Tale of Two Fathers: Authenticating Fatherhood in Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us

  • Melvin G. Hill


The gaming industry is evolving rapidly, moving from superficial to more mature content that not only challenges gamers but also offers more critical reflection of the world in which they live. In many ways, video games share a kinship with audiences who are more than spectators of media forms such as film and television. Audiences actively participate with diverse media content in various and meaningful ways, moving beyond traditional isolated and observational experiences. The video game medium is, however, a player-engagement experience providing unique ways of seeing, understanding, and interacting. This distinctive interactive experience rests on the complex relationship of the gamer as agent in the game. In other words, the gamer’s role becomes as diverse as the players themselves: soldier (Call of Duty series), explorer (Tomb Raider series), adventurer (Uncharted series), athlete (basketball, football, soccer, etc.), wizard (World of Warcraft), hoodlum (Grand Theft Auto series), and most significantly here, father/detective (Heavy Rain) and father/protector (The Last of Us). There is a certain level of interactivity that can only be experienced in gaming where player choices have significant bearing on the narrative’s outcome.


Video Game Heavy Rain Virtual World Active Audience Gaming Experience 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. “A Conversation with ‘Heavy Rain’ Creator David Cage Continues [Spoilers],” by Kevin Ohannessain, http://www.fastcocreate.com/1679014/heavy-rain-creator-david-cage-reveals-the-secrets-of-his-photo-realistic-serial-killer-ps3-g#comments.
  2. Asheim, Olav. “Reality, Pretense, and the Ludic of Parenthesis.” In The Philosophy of Computer Games, John Richard Sageng, Hallvard Fossheim, and Trajei Mandt Larsen, eds. New York: Springer Publishing, 2012, 233–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caruth, Cathy. Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  4. Collins-Cavanaugh, Dan. “Real Fathers Bake Cookies.” In Fatherhood: Philosophy for Everyone, The Dao of Daddy, Lon S. Nease and Michael W. Austin, eds. New York: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2010, 99–109.Google Scholar
  5. Crawford, Gary. Video Gamers. New York: Routledge Press, 2012.Google Scholar
  6. Dansky, Richard. “Introduction to Game Narrative.” In Game Writing Narrative Skills for Videogames, Chris Bateman, ed. Boston: Charles River Media, 2007, 1–24.Google Scholar
  7. Flynn, Thomas R. Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Green, Andrew. “Dawn of the Dead: Fathers Are the New Video Game Heroes.” Last modified November 12, 2012. http://www.wired.com/2012/11/dawn-of-the-dad/.
  9. Gunter, Barrie. Media Research Methods: Measuring Audiences, Reactions and Impact. London: SAGE Publications, 2000.Google Scholar
  10. Lankoski, Petri. “Player Character Engagement in Computer Games.” Games and Culture 6,4 (2011): 291–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Livingstone, S. “The Meaning of Domestic Technologies: A Personal Construct Analysis of Familiar Gender Relations.” In Consuming Technologies: Media and Information Technologies in Domestic Spaces, R. Silverstone and E. Hirsch, eds. London: Routledge, 1990, 113–30.Google Scholar
  12. Loftus, Jeffery R. and Elizabeth F. Loftus. Mind at Play: The Psychology of Video Games. New York: Basic Books, 1983.Google Scholar
  13. Naughty Dog. The Last of Us. Blu-Ray Disc. Game Directed by Bruce Straley and Neil Druokmann. Playstation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2012.Google Scholar
  14. Nelson, Michael. “Existence.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 ed.), Edward N. Zalta, ed., http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/existence/.
  15. Quantic Dreams. Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer. Blu-Ray Disc. Game Directed by David Cage. Playstation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment. 2009.Google Scholar
  16. Ruggill, Judd E. and Ken S. Mcallister. Gaming Matters: Art, Science, Magic, and the Computer Game Medium. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  17. Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology. Translated by Hazel E. Barnes. New York: Washington Square Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  18. Sullivan, John L. Media Audiences: Effects, Users, Institutions, and Power. London: SAGE Publications, 2013.Google Scholar
  19. Tavinor, Grant. Video Games and Interactive Fiction. Philosophy and Literature 29, 1 (April 2005): 24–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Vanderheide, Nancy. Review of Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections, by Robert Stolorow. Psychologist-Psychoanalyst, 28,3 (Summer 2008): 78–79.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Melvin G. Hill 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melvin G. Hill

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations