Friday, September 15, 2006


Alright. Here we go. Come with me now (Buffy fans, take note of my Andrew impersonation) as we follow Amanda on another journey through her brain.

I recently had a birthday. My family, being the crazy, generous people they are, bought me a PS2. I have recently been embracing my inner geekdom and needed a console to complete the process. I love it, though Jason has gotten more time on it, the bastard. Anyway, though I received some great games from my family, I have, of course, been looking at other games that are out there. Beware, my Amazon wishlist will soon be three times as large. Of course, I use it for myself - a way to remember the things that I want so that I can make smart decisions about what to buy for myself. Yep, you guys didn't need to know that.

I'm getting there, my point is near. We're rounding the curve...yeah. Here we are.

While browsing PS2 games, I came across a game calledThe Daughter Simulation: Together with Father. I'm not sure why I clicked on the title to get more information about the game, but I did. Here's what I saw:

A first-person adventure that puts the player in the role of a loving father who can raise his daughter to be 20 different kinds of women. Begin at childhood and watch her grow-up into an adult. Japan only.

It wasn't until the end of this blurb that I realized exactly what kind of game this was. It was the "Japan only" part of the blurb. This is a game that completely distorts and idealizes gender issues. I mean, what could this game possibly accomplish? What does it mean?

So yes, we have "a loving father." A loving father who chooses between "20 different kinds of women." I'd really be curious to see the choices. Are they all Japanese? Does the player see what his 'daughter' will look like when she grows up? Do they have different personality traits? What are the objects and goals of this game? I wonder if I'd be less conflicted about it if some of the goals were: get her to college, make sure she's independent and kind? What if the goals are: get her married, fed, and pregnant? If anyone out there can help me, I'd be really grateful.

I obviously don't know enough about the game to form an opinion. The blurb and the title just struck me as...odd. And potentially dangerous. I mean - The Daughter SIMULATION?

And, as I discussed with a good friend the other day (in a two minute conversation that is still obviously making me think), I have always had a little voice in my head. It tells me when I'm looking at something through my own frame of reference and judging it before I can see/hear the other viewpoint. Is this a cultural thing I just don't understand? I hope so. Someone Japanese! Help!

Is this so different from the popular American simulation game The Sims? There is a small difference - we are playing god when we're playing the sims. In The Daughter Simulation, the player is only playing dad. Is ours better because it bears so little resemblance to our own reality (none of us are, in fact, gods)? Or is the Japanese game better because it is involved in preparation for and "love" of a daughter? I think the questions and fears that come with these games warrants a different post, so I'll stop here.

I know my lack of knowledge and understanding of the game may strike some of you as annoying, and I'm sorry. But I'm really asking for help here. I want to know where I stand with this game.


jlw said...

The part that makes me think that the game has a sexist bias is that it is gender specific on both ends. The player takes the role of "father", not "mother" or "parent". The simulation depicts the "daughter", not "son" or "child". Adherence to specified gender roles is implied in the structure of the game. I'd like to see more details, but it looks sexist on the surface.

Adam Elend said...

I don't think you needed the "hmm, what's it really saying?" analysis. The description says it all.

Someday, I hope to be a father, so I can have complete control over how my daughter's life turns out.

Great find!