Parenting & video games can be a struggle, but what about parenting IN videogames?
We’re digging through our foggy memories and identifying memorable video game characters whose issues with the parental figures in their lives have made them the way they are. Who says video games don’t promote family values?
Clementine (The Walking Dead)
First your real parents abandon you with a babysitter so they can run off to some crappy city in Georgia. When the world as you know it starts to crumble, your babysitter dies and becomes part of the undead, and you’re ‘adopted’ by an ex-con who may or may not have killed people before the zombies apocalypse began. Life is sorta good with your new-found father figure (despite the zombies trying to eat your brain and the humans constantly bickering)… and then the unthinkable happens.
Marcus Fenix (Gears of War)
Your mother goes missing or something (nobody really knows or cares?) and your father is one of the greatest scientific AND military minds on your planet – who also happens to be a war hero and elite soldier. How the hell are you supposed to live up to dad? Oh, and did I mention that he’s also responsible for creating the superweapon that obliterated 90% of the planet’s population? Clark Kent ain’t got nothing on you Fenix!
Ryu (Street Fighter 2)
Everyone’s familiar with the quintessential poster boy for the Street Fighter series, but have we actually taken an objective look at the man called Ryu? Orphaned at a young age, Ryu was found by a martial arts master named Gouken who taught him how to fight. Pretty cool so far, but then Gouken sent him out into the world with incredible powers that allow the man to shoot fucking fireballs and… well… he becomes a wandering hobo.
Yes folks, your favourite Street Fighter character is nothing more than a muscular drifter who goes around fighting people so he can continue to get better at fighting. The dude owns one set of clothes and walks around barefoot. What does he do for a living? How does he survive? What’s in his duffel bag? I feel we’ll never find out.
Solid/Liquid/Solidus Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
Life sucks when you’re a clone. I mean, you’re pretty much the genetic copy of an already-existing person – and that person already happens to be an asshole. What’s worse is that you’re not even an exact clone replica, but one who’s been genetically engineered to express certain characteristics.Then you find out that there’s a bunch of others like you. WTF?
How do you explain that on a date?
Little Sisters (BioShock)
Seriously, what kind of screwed up life is this, when all they do is collect science-magic essence/mana from corpses? These creepy girls are a product of unstable parenting – and it’s easy to see why when their father-figure goes about shooting rivets into people or drilling through their skulls.
Looking back, the BioShock series should probably be renamed “Bad Parenting”, as most of the conflict that happens is a result of that anyway.
And as a bonus, here are some fathers whose issues with children are resolved thanks to the magic of video games. Spoiler alert, BTW…
Booker DeWitt (BioShock Infinite)
The ending of BioShock Infinite is part Oldboy, part Twelve Monkeys, part Donnie Darko. Does that make sense? Not really, but the ending totally does, and believe me, it’s a doozy. Thankfully, Elizabeth straightens everything out in the end… or does she? Good thing you didn’t fall in love with her, Booker…
Joel (The Last of Us)
How touching… and yet how selfish of you Joel! Potentially screwing over the rest of humanity so that you can have a replacement for the daughter you failed to protect. In the end, we win though, because your selfish act ensures that there will be sequels of The Last of Us. Thanks buddy!