Earlier this week when I was doing my regular browse of video game news (Boy is in the industry so I like to do some reading to keep up with him) I came across on article on Kotaku about pregnancy in video games.
While it was an interesting read for sure, I noticed the author’s main focus was on:
1) How few video games this was possible in;
2) How unrealistic the birthing experiences were in these games.
I know as a woman who possesses the physical ability to get knocked up, some people might expect me to be a little more pro-pregnancy in this situation, but I’m not. While at some point in my life, I do very much look forward to having kids, the experience has no place in video games and I’m completely behind any company that omits it from their releases because it just doesn’t work.
First of all, pregnancy does not lend itself to game play. The majority of titles out there are action/adventure based, so wouldn’t toting around a swollen belly kind of kick the fun out of things? If you had a friend who was pregnant, would you feel comfortable dragging them out across miles and miles of country side through bouts of morning sickness? And what about the fighting sequences? Would you feel comfortable pitting an eight months pregnant lady against a bunch of bandits with broadswords?
And in terms of realism, what kinds of levels would there be if everything was dealt with “authentically”? Collect saltine crackers to avoid morning sickness? Balance fragile baby shower gifts as you load them into your car? Try to escape a crowded cocktail party without being interrogated about baby names/birthing plans? Rub Preparation H on your pregnancy hemorroids? I mean I guess you could base a game off things like that, but it would kind of suck (plus, it would probably be an Imagine Title and those really only sell to seven-year-old girls).
Anyway, if you’re up for reading the article, it can be found here, but for the time being I say it’s best to keep that kind of real-life practicality out of the escapist world of video games*.
*Although if Lara Croft was pregnant, it might help explain her rack.
(The above picture was taken from an article about a proposed Juno video game last year. Thankfully, after much fan backlash and after realizing that movie would not lend itself to the translation, Fox Searchlight came to their senses and cancelled the project.)