Game de­signer Mike Mika’s three-year-old daugh­ter wanted to play Don­key Kong as Pauline, with Mario as the damsel in dis­tress. She couldn’t, of course, be­cause the game wasn’t de­signed that way. But it nagged at Mika, so he found out how to hack the NES ver­sion’s ROM, re­drew and re­placed the sprites, swapped the ‘M’ on the bonus in­di­ca­tor with a ‘P’, and put a work-in­progress video up on YouTube. The video spread like wild­fire across the In­ter­net while Mika was show­ing his daugh­ter the hack the next morn­ing, his work hav­ing been picked up as a fem­i­nist sym­bol and a state­ment that girls can be the hero, too.

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