Father’s Day & Video Game Dads

Video Game Celebration for Father's Day!

video game dad

Father’s Day and video games are a great way to spend time with the family, and you might even let dad have the controller once in a while! As video games become a much more commonly shared pastime between multiple generations, engaging in a routine or ritual “gaming” session with parents is one of the best communal bonding opportunities. As we recently celebrated Mother’s Day, we also have an annual Father’s Day this June to acknowledge – and what better way to celebrate than by sitting down with our fatherly figures and playing video games with dad?

For me, it is a pastime that my dad and I have shared together since I was young, and we still play today. You see, being the little sister has its privileges. When my brother had to stop playing to do homework, my dad would let me take my rightful seat and we were off to the races, Mario Kart 64 races that is.

Photo from Pexel

So many great video games have been released since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we have all had more downtime than anticipated, many of us have resorted to cathartic and uplifting activities, like fitness, wellness, cooking, hobbies, and gaming. Ample time is truly an inexplicable gift, and there is something very satisfying about building our critical thinking skills through challenging puzzles and having fun doing it. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a fatherly figure in our lives, it’s a great idea to spend some time with our fathers, as a unit, playing a video game. Part of the memories we have made over the years is the annual “game fest” celebrated by my family when my brother and I are gifted with brand new consoles during the holidays!

My family has kept all of the games from my earliest years, and thanks to my dad, his “fix-it” nature, and new technologies, most of the older games still function, and they are all lined up for this Father’s Day. Sure, all of the new games that are dad-friendly and challenging like Minecraft bring out a special play power, but there is great enjoyment in going down memory lane with a retro game for Father’s Day. Anyone planning for a dad game day with a Mario Kart race or planning to dust off those fun Wii tennis matches? This great Insider article gives us a list of 9 family-friendly, father-friendly video games to play this June. 

Some of the games on the list include the cult classic, Minecraft, as well as New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Rocket League, Jackbox Party Pack, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, and so on. All of the games on this list have a few things in common that make them great for father-son or father-daughter bonding; they are light-hearted, engaging, and some even require some serious cooperation and thinking. 

Minecraft; photo by Wikipedia


Father's Day and All-Star Dads

video game dad

In our families and in the world of entertainment, fathers have some very entertaining and memorable moments. In everyday families and in favorite television shows, movies, and games, fathers oftentimes take on a unique role in the family, whatever role that may be. One of my favorite movies of all time – and one of my favorite fictional fathers is George Banks from Father of the Bride. Of course, Steve Martin is iconic, but the role he plays as George is universally relatable. George is a father who is protective over his daughter and is wary of a new man in her life. George finds himself battling a strange, mid-life crisis amidst seeing his daughter become a grown-up. The dynamic of George’s daughter being puzzled by her father’s funny behavior is definitely relatable for many young adult children.

This list from Buzzfeed ranks over 20 father figures in some of our favorite shows, including characters like Uncle Phil of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Atticus Finch, Finding Nemo’s Marlin, Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter, just to name a few!

What are your favorite father figures in television, movies, or video games?

Best Video Game Dads

To expand upon this subject of all-star dads, and to draw attention to other great fatherly figures in our favorite games, TheDad.com gives a list of the top 10 “Best Video Games Dads”, many of which have impressive and heartwarming character arcs. Three notable characters on this list include:

  1. John Marston – Red Dead Redemption
  2. Joel – The Last of Us
  3. Mike Haggar – Final Fight
video game dad
Joel and Sarah; The Last of Us; Photo from YouTube

A common thread that runs through these fatherly figures in our games is the sacrifices that they make for their spouses, their children, and their loved ones. These father figures are inspiringly and organically heroic, which paints a beautiful image for what it is that so many father figures provide for us in real life. In many of these games, the varied challenges, trials, and nuances of navigating parenthood are conveyed in a very honest and endearing way. I believe this mode of storytelling is much more relatable, which makes me love the games all the more.

Nancy and Carson: The Dynamic Duo

video game dad
Photo of Ken Boynton recording session for Midnight in Salem from YouTube; HerInteractive official account.

One great father we all know and love is Carson Drew. Throughout the many Nancy Drew stories and games, Carson has always taken on the role of a loving, supportive father who motivates his daughter to use her gifts. Carson trusts her to take on many adventures, which builds her independence and her strong character. Carson wants the absolute best for Nancy. The relationship of this father-daughter video game duo is inspiring. I appreciate the love and the support from having a dad that does remind me often of Carson – except Carson is a lot more willing to let Nancy drive in late hours on school nights and travel the world (that’s beside the point). Other than that, they are pretty close. Carson Drew believes in his daughter’s incredible detective skills and determination, which in return, always provides Nancy with further confidence to save the day. 

Carson Drew, voiced by Ken Boynton, expressed what he felt in connection to voicing Carson:

“Being Nancy Drew’s dad, is essentially being a proud dad of a really smart daughter. These stories are built on that idea that your family is always there for you.” 

Personally, I admire the relationship that Nancy and her father have throughout the various obstacles Nancy experiences. Carson has an implicit trust in Nancy’s wisdom and strengths, knowing that she will solve any case she delves into. However, Carson is healthily protective, just like many fathers are, and he will drop everything to help her if needed. Nancy and Carson have a very admirable and balanced bond, which allows Nancy to take a breather and reset when needed. Learn more about Carson Drew in this video as Ken Boynton shares his thoughts on being Carson Drew while working on the newest Nancy Drew game, Midnight in Salem.

Like Father, Like Daughter! 

Carson and Nancy are a great example of a father-daughter team where you can truly say, “Like father, like daughter.”

In the newest Nancy Drew Game, Midnight in Salem, Nancy and her dad are exchanging conversations about the case as they often do. Be it a call or a text, they are definitely connected. Play this game with your Dad!

Photo(s) from HerInteractive Official YouTube Channel

Some notable catchphrases include:

Carson: “Leaving no stone unturned!” 

Nancy: “Thanks dad, you know I learned it all from you right!” 

Here are some other amazing father-daughter duo game characters.  A final list that’s worthy of mentioning on this topic is this list from Unreality Magazine. There is something very special about a strong father-daughter relationship. What’s even more entertaining is a powerful, unstoppable father-daughter duo. For example, although they are not biologically related, Lee and Clementine from the wildly popular Telltale’s The Walking Dead show us just how strong this duo archetype can be, even when the world is quite literally ending. 

For those who are fortunate to have a father figure or may have a special friend that you look to as a fatherly figure, Father’s Day is a wonderful day to recognize all of the sacrifices and the challenges that fathers go through. Fathers do so much to help make their loved ones feel inspired, loved, and confident. Make it a great Father’s Day and play a video game with dad! 

Are there any video games that you play with the father figure(s) in your life? Let us know below in the comments!

~SB

Follow Us