Sunday, July 14, 2024

LGBT Games History: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

You would be forgiven for wondering ‘where the hell is the LGBT history’ in Nintendo’s Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, especially as the game is mostly around you beating the snot out of every NPC you come across in a match.

However, while not confirmed, there is a character who has been read as gay or bisexual. As the game was released in 1987, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that this reading can be considered quite homophobic. If you’d prefer not to read about this, please go ahead and click back.

For those still here, the character in question is a man named Dom Flamenco.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out

Don Flamenco is considered effeminate because of his dancing, the rose he has in his mouth and the references he makes to caring about his hair. Back in 1978, this led many to think of him as gay. Today, we’d probably just say the guy is a Chad and be done with it.

Not only is the game pretty homophobic, because there’s no way that I’m believing Don Flamenco is supposed to be anything but a gay stereotype, but it’s pretty racist too. Flamenco often dances to a knock off of ‘La Cu Ca Racha’ which is, uh, what Spanish people do apparently?

So, maybe Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out isn’t the game you should be looking for when it comes to LGBT representation. Its existence is a fascinating one, but we think you’ll survive not giving this game any of your time.

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