soundcloud, primarily picked up steam when the more prominent DJ/producer Ryan Hemsworth started adding it to his shows. It also got played by Qrion at a party during the Game Developers Conference earlier this month, where IGF chairman (and former Offworld founder) Brandon Boyer shared this little Vine:
Nearly 10 million loops later, we're all still dancing. If you're looking for suggested dance moves, you can always go to the source material. Otherwise, this guy has got you covered.
Ocarina of Time is lauded among the series' greats, but some find its early 3D graphics charmless. A fan project is remaking the game with chunky pixel art to give it that perfect old-school look. Borrowing art and audio from other entries in the Legend of Zelda set to augment their own work, they've already released a playable demo of the classic's first chapter. [via]
Chalk artist Chris Carlson sends us this astounding stop-motion animation of his 3D chalk drawings of Link from Legend of Zelda, popping out of two-space and having a mischievous adventure in our world. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of labor that went into drawing the frames of this animation -- bravo!
Link, the green-clad protagonist of Nintendo's Zelda series, is usually portrayed as a boy. A couple of games, however, feature him as a grown-up. Nintendo concept artist Katsuya Terada, however, also sketched a mature--even elderly--hero. These designs, along with fantastic watercolors of a more familiar young adult link, were made public in a long-out of print art book. Enjoy the flickr set: it might not stay up long!
Katsuya Terada Zelda Art [History of Hyrule via Kotaku]