Father’s day should be approaching upon us, and whenever I’m on a site like this it always make me think of the fathers and the symbolism that depicts fatherhood within videogames. Silent Hill, Heavy rain, Bioshock, Psychonauts, Pong, Tekken and many others except pong are all riddled with father figures and frankly (yet fortunately) I feel that it’s not going to stop anytime too. While Dads in videogames maybe common thought (particularly because of the upcoming ‘celebration' ?) , respectively I think about it’s other half of the within the gaming world.
Mothers (or Moms, Mums or my preferred choice Mams) in computer games isn’t a rarity, however I don’t think that people take and truly discuss it, except for the odd top ten list. Which is a shame because when back on the subject matter since it has an interesting timeline, interesting enough to make me type about it with my writing skills, which is coincidently also interesting enough for you read through with enthusiasm or with no regrets (I hope, I pray).
The earliest recollection that mothers were going to a stable were in the RPGs of the nineties, they didn’t much that would catch someone eyes other than get the protagonist out of bed and sending them off to their inevitable quest of macguffin collecting, so they do get brownie points for playing the role of a catalyst. Then they’d be off to sit next to the table doing nothing for the next forty hours (like most housewives). Not to say that all of them were pixel infused alarm clock, for me the one that stood out was the mother Series, where in Earthbound deliberately forces your character to call its' mother on occasion other you’ll get homesick and be useless in battle. This might be a subliminal message about keeping in touch with our own parents might develop some kind of connection, but the fate of the world is in my bloody hands. I haven’t got time to be talking to Mam about how well my sister doing with her job and how she‘s better off than me. The third instalment, the mother plays a quintessential role for the being the Lucas’ inspiration to be a braver person and get over his timid nature. There’s a chapter in the game (people who played the game should know what I’m talking about) really exposes the desires of a child needing a mother in their lives which was executed greatly on the GBA (or Emulator thank you very much Nintendo). This was a scenario that really made game shine in which developers showed you can stir so much emotion and doing so little. Yet, it they must of thought that the chapter was tad sappy because in the next chapter you fight a guy infused with a saxophone in a volcano for a golden sword in the ground to prevent the end of the world! Lord how I wish I made up that last sentence.
Not to say that all mothers were the bliss saturated housewives always on the edge to replenish your health. Meanwhile the other side of the spectrum, there would forebearers were the ones to jeopardise the world, probably the most notable one being Final Fantasy VII’s Jenova who was inspired by the death of his biological Sakaguchi’s own mother. While not necessarily his biological mother, Sephiroth was brought up to believe that she was his predecessor and to cleanse the world they must combine within the life stream. Oedipus Rex syndrome is hinted at but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about, despite the fact of what those fans. Y’know, those fans, with their weird fan fiction and fan art and homemade mugs saying Sephiroth wants to Fuck his Mom! Y’know, those fan who when they aren’t found doing that are in caves scavenging for fish heads!
Back to the topic, another one within the Final fantasy series was Nora in XIII and frankly (if I may get another thing off my chest) I wasn’t too keen on her. Not because she’s half the reason why Hope exists, but because Nora is the name of my own parent. Which wouldn’t be half as bad but there is both a resistance team and operation after her! So I have to endure lines like: “For Nora!”, “Commence operation Nora” or “We must abort operation Nora”, it was so uncanny that the game was making those innuendo at my expense , I quit the game the moment I got to grand pulse. More than likely she was mention again but I can’t force myself though the hassle again.
NORA: "It's a stupid acronym. Their little code. Stands for "No Obligations, Rules, or Authority."-Thanks Lighting, that makes me feel better.
I personally like Brigid Tenebaum of Bioshock. Not necessarily a mother, actually we are given the impression that she is a career driven woman who would tinker with genetics of the little girls in order to climb the corporate ladder. I mean she couldn’t be more cold hearted unless she told a harsh truth about you and then she celebrated with a drink of your bitter tears out of your favourite mug. On your birthday.
Naturally, she eventually see the wrong in her doing and then devotes her life in protecting the children, so it impossible to bypass the notion that there is some motherly attributes to her name.
I’ve yet to play Metal Gear Solid 4 yet even I knew that Eva was Snake’s (sort of) parent I’ve very little to say about it but I thought I should just reference that, incidentally I didn’t know that the boss was Revolver’s mother (thanks curiosity). So there’s two tough child-bearers for the price of one game.
While looking back on the variation of procreators in videogame. Good one, bad one and even one with chickenpox, there is never a stand out game where they were the hero. Which is a shame since there many where dads are the heroes and the people are responding positively to that concept. However, I feel that the people who praise these games are men who were once young greasy awkward kids and are now less greasy awkward adults who tackle the challenges of everyday life who can play a game like say Heavy Rain and go “Here’s a hero: saves both the day and kid and is now off to finish the project for his firm, that‘s a standard could reach if I was bothered”.
In Ico there is Yorda’s mother the Queen. Who wants to sacrifice her daughter in order to cheat death. This is a concept that I always reminded me of those mothers who forces their daughter in those beauty pageants for “There own good”. Or should I ignore that concept…..
Sure Nina Williams had a game, but that didn’t really reference the subject matter that so much, plus that game had a serious fault of being a bit too shit.
Only thing that comes across in my mind is Samus Aran where the orphaned metroid just decides that She’ll just be biological property like that. However I feel that this really just a reference to Ellen Ripley to the Alien series more than anything else who has also struggled with her role as a Baby Maker (I ran out of alternate word for mother, can you blame me?).
I pretty sure there is more to take in, but I think I shall put a halt to it right about here. I tried not to give an image of an arrogant pillick who over analysing into things that aren’t really there. But I think that happened Around two paragraph ago. Plus me mocking those dedicated Final Fantasy VII fans doesn’t help it either.
So in retrospect, I didn’t think that motherhood wasn’t a much covered topic, but like most things in life I turned to out to be quite wrong and not only that be they’re has been multiple variations of them with traditional, strong willed and one I haven‘t even covered. So now if you excuse me, I have to find the meaning to each type of bubble in Bubble Bobble!