I did a bit of research on ‘The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt’ last year while preparing to write a piece on the Video Game industry and its treatment of minority groups. The Witcher, of course, is written by Andrzej Sapkowski who is very obvious about what types of groups are being discussed, even if allegorically. I picked on the Witcher because it is among many of the power fantasy narratives that come with the genre.
There are currently several iterations of Geralt of Rivia, and similarly, this trend can be seen in The Last of Us and God of War. Our protagonists are fathers first, and the plot follows this innate connection between parent and child.
I’m interested to see where this came from? To what extent is it really a trend, or just a few notable additions to the AAA RPGs?
The Lone Wolf, and Cub Saga 1976, The Last of Us 2013 Until Death do Us Part 2006, Leon the Professional 1994, True Grit 2010, Berserk (after the golden age arc) Resident Evil 2 1998, and honestly God of War 3 2010 (and some of the spin off games). This trope has been popular for years, as the young child is almost always paired with an adult with some type of dark past or they are in situation (like a zombie outbreak) where the child is a liability due to them not being able to defend themselves. This usually forces the adult to have a moral dilemma where they have to decide whether they'll to put themself endanger or abandon the child. This trope is usually paired with some type of redemption arc. But, to answer your first question this trope isn't new. I don't know what was the first story to do this trope is, but I can say it predates its modern 2010's trend. I believe the main reason people are noticing it more often now and potentially the reason we are seeing an increased amount of stories using this trope is because its easy Oscar/Award bait as much of the series I've mentioned have won numerous awards. Not saying that awards are purely the reason this is done. But success is a good incentive for imitators. – Blackcat1307 months ago
Maybe "dadification" is not the appropriate term to use here, given its sexual connotations. – T. Palomino7 months ago
I would argue that this trope is not inherent to video games. It also exists in super hero films like Logan. – Sean Gadus4 months ago
Dads in video games have definitely been around for a while. Heavy Rain, Donkey Kong Country (sorta) and The Walking Dead come to mind. It would be interesting to look back at the exact point that dads become a popular inclusion for the medium. Even looking at games where the father isn't the protagonist, but still exists to fulfill their role as a father to the player character, such as Final Fantasy XV. – GagePatte002 months ago