Video games are getting a lot of TV series lately. The Witcher got one that has won awards and put the series on the pop culture map. A Fallout TV series is in the works and Dragon Age has an upcoming Netflix animated show. Many animes have spawned from video games as well, such as Pokemon, Danganronpa, and Persona. The list goes on and on, and what all of these series have in common is that they’re not about the video game’s place in the real world, but the game’s own plot. There is one video game-based show, however, that broke this convention: Final Fantasy 14‘s Dad of Light.
Dad of Light explored Final Fantasy 14, but not by diving into its characters or story. Rather, the show was a fictional drama about Final Fantasy 14 as a video game and how it related to the relationship between a son and his father. Other shows have not followed Dad of Light’s example of how a video game can be the driving force of a plot in the real world, which is a shame since video games can have a lot of influence on drama, family, and relationships. Having more video game shows like Dad of Light can bring more conversations to the video game industry and change how it is seen.
What Dad Of Light Accomplishes With Its Story
Dad of Light is a show that switches between the real world and the world of Final Fantasy 14. The main characters are an estranged father and son who used to be close and bonded through video games. The father picks up Final Fantasy 14 and the son secretly plays with him without telling him his identity. In all, the story is quite wholesome. The son helps the father understand mechanics, and the basics such as how to chat in the game. For gamers, the scenes can be quite amusing, as the father uses a lot of emotes, jumping, and running around at first to communicate.
The show sheds light on how communication in games like Final Fantasy 14 can help those in real life, how a warm community can exist in the virtual world, and how games can be more than just games to people. A lot of gamers have personal video game stories like these, but they remain untapped and are only shared by individuals in online corners rather than explored by movies or TV shows. In fact, a lot of media does the opposite of what Dad of Light does. Movies and TV shows often show video games to be an antisocial activity, and at worst video games get portrayed as outlets for violent people. Media characters who play video games a lot very often fall into the trope of someone who rejects reality and the outside world, when people are far more complex than just that.
Major games like Resident Evil keep getting movies and TV series, suggesting that a lot of the people who played these games have grown up into content creators. Also, a lot of people of all ages are playing video games. It has become cross-generational, offering a lot of different perspectives on the genre. However, a lot of media is only focusing on the stories within games and not the stories of the video games themselves and the players.
There are people who have proposed to their partners in video games, people who discovered their gender identities, their sexualities, and truths about themselves in video games. There are people who have made long-time friends across the planet, never having physically met, but are each other’s cheerleaders in life. These stories deserve to be held up in TV shows and movies. If more shows and movies do what Dad of Light did, rather than sticking to game adaptations like Halo‘s, it could push more of the true positive messages about video games, and why they attract so many people. It can show the complexities of human relationships more, and how video games can even shape identity with its freedoms and messages.
Final Fantasy 14 is available now for PC, PS4, and PS5.