The found or chosen family is among my favorite tropes. I’m a firm believer in family being what you make it, and I find a special resonance with stories about people who cobble together their own familial units regardless of blood relation. Sometimes our blood families aren’t as caring or supportive as we need them to be, and found families in media are a reminder that it’s not only okay but healthy and wonderful to have a support network of people outside of our blood relatives.
The trope encourages supporting and caring for people platonically, not just romantically. While so much emphasis is placed on romantic relationships, friendships can be equally fulfilling and finding support in media is very important for people who may not feel accepted in real life. Support is a source of courage and hope, and even if it’s not real in the strictest sense, the emotions we derive from reading about moving character relationships are real. And in games, based around interaction and immersion, that connection can be even deeper.
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.