My latest gaming adventure takes me back into the world of dating sims, thanks to the belated release of Dream Daddy from Game Grumps. My first real foray into dating sims was with Shall We Date?, an experience that I am not soon to forget, especially now that Facebook has taken it upon itself to remind me that the series offers many app options. Didn’t I say I wanted to check out those ninjas?

Dream Daddy is not quite on the same level as Shall We Date? To be honest, I find it a little boring because I have so little agency in how I choose to play my dadsona. BioWare has spoiled me with choices that mostly matter. BioWare has also spoiled many people with the belief that pushing the right buttons and saying the right things automatically earn you sexy times with pixel people. Players of Dream Daddy are discovering that not every happy ending means hopping in the sack with your conquest, and I’m quite pleased with the developers for their desire to subvert some of the dating sim tropes. Dating dads aside, I am particularly fond of the game’s focus on positive parenting, specifically for fathers. It is truly uplifting to see and develop such a positive relationship between your main character and his daughter, Amanda, as well as the relationships the relationships of the other fathers, including ones that struggle with their rebellious teens.

What else has been on my gaming radar this week?

Doomfist is Back for the First Time

Overwatch introduced the long anticipated character, Doomfist. The character’s existence has been part of the Overwatch lore since the game was launched, but he has only now made his appearance. I haven’t had a chance to check him out yet, but my daughters saw the trailer and are chomping at the bit to get their Doomfist on. He’s already inspired some amazing cosplay, and his epic skins have impressed with their cultural authenticity—good to hear, since Blizzard has previously come under fire for their failed attempts and cultural representation that missed the mark.

Along with Doomfist comes a few patch updates, including one that many players are happy about: the reduction of lootbox duplicates.

Dungeons & Dragons in the Department of Corrections

[pullquote]”…most of the guards at Sterling tolerate the game, even looking on with bemused curiosity and asking questions. Perhaps they are struck by the unexpected juxtaposition of some of their most notorious troublemakers slipping into the skins of elves and other fantasy creatures. Some even go so far as to encourage it…”[/pullquote]Waypoint’s “At Play in the C arceral State” series investigates gameplay in prison culture. It’s latest entry takes a look at a Colorado maximum security prison where inmates play Dungeons & Dragons in their limited downtime. The reclusive inmate, Aaron Klug, is serving an eight-year sentence for bank robbery. The police caught him when they discovered that he’d registered for a local D&D event. Now he is the prison’s dungeon master, crafting maps and character sheets in his prison cell.

Not Ready Player One

I read Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s book about Wade, a kid obsessed with the virtual reality world of OASIS and the creator who leaves behind the Easter egg of all Easter eggs for its players. The trailer, recently revealed at SDCC, shows lots of cool CGI and explosions, and, unsurprisingly, very little plot. Not that there was much to the book itself once you got beyond the rampant ’80s nostalgia. Being a child of the ’80s, I was sucked in with that very nostalgia for the first 100 pages, then woke up and realized that book was a very poorly written white cis male power fantasy. There are some merits to the simplistic moral of big corporation versus the people and finding a healthy balance to your gaming life and responsibilities, but the trailer seems to offer none of that. Worse, the character of Aech, who checks off all the diversity requirements in one shot, is probably going to be just as sidelined with her issues in favour of Wade’s story as she is in the book. As such, I have no interest in seeing this film. Instead, I will quietly work on my fanfic where this entire story is retold from Aech’s point of view.

Ready for Some Mayhem

I had intended August to be a month of saving money and being productive. You know, responsible adulting. Then I found out about Agents of Mayhem, the latest game from Volition set in the world of my beloved Third Street Saints.

From the third installment onward, The Saints Row series became the home of shamelessly ridiculous debauchery and I was down for every moment of it. Yes, my Boss had strippers in her gang HQ and was happy to run around naked, getting new tattoos and guns to fight aliens and robot clones and whatever else the game tossed at her. Agents of Mayhem promises more of the same and Volition has even gone so far as to ‘leak’ a sex tape on YouPorn. Marketing genius, I tell you.