Review: Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator
Why Is It So Popular and Is It’s Popularity Authentic or Is It the Butt of an Internet Gay Joke? It seems like a good chunk of the internet has been utterly fascinated by the surprise hit visual novel Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator.
The game has a pretty simple premise: create your daddy, and have him date other daddies. The game has a lot of options as far as character customization. You can be thicker, “bear-type” of dad, or you can be thinner like an “otter.”
The game is obviously geared towards those who are fans of gay male romance narratives, rather than the “bara” or “shounen ai” genres. This means it should have been a niche game, but somehow got super popular.
I’m inclined to think that it’s for genuine reasons. According to Metacritic.com, the game sits at 70% which is not phenomenal but by no means terrible and multiple reviews have called it pretty good.
GameGrin: “With wonderful writing and art, this game is amazing. There are a few flaws in the mini-games that can be mostly forgiven. I would absolutely recommend giving this dating game a chance. Definitely worth it.”
COGconnected: “Between the delightful little flourishes, this is a game that wants to make you think. And feel.”
GameStar: “Fantastically written and life-affirming dating simulator that doesn’t use all of its potential.”
While I don’t question their opinions, I do question those of gamers like Markiplier and other mainstream gamers who have a section of their audiences who are “bro-tastic” and are more than comfortable calling each other the “f-word” and calling something they find stupid “gay.”
I doubt Markiplier is trying to push some homophobic agenda, especially when he’s been known for being one of Youtube’s biggest LGBTQ+ allies.
However, when presented to these audiences, I can’t help but thing that games like Dream Daddy become mere jokes.
And as a gay gamer, that upsets me.
Go to any of those comment sections, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I refuse to repost some of the stuff I found.
Even online outlet juggernauts like Buzzfeed got into the craze, and no their articles aren’t rude, but knowing how many people they reach, it’s pretty easy to see where some of these comments are coming from.
With all this coverage, it seems like it’s making Dream Daddy into a big gay online joke, which sucks because the representation of gay character is still barely starting to make its way into the mainstream gaming culture albeit with a lot of backlash.
With this in mind, I’m not sure if this exposure is more of a help or a hindrance to the promotion of gay characters.
For now, I’ll hope that there is more positive than negative that can come from its exposure. …Even if I continuously roll my eyes when I see stupid comments.