Dream Daddy, the Gay Dad Dating Simulator
You know what I was just thinking the world was missing? You guessed it! A dating simulator in which you play a single gay dad attempting to meet and romance other single gay dads.
Ok, so maybe you were gonna say something more important like "world peace" or "a third season of Sense 8." But according to the reaction online, you apparently need only play the new game Dream Daddy for mere moments before realizing a "gay dad dating simulator" is exactly what the world was missing.
The new game by Game Grumps involves a virtual world in which players assume the character of a gay, single man who is a father to teenager daughter, Amanda. Following the death of your spouse, you and Amanda move to a new neighborhood, which is conveniently filled with many other available gay dads for you to court.
At first blush, it would be easy to assume that the such a project, stemming from the gaming world, would be at best childish and and worst exploitative. But instead it has been commended for its sensitivity on the topic of LGBT parenthood, and for the breadth of the game's inclusivity. The protagonist of the game centers on a gay man who lost his husband, for instance, and includes gay dads of all stripes, colors, and persuasions, including a goth trans dad named Damien Bloodmarch.
"Every one of the characters turn out to have more depth than you'd assume," said a recent reviewer of the game on Steam, the online gaming curator. "None of them feel one-note or stereotypical as you learn more about each of them."
As a result, Dream Daddy has been a surprise hit, currently charting among the Steam's top sellers.
"I think people thought it was a joke at first because we did announce it on Father's Day, but it did quickly become very serious that we weren't really joking in the way they thought we were," Vernon Shaw, a co-creator of the game, said in a recent interview on the podcast Namek vs. Saiyan.
Shaw's co-creator, Leighton Gray, is a queer woman who says she is excited the game has found an audience. "The genesis of the idea for me was just about dads dating other dads," Gray said. "The more that we worked on it the more we saw the opportunity to tell a story for this community that could be really important. There's so little queer content now that's just light-hearted and fun and silly and showcases a really honest relationship. I think part of the goal for this was for it to be for everyone."
Still, Dream Daddy is clearly a novelty. It's hard to imagine many non-gamers dropping $14.99 for the opportunity to creating their very own "dadsona" anytime soon. But with positive examples of LGBTQ families in such short supply, it's important to applaud good representations of gay men as fathers when we find them, particularly when they occur in mediums where you'd least expect them, like a video game.
So whether you're a gay dad in real life, or only in virtual reality, we say keep on dreaming.