My name is Kevin Shaughnessy and I love monkeys. If I could combine two of my favorite things into one, we’d have a show exactly like Quantum Leap in every way except that Dr. Sam Beckett would be played by a mountain gorilla instead of Scott Bakula. Aside from me hitting the Lotto, I doubt this will ever happen. Fortunately, someone has combined two of my other favorite things, monkeys and video games.
Though most credit Donkey Kong as the first video game star to be an ape, they are quite mistaken. A game created in 1961 entitled Spacewars featured an enemy spaceship piloted by an evil chimp named Megator. Many apes have been featured in video games since. One of my favorites may be George from the 80’s hit Rampage. However, I think the most important has to be Dixie Kong.
She was, I believe, the first true embodiment of female equality in a video game. Before her, Ms. Pac-Man was too docile, while later heroines like Lara Croft too objectified. Dixie Kong, first appearing in an early Nintendo 64 title, was the perfect combination of grace and action. She was also the first to make it socially acceptable for a monkey to be looked upon as a sexual symbol. And let’s face it, every game she’s been in, including the new Donkey Konga, has been one hell of a ride. My name is Kevin Shaughnessy and I love monkeys.