As our generation matures, so do our pursuits.
The Daddening Of Video Games - Love week - Kotaku
I can buy video game's depiction of intergalactic war, sure. Gaming portrayals of romance are a tougher sell. But there's another kind of love that's suddenly popular in games and is being done well: The love of being a dad.
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Being a dad, however, is becoming nearly as popular in video games as health bars and shotguns and, to my playing sensibilities, nearly as successful. I believe we are now experiencing a period of video game history that high school text books will look back upon as The Daddening Of Video Games.
For years, video game dads have not been us. They've primarily been non-playable characters. More specifically, they've been your dad. Your dad who is dying and hopes you can pick up his sword and fight. Your dad who is evil and is hoping you won't pick up a sword and fight. There have been glimpses of what it would be like to be a dad in video games — you were Pac-Man, after all, and therefore possibly the father of Pac-Man Jr., with all the concerns that entails? — but usually dad was some other guy. And seldom, at least in the hundreds of games I played, was I a video game dad. I was the son. I was Marcus Fenix, bold son. I was anonymous Fallout 3 hero, heroic son searching for dad. I was Solid Snake, son of someone or other, though I was often confused as to who dad actually was.
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This week we get Bioshock 2, where you are, as the box art shows and as our review explained, a Big Daddy, trying to reacquaint yourself with the Little Sister who was put in the series' paternal Big Daddying care. You know, Big Daddys protect the Little Sisters, let them cling to their backs, etc.
This week we'll also be running a review of Heavy Rain, a game I previously noted in a preview, offers an early gameplay moment of — get this — having to choose which of your two sons you're going to play with first in the backyard. These are the kinds of choices hero father Ethan Mars must face.
In all three of the above cases, trust me, there are a lot of dad issues in the game. In fact, being a good dad proves to be a major theme in all three, as far as I've played in each game (which is a lot).