Published 2 years ago
, Updated June 17th, 2012 at 11:08 am,
Game Ranter Banter: Father's Day Edition
Fathers aren't just role models in our lives, they're also gamers. And that's why we've decided to make this week's Game Ranter Banter a special Father's Day Edition. Some of you may be wondering why didn't do one for Mother's Day, and for that, we have a clever and well-thought out retort. Shut up.
In this week's Banter, our writers will share their take on fathers in games like The Last of Us, classic games like the original Doom and Unreal, or their own experiences being fathers, or just hanging out with their own.
Figurative Fatherhood in The Last of Us (By Brian Sipple)
Joel and Ellie might not be the father-daughter tandem some first expected when early screens for The Last of Us leaked — we later discovered that the duo, respectively, comprised a black market contraband broker and 14-year-old orphan — but make no mistake: In Naughty Dog’s disease-infested world where simply being human suffices for most, Joel’s unique role as a father figure casts him as one of rarer archetypes we see in gaming narratives.
It’s a key reason — this parenting persona — for why I think The Last of Us will serve as yet another leap forward in video game storytelling. By its figurative nature, the term "father figure" is harder to characterize than the literal, ancestral father. Many RPGs like Fable have given us miniature sons to come home to and make faces at; shooters like Gears of War estranged dads to rescue from captivity. Few experiences however, have taken these biological relationships for less than granted. For Joel to successfully survive with Ellie, a girl whose bloodline is as different as her view of the world, demands a level of caring and bonding, a level of humanity mixed with all the chaos that interactive entertainment is only now just beginning to explore through actual gameplay. If The Last of Us succeeds on all accounts in early 2013 — the buzz from E3 looks promising — Father of the Year might have its first write-in nominee.
One More Turn (By Anthony Taormina)
While I have yet to become a father myself, the influence my own father had on my video gaming tendencies is one that many can relate to. At an early age, my Dad and I would spend countless hours trying to get through each and every level of Super Mario World on the SNES, to the point of near exhaustion. Since then we have slowly grown apart as my gaming tastes have generated towards the immersive experiences, and my father has become less and less willing to try to learn the intricacies of dual joystick control.
But every now and again we come together for a gaming experience, whether it's bowling on the Wii or him watching me save the galaxy as Commander Shepard, that reminds us how why video games brought us together. Just like my father, I hope that I am able to usher my kids into a new age of gaming.
Father Son Time (By Matt Rowland)
There has always been a right-of-passage associated with passing down information and traditions from father to son. As a father of two children (7 year-old boy and 3 year-old girl), myself on the boundary of Generation X and Generation Next, I find myself in the unique position to be the first real adult generation that grew up with home video games and now play them with their kids.
My father tried to pass down camping, hunting, fishing, and car knowledge to me. None of it took root; I found it boring and slow. Instead, I gravitated to video games and sports. After my son was born seven years ago, I envisioned a son who would be athletic and enjoy the occasional RPG or RTS game with his dad. Instead, as he has grown older, he has shown no interest in sports and until recently, video games. Despite his incredible intelligence for his age, his motor skills always trailed behind other kids; thus, his sackboy in LittleBigPlanet never could quite make the cut either. Instead, he loved fishing and camping. Go figure.
I accepted that maybe he just wasn't into it — until LEGO Captain Jack Sparrow took hold of him. Instead of operating highly suicidal digital heroes, Captain Jack taught him how to play. And play he did, now no longer afraid of games outside of Wii Sports.
I love my kids more than life itself, and I can't tell you how proud I am to finally be able to share gaming experiences with my son - something we now both enjoy. He doesn't care how the time is spent, as long as Dad is with him. Co-op games like the LEGO games make it a perfect fit to tackle the digital world together.
Happy Father's Day to every father ranter out there.
My Co-Pilot (By Ben Kendrick)
When I received my first gaming console back in 1985 (a brand spanking new NES), it didn't take long for me to get the hang of Nintendo staples like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. Throughout the years I would build up my game collection (not to mention spend a lot of time blowing the dust out of cartridges) adding favorites like Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Rampage, and Karnov, as well as a number of licensed titles (based on my favorite movies and TV shows) including Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Jaws, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had little trouble hopping over obstacles or dodging punches and spent a lot of time schooling friends on the ins and outs of predicting enemy attacks.
However, one of my favorite games, Top Gun, offered an awkward balance of mind-blowing aerial combat coupled with an unforgiving aircraft carrier landing mini-game (at the end of each mission). Balancing out the approach speed, direction, and altitude (check out footage of the landing sequence) was too much for my pre-hardcore gamer mind - which meant I had to rely on passing the control over to my co-pilot. My dad never failed at landing the fighter jet safely - and, despite my carelessness on approach, I was never grounded in one of my all-time favorite game experiences. These days, our missions are a bit different, life is a bit more complicated, but just like my Top Gun days, when things get especially bumpy, my co-pilot is still there helping me stick the landing.
It's Your Fault (By Rob Keyes)
I spent many, many years in post-secondary education for degrees and studies I don't fully utilize and it's entirely my dad's fault. Sure, he helped make sure I did what I needed to in order to get into the university we wanted, but the problem goes much deeper than that.
Growing up, my dad made me watch awesome movies from the '70s and '80s. All the time. He even got me interested in video games, getting me the original SimCity, making me play Atari on the Commodore 64, Doom, Papyrus' IndyCar Racing and one of the classic Jack Nicklaus games on PC. He even convinced me to split with my brother and him on buying Unreal the day it came out for PC. What was he thinking?
Now, I work from home and my life revolves around TV, movies and video games. Thanks, dad...
I owe you.
That's all for this week's Game Ranter Banter.
As always, let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments, or on Twitter@GameRant and at Facebook.com/GameRant. If you have specific topics you'd like any of the team to cover, don't hesitate to ask! Oh, and for all you fathers out there, have a happy Father's Day from us at Game Rant.