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“We were determined to not make any of the dads' individual paths their sexuality or have their sexuality be their defining trait," Gray says.
"We can have narratives that are about queer people that are not necessarily about being queer.
But its subject matter—dads—also touches a nerve that resonates with just about everyone.
“Dads are such a universal, emotional thing for people, whether you have a good or bad relationship with your father, or no father in your life,” Gray says.
Although the two of you have been on your own for a while, the death of your spouse—you can specify if they were male or female—clearly still weighs on your mind.
You meet six other dads who just happen to live in the same suburban cul-de-sac, and with a little help from a Facebook analogue called Dadbook, the dating begins.
“Younger women, women who are queer like me, and younger people in general are interested in more complex narrative experience from a videogame.”Nor does putting queer characters and experiences center stage mean that a general audience can’t embrace them as well.
The game and the community surrounding the game was so positive and loving that it encouraged them to be themselves.”'s success belies a long-held assumption of the mainstream gaming world: that making games about LGBT people is an inherently niche endeavor, one that limits your potential audience and sales.
You might think that the best way to win points with a standoffish dad is through sarcasm; once you learn his backstory, however, you find that what he really wants is kindness.
The heartaches and emotional wounds of the men you pursue are not obstacles to be overcome en route to sex, but rather fragments of real humanity that make them even more lovable—and often force you to reexamine your own intentions.
Like the rest of the dads, he is who he is—and he is allowed to be, without controversy.
“The most moving [feedback] comes from people who are trans or nonbinary people feeling really included in this experience,” Gray says.
For all of the genre's seeming emphasis on romance, dating sims often contain a reductively transactional notion of love and sex, relying on a mechanic that independent game developer Arden once described as “kindness coins”: Put enough compliments or gifts into the object of your affection and receive sex in return.