Tuesday, June 16, 2009

EXP Podcast #30: The Father of all Podcasts

With Father's Day coming up this weekend, we decided to dedicate a podcast to exploring the role of father characters in video games. Starting with an eclectic list of various game dads, we examine them in terms of their gameplay functions, back-stories, and their narrative importance. A number of surprising patterns crop up that link even the most dissimilar-seeming game fathers. We finish by theorizing about how father characters will continue to develop in forthcoming games. As always, feel free to share your thoughts about anything we mention in the podcast, as well as your analysis of any game dads we passed over.

Some discussion starters:

- Who are your favorite game dads?

- How is fatherhood portrayed in games? What makes dads important to the gaming experience in terms of story and gameplay?

- Has your perception of fatherhood in games changed over the years? Will the portrayal of fathers in games change as more gamers have children?

To listen to the podcast:
- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 31 min 04 sec
- The Story of Being Homeless in Sims 3: "http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com/"
- "The Absent Dad," by Michael Abbott of The Brainy Gamer
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Excellent Episode. Quite surprising Topic.

    Some comments:

    I always thought a Katamari was actually name of the ball, not the name of the prince. The prince is simply "The Prince".

    And yes, there is a "Queen of the Universe". I think she was featured more prominently in the XBox version.

    Good call on Fallout 3. I'm actually playing it right now and I think it is a great example. Your Mother is actually mentioned in a couple of spots. For example, early on when you go to the Jefferson Memorial, you will find a couple of Tapes, one of which is a recording of your mother. And there is that favorite Bible quote of your mother you are introduced quite early on. I think you can even open that frame if you Lockpick skill is good enough. But of course, since she's dead, you father certainly plays the main role in the story of the game.

  2. I'll be interested to hear if you and Jorge end up feeling the same way about the father in Fallout 3. Sorry if that was a spoiler...

    You're also right about the Prince/Katamari name thing (according to Wikipedia); good memory!

    Also, the picture you linked to will now haunt my dreams forever. And yet I still can't wait for the PS3 Katamari...