Episode 5: Parents – ‘Elizabeth, Why Is Your Mom A Ghost?’

lady-comstockIn which our heroes discuss the way parents are represented in recent games . . . or not represented most of the time, if they’re mums.  Questions on our minds were: how do divorce rates and single-parent families affect representation in games? Does the in-game patriarchy reappropriate ‘female suffering’? Daughters, hot or not? Do daughters sit in judgement on the decline of patriarchy, or inherit the power-baton from dear ol’ Dad?  What’s progressive about these games and what might they be saying about the role of women in hyper-masculinised landscapes?

Spoilers for the games: Last of Us, Witcher 3, Bioshock Infinite, Walking Dead 1 & 2, Dishonored.

Referenced and recommended resources:

‘Melodrama and Men in Post-Classical Romantic Comedy’, Kathleen Rowe, Me Jane: masculinity, movies, and women, ed. Pat Kirkham, Janet Thumin

Where are all the video game moms?’, Colin Campbell

‘Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?’, Sarah Boxer

‘They will remember this: How Telltale taught me to love and fear parenting’,

‘Putting My Girl Back Together Again’, G. Christopher Williams

‘Let’s Get Real about Fatherhood and Video Games’, Greg Pollock

‘The Last of Us, Bioshock: Infinite and why all video game dystopias work the same way’, Keith Stuart

‘Brutal:Manhood and the Exploitation of Animals’, Brian Luke