Over the past few years, video games have been experiencing a slight shift in our main playable characters. Although there are still plenty of games where we can play as the young strapping male, increasingly we have the option to play as females, marginalised people and, of course, dads. Certainly, there have been more dads in video games, such as Joel from The Last of Us and Booker DeWitt from Bioshock Infinite (this phenomena is called the dadification of games by the way), but this year there has also been the welcome small increase of mums as well. With this year coming to a close I thought I would share my favourite playable mums and dad in video games in 2016.
Dishonoured 2: Corvo Attano
I realise that this game has been released realatively recently, and I for one haven’t even finished the game, but we’ve had history with this particular dad. Corvo Attano risked life and limb to save his daughter and place her on her rightful throne. What was interesting about this dad was that you could choose to be passive or aggressive. You could finish the entire game and not kill a single person making a good role model for Emily, alternatively, you could kill everyone you see somehow letting the rat plague run free and cause devastation to the steampunk city of Dunwall… Perhaps the latter does not make for a very good dad. Anyway, in the sequel, you are presented with even more choice and one of the most important is the playable character. You can reprise your role as dad or start a new and play as daughter. When playing as Emily the traditional “dad saves daughter” troop is turned on its head and instead Emily has to save Corvo. Dishonoured’s dad is certainly a badass and cares for his daughter but he is also not perfect, a message I believe we should all remember when thinking about fatherhood.
Uncharted 4: Nathan Drake & Elena Fisher
Although the two adventurers are only parents for the last 15 minutes of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End they are still a pretty awesome mum and dad. Just think about think about them being your parents, wouldn’t it be awesome? All of the stories they’d be able to tell of their globe-trotting journeys and mythical cities would make for perfect conversation starters. And yeah I guess it’s not great that between them they probably kill thousands and thousands of people but every good story needs antagonists… right? Massacre aside, Nathan and Elena are strong and intelligent people, what better parents to help you out in the big wide world. And that’s not even the best bit, Elena is a gamer, so you’ll always have someone to talk about and play games with!
The 23 playable characters in Overwatch are all unique and have interesting background, with so many characters one of them was bound to be a mum or dad. And indeed the first DLC character, Ana, is the mum to another Overwatch character, Pharah. Ana is a support sniper; she heals allies from a distance by shooting them with syringes, what a badass mum! She can heal you for any physical pain, sure she has to shoot you to do so, but at least you’ll feel better. Although, Pharah kind of resents her mum for not being around much when she was a kid, it’s not really Ana’s fault. I mean, she was shot in the eye and was unconscious for a while, give her a break Pharah! Despite this Ana loves her daughter and would sleep dart anyone that tried to hurt her.
So there we have it, my favourite video game mums and dads of 2016. I think what’s important to remember is that these video game parents can be cool, heroic and have unique abilities but they are also very flawed, just like our real parent. Some get shot in the eye, some get locked in a stone prison and some kill thousands of people to find some treasure. The only thing that matters is that they love you and you love them.
…Perhaps my point might have gotten away from me there.