Dragon Age’s Isabela is a Catgirl (Kind Of)

Dragon Age’s Isabela is a Catgirl (Kind Of)

Back in January 2019, Patrick Weekes (now Lead Writer on Dragon Age) made a comment about catgirls. Soon, he was swamped in tweets about whether he was creating a catgirl character for Dragon Age 4. Sadly, Weekes clarified he had been talking about Catra from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and had no plans to add a similar trope to the Dragon Age world of Thedas. (more…)

Grow Up: Why We Need Young Adult Games

Grow Up: Why We Need Young Adult Games

I am an unabashed lover of young adult fiction. I always have been; it was there for me when I was a kid, and as an adult it’s a breezy respite from the heaviness of the mature books I also read. The same is true of games, where “young adult” is a label that doesn’t quite exist. Instead of young adult, we label games as for kids—though, for adult audiences, kids’ games are seen as somewhat more acceptable than young adult fiction, given the number of us unabashedly sinking hours into Sonic Mania—or for adults, with little room for anything else. (more…)

Kingdom Hearts’ Women Problem is Its Plot Problem

Kingdom Hearts’ Women Problem is Its Plot Problem

[Spoilers for Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep follow.]

When I was big into fanfiction, I was never much for crossovers. Some crossovers were good, sure, giving real thought into how two different canons would merge, meld, or meet and how the characters of those worlds would interact.

Too often, though, crossovers ended up being an excuse for the author to put all their favorite characters in the same room to do nothing but chat (or possibly, defeat one of the canon’s Big Bads.) Because they rarely did more than talk, it was even harder to get a sense for the actual character or give them any sort of function in the story. (more…)

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re beginning to wind down from the holiday seasons by curling up beneath warm blankets with a mug of hot chocolate, while the Southern Hemisphere is no doubt basking in the sun on a beach. Naturally, this got us thinking about coziness and the recent conversations the gaming industry has been having about how to capture it and what it can add to a game. Our own Maddi Butler wrote a piece on coziness in the Nancy Drew series, which served as a perfect jumping-off point for this discussion.

What does it mean to be cozy? Should games strive to make us feel that way? Let’s find out! (more…)

Sidequest’s Definitive Ranking of Sword Dads, Part I

Sidequest’s Definitive Ranking of Sword Dads, Part I

“I’m starting The Witcher 3 and Geralt is my dad now.” I made this bold declaration on Twitter as I began my 130+ hour love affair with The Witcher 3, which to this day remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It took playing a few other games to realize I have a type when it comes to games. I call this genre “Sword Dads.” Like the name implies, these games have at least one character with a daditude (that’s a “dad attitude” for you newcomers) and an often comically large sword.

I categorize Sword Dads loosely. Blood relation to a child can be a factor, but it isn’t necessary. A Sword Dad can be anyone, really. What matters is having a sort of fatherly attitude/mentoring role/proclivity for dad jokes aimed at a younger character. Per the name, a Sword Dad will also ideally carry a big sword or two, though other weapons may count, too.

We love Sword Dads here at Sidequest and are excited to bring you a definitive ranking of the most dangerous, dadliest dads in video games.

—Maddi Butler

Editor’s note: The following entries may contain spoilers. See a Dad from a game you don’t want to be spoiled for? Skip it! Also, you’ll notice below that the nominees aren’t ranked—you, the reader, will have the power to decide on the ultimate Sword Dad. Give us your thoughts below!

Editor’s note 2.0, 1/7/2019: Vote on best Sword Dad right through here! Each tier will last 24 hours, so vote right the heck now.

(more…)

This Beanie’s For You: CLOAK, Parasociality, and the Search for Belonging

This Beanie’s For You: CLOAK, Parasociality, and the Search for Belonging

This is CLOAK. This is our clothing brand. But more importantly, this is your clothing brand. — McLoughlin and Fischbach, CLOAK Mission Story

When Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach and Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, two of the most prominent gaming YouTubers in the world at 22 and 20 million subscribers respectively, launched their CLOAK brand of athleisure wear for gamers, an interesting reaction sparked up from the ashes of its release. Selling the product line to the public as a long term dream of theirs, and the high-end brand was immediately snapped up, selling out of its pre-order run within a half a week. But its basic designs, dubious quality and bizarre “It’s for you but not for you” parasocial marketing mission has caused as much skepticism as it has success. Taking a deep dive into CLOAK and what it offers pre-launch, one meets the cults of personality around both men and sees what it is to milk YouTube in an age where sincerity creates cash. (more…)