Queer Game Narrative in Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is a game that allows the player to customize their own dad character (with trans binder options) and date seven other dads. Because of the game’s premise, many queer relationships are featured in addition to specifically queer characters outside of the dateable dads. The game makes the player select their deceased spouse’s gender, allowing players to customize the sexuality of their player character. The game has multiple endings reliant on completing three dates successfully with a dateable dad of the player’s choice.

A list of characters and their implied or explicit sexualities and gender identities are as follows:

Brian: The player is never informed on if Brian was previously married or who Daisy’s second biological parent is. We also see no canon queer content for Brian outside of interactions with the player character.

Craig: He is formally married to Ashley but outside of interactions with the player, there is no canon queer content for Craig.

Dadsona: The player character specifically receives the option to use a binder, letting the player play as a trans man if they wish. The game also gives the option of choosing the player character’s deceased spouse’s gender, allowing for expression of a gay or bisexual identity.

Damien: The player is never informed on if Damien was previously married or who Lucien’s second biological parent is. Outside of player interactions, there is no canon queer (in regards to sexuality) content for Damien, but during the first date with Damien (found here at around 9:00), Damien mentions having binders in his closet. In a tweet from one of the co-creators, Leighton Gray, Damien is also confirmed to be trans.

Hugo: In Hugo’s DadBook profile, he says that he is turned on by muscles and we also find out that he has an ex-partner who he refers to as “the cool weekend dad” when talking about his son, Earnest and his past. This suggests that he is at least explicitly gay, possibly implicitly bisexual depending on his past before his most recent ex-partner.

Joseph: Through playing the story, we find out that Joseph has cheated on Mary before with Robert. We’re also shown that Joseph’s relationship is on the rocks and many have speculated whether Joseph is gay, bi, or queer in some way, such as in this reddit thread.

Mat: The player is informed that Mat was formerly married to a woman named Rosa before she died, but other than from player interactions, there’s no canon queer content for Mat.

Pablo: This character shows up multiple times as you’re dating Mat and seems to go by he/him pronouns but dresses in a gender non-conforming way.

Robert: We are told that he was formerly married to a woman named Marilyn but that she is deceased. In the game he offers to hook up with the player character before the character is able to date anyone and he is also known to have hooked up with Joseph. This suggests that he is explicitly bisexual.

Val: Through Robert’s story, you can meet Val, his estranged daughter, who mentions her girlfriend while talking to Amanda (found here at around 1:00:57), suggesting that she is explicitly lesbian.

A big controversy that relates to the difficulty in labeling these characters’ sexualities is that the game never explicitly uses labels or terminology. In an interview by Mic with both of the game’s co-creators, these things were said:

“The driving force of writing this game was that we didn’t want any of the paths to explicitly be about the dads’ sexualities.”

“A lot of people have said that this game fails to engage with queer culture in a meaningful way, and I absolutely understand that criticism,” Gray said over the phone. “But also, we didn’t want any of the [character arcs] to explicitly be about the dads’ sexualities. I think we already have a lot of media that spends a lot of time talking about those kinds of feelings and navigating coming out and grappling with your sexuality. I think those narratives are important, for sure, but I just want to fast-forward to the part where we can have stories about queer characters that are not explicitly about them being queer.”

This leaves many of the characters’ sexualities up for speculation, but for the purposes of the Archive, they are categorized on here as described in the list above.

LGBTQ References in this game:

Queer Game Narrative in Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

Citations:

  1. Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Daddy:_A_Dad_Dating_Simulator
  2. Frank, A. (2017, July 17). Dream Daddy Simulator’s last-minute delay causes a stir. Retrieved from https://www.polygon.com/2017/7/17/15973206/dream-daddy-simulator-release-date-pc
  3. Graylish. (2017, July 21). yes! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/graylish/status/888316619168006144
  4. Ladypocky. (2017, July 29). R/DreamDaddy – “Joseph will always stay Married to Mary.” Joseph’s romance path is apparently a moral lesson? Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/DreamDaddy/comments/6q916a/joseph_will_always_stay_married_to_mary_josephs/
  5. Mulkerin, T. (2017, July 28). ‘Dream Daddy,’ the gayest game of the year, never uses the word “gay.” Let’s talk about that. Retrieved from https://mic.com/articles/182198/dream-daddy-the-gayest-game-of-the-year-never-uses-the-word-gay-lets-talk-about-that#.wsvXRXvYQ
  6. Wolftooth. (2017, July 22). Dream Daddy A Dad Dating Simulator All Robert Small dates rank S & Good Ending. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awUVKEgeA1I
  7. Wolftooth. (2017, July 23). Dream Daddy A Dad Dating Simulator All Damien Bloodmarch dates rank S & Good Ending. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeI5tKfZ2A0