Online Text Games: Who's Your Daddy?

father son gamers

by J. Dearborn

Once more the happy time of Fathers Day has come around. It was only when this fact was brought to my attention that I realised just how much my text based role play character has aided me in better relationships with my own father. Now hold off carting me off to the funny farm just long enough so that I can explain. Growing up I had many ups and downs with my father. Every single one of us have. Some more ups and downs than others.

Looking back on it with age and experience under my belt, I see the sillyness. Things like I wanted money to go out and he wouldn’t let me. Or the first time you try beer and smoking behind the old shed, and his hand comes down on your shoulder out of nowhere. Maybe you brought home some boy/girl, and your dad keeps finding an excuse to enter your room every 10 minutes. These examples are but a few that some of you may be able to relate to, and in the fullness of time you may or may not agree with how he reacted in those situations.

I don't have any children in real life. However, roleplaying a dad in text games has allowed me to put myself in my father's shoes. I'm aware that vivisecting your text game kids for mouthing off or giving them protective buffs so they can go out and slay orcs isn't exactly close to home in real life. However the principles to the parenthood are still valid.

I remember my growing up in real life and draw experience from that, seeing how my children in the game were growing and what they needed. Sometimes I’ve had to put the foot down on things and when they have ran off and done it anyway they found out I was right. Other times they’ve done it anyway and I’ve been wrong and had to make it look like it was my master plan all along - after all, the key is consistency.

The role play aspect has allowed me to have better communications with my own male parental unit. I’ve been able to see his view and take a good guess as to his reasoning. When dealing with my text game children, I roleplay that I'm my father and how would I feel. It's worked out pretty well. This has all been possible because for several hours a day I’m not me. I’m a parent with a desire to make my kids strong, confident and able to kill anyone that gets in their way. Mwuhaha! 

It's made me realise just how powerful the tool of role play is in allowing me to see things from the other guys point of view. Even though he doesn’t know this change has stemmed from a role play character in a text based game, I still feel it is a change for the better. Remember that the most profound lessons in life can come from the most unlikely places. Thank you IRE for helping me to get on with my dad better.

Hope you make this day the best Father's Day your dad has ever had, and don't forget typing DADSRULE will earn you 25 bound credits on this special day!

J. Dearborn roleplays a dad in the best online text games at Iron Realms!


I'm one of the unlucky with a deadbeat dad, but 25 bound credits is a-okay by me.

My character's dad is a real cool dude and let my character help run the family shops and has even loaned me credits on occasion (which I always pay back)

I love roleplaying a father, something I never thought I'd have an interest in.  It's nice to have someone in the game whom your character loves unconditionally, whatever they do!

It's been one of the most enjoyable parts of my time in Achaea. It really helps that we found a great daugther, though.

My character's dad closely resembles my own father in the sense that he appears for a few days and then disappears for five years.


Thankfully she has an adoptive dad that is supportive and she goes to for advice. This also closely resembles my own life.


Ho hum.

maybe we have the same dad! Sounds like mine.

Sounds like my dad

I'm not a fan of kids. I shudder to even imagine having any of my own. Fictional text game fatherhood is pretty great, though. You basically get to pick your progeny.

Heh, they may be suprises though later on.

Yeah but you never know how they will turn out.

I have yet to have a character be adopted into a family. That said, I wouldn't mind trying to adopt one or three of the newbies I've met recently.

I find it interesting that it's easier to connect with my character's father than it is my father in real life...sometimes.

My dad is deadbeat, and obnoxious when it comes to my mum.  She refused to get him a present for today because he insulted the flowers HE bought for her, and later led her into mortification when she decided to become a citizen.

Good times.


Dad is awsome... Not too much to say. Oh, and hes probally the reasion I read science fiction and play RTS. We used to play quite a bit of lan games growing up.



..should be worth 50 credits for compensation to all of us with sucky crap dads.

Dadsrule I spose applies to my partner and father to my son though! :D


I love giveaways like this hehe



Happy Father's Day to all!

Lord Phaestus!



thing I've had to a parental relationship is with Divines. I guess that's applicable for people who've never had text-game kids.

Wasn't that last week? lol.. at least here it is, buy hey, credits!

I've always found regular family roleplay to be a little awkward in Achaea, I prefer broken text families.


Dammit!! My Dad wont let me date an apostate!

Not sure if the same really applies to me, but a valid point nonetheless.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Happy Father's Day everyone, the credits were very helpful and appreciated!

Dads -do- rule :P

me a lot.

Happy fathers day to everyone.


I without a doubt have one of the coolest dads irl and ic.

How many irl dads play video games with you on like xbox and stuff? Exactly!

Parenting in game makes me never want to have kids IRL. ;)

Happy Father's Day everyone!  Don't forget to go take your dad out or let him know you care.

To be honest my parents aren't really close to what you'd call exemplary, what with his overly friendly and intruding nature, but well, I guess parents will keep doing that until the world ends, heh. I've learnt to get used to it.

Fathers day isn't for another 3 months here,  but happy fathers day to you American dads.

it's already been 3 weeks ago here.


My dad won't come within 5 metres of a game console XD


Happy fathers day!

Happy Father's Day! Give your dad a hug

OOC, my dad is awesome. IC, my dad is inactive, but I have a really cool grandfather who is pretty much my dad instead.


My IC kids suck except for Dakonis and Ithron. Bunch of good-for-nothings who bloodline mothers (that I suppoedly had sex with to conceive them?) who I've never heard of. The rest are mentally ill or born with daggers for hands. Must be their mothers. dad doesn't play games...well except your normal Solitaire and Lines kinda games and he most definetely wouldn't get a text game...but still, thank you for the credits <3 <3

The idea of people calling me dad in a game stricks me as somewhat creepy, but I can definatly see the intresting factor in the RP.

Tha is a very strange way to think about It really. Interesting read with a nice bonus.

for having an awesome dad. :) An IC dad, though? Not so sure about that. I like not having a bloodline.

To have a great Dad, and you definitely remember them on the day. 

Thanks to Achaea for the reminder too, although like Neia I don't go for bloodlining dads, maybe for adoption! 

I have a crappy dad in real life but my text father in Lusternia is hands down one of the best people playing IRE, and one of my best friends.


My IRL dad..gosh,  not sure where he is.. The richasfugmiser..  My IC Dad in Achaea has been there for me more then my IRL dad, and that's something I treasure.  In MKO Mela doesnt have a dad, but the guy she considers to be one is about as loving as my IRL dad. (Is this some sort of psycological issue I have, seeking out a dad as crappy as my own? hrm)

I am happy to say I have a wonderful, wonderful father. Wouldn't change him for the world! 

Have a happy Father's day, everyone!

I have a 3 year old daughter IRL, pretty much grown up around 26 female cousins, me being one of the eldest, I have watchd them all been born and been a part of them growing up. Don't know my real dad and the only thing I would send him in the post on fathers day, should I find out where he actually, I wouldn't waste the money on a stamp, I would just walk round there and kick him hard. However, I do have a really loving and generous step-dad who I never used to get on with, as I got older I realised how much hard work I was and we started to get on a little better, through MKO I have learnt a lot of things, not through IC blood-lines, just through the general game which makes me sit back and think about a lot of things irl, where as I never used to, now I get on with my step-dad even better and it has given us something interesting to talk about, I'm slowly getting him closer to joining this space. As for not wanting kids because a textual non-existent child (and I have an IG child) has put you off, I'm trying to see that from a parental POV and I just can''s completely different for me, not at all the same, and as I said, I'm a mother and I have watched a lot of other babies and helped bring other babies up, in a text based game you can control what you do with your virtual imaginary child, IRL you cannot! Also, I don't feel anything IRL emotion wise for my IG child, the only enjoyment factor I get out of it is having a bit of filler RP and making up some cool emotes and playing around with the text toys (plushies) other than that, I have learnt to draw a line between reality and IG. This is where you have to keep telling yourself, IT IS NOT REAL, if it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to ride a horse to the supermarket and a lot easier to kill my real dad if he was text based (Not that I have thought about an intricatly psychotic plan on hunting him down *innocent* >.<) but, Happy Fathers day to my wonderful step-dad and thank you for the 25 credits!

I am going to kidnap your IC baby and hold it to ransome for your IG hubbys life XD

Of an IC reason which might make your ooc wife (me) mad, and kill you in your sleep *sweet smile*

One of the things that I would definitely do is GM a table top game with my kid and his friends. That's something that might dad wasn't able to do but I would definitely do with mine. Most likely when he/she got older I would introduce him/her to a text game and do my best to try to steer them away from any graphical one as much as I can.

I have hosted a few tabletop games with my kid. We're trying to get him into text right now, too; looking back for ME, it's amazing how much text based RP helped my typing speed and spelling, not to mention it was nice to have that social interaction (even if not person to person). A lot of kids now adays would benefit from this.

Even though some graphic games can be stimulants for cognitive development, a text game is an excellent way to learn how to spell, write, be creative with your and my husband try and play as many games with our daughter as much as possible, which suit her age range, educational ones that is, it's also a nice bonding process, although...I think you have to be careful with some text games, some are possibly more likely to turn your child into a gutter mouth or give he/she x-rated content to read should they stumble upon it and there are just some people who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children, but I suppose this is where being a vigilant parent comes in and you can sit in view and watch what your possible, innocent minded child is doing or being exposed to, you can't protect them from everything, but you can prevent some things IMO.

Points at a lot!


If anything, write a gag script for Race:Siren and a client-side error message for ENTER SUBDIVISION ;)

I love this promotion: Much kudos to IRE!

I didn't have an IG family right away or anything, and I never really imagined that when I did I would really feel a strong connection - I mean, it's just a game.

I was really surprised at how comfortable I felt talking to my IG family when I was finally pulled into one, and especially that it made me feel like I fit in a lot more.  It's nice to have an IG dad to discuss IG problems with - or even just to get a hug!

Although my RL dad is pretty awesome.  Guess I got good luck with dads!

Happy Father's Day!

I never thought I'd be so close to my dad ig. It's gotten to the point where I share IRl troubles with him. Dads do in fact rule.

Roleplaying a parent seems like fun, but finding the right children seems like a huge hassle. Nice article, nice promotion.

I just got my dad a smartphone and am already regretting it for the sheer number of times he demands/requests my assistance in using it. The guy could barely play a Nintendo game. Aetolia, I think, is waaaaay beyond him.


..though if I told him about the mudsex..

If you're going to give your parents technology...hire an IT tech to guide them through it and disconnect your own phone! I swear by this!

I already have a great relationship with my RL dad, so Lusternia hasn't helped with that at all, but it has helped my RL husband and I spend more time together. Instead of him playing Lusternia and me doing something else (like reading a book), we play it together now. :-)

What does us spending time together have to do with Fathers Day?  Unless you haven't told me something.....

Sweet promotion. My Dad was Crap, but he made me a better father to my Daughter my being the opposite of him.

Very interesting article!

Very good promotion. I was pretty surprised that they gave so much more this year than previous ones.

Unfortunately, due to a bug I haven't really been able to officially been a father in-game before, but I have role-played it with prospective children. It's pretty nice how quickly they start going to you able problems and you feel like the "go-to" guy for them.

I can't really say I could relate my IG experiences to my father. He's a great dad, but we're very different in style, manners and method and I don't think I could ever father anyone like he did me, pretend or not.


I've played this game quite awhile, one thing I learned is that with enough time you meet some of the most intresting people, a few I would even be proud enough to call my own father.


When I first came back into the realms, Ruth's dad was the first person whom I could identify with, since all other faces shifted and are new, compared to the ones I was used to. So he was a welcome presence.


That said, the relationships that are built in-game are almost as good as the one out of game, because without meaning to or not, you'll pour the same attention you would into a real relationship.

They can be tough but I know I love mine!

I love my dad!

...and even though I don't have a dad or a family IG, it doesn't matter.

Hope everyone had a great Father's Day!

My Dad is tight.  Has always been around and always encouraged me to do what I love.  However instead of spending time with im....I was getting 25 free credits....

Hehe, just kidding.  I had to work all weekend! 


Thanks for the Promotion!

I really do like my dad.  Even though he doesn't usually play games of any kind with me.  We get along just fine by talking to each other.  Sometimes I do wish that he would give my text games a try just to see if he would like them.  HIs excuse is always "The controls are too complicated." or  "I can't remember all of those commands!"  I still love him and just wish that he would give my games a try sometimes.

I hear you man


Considering the trouble I have had with family problems thoughout my life, this article really helped me get perspective on the power of RP games such as these.

and shortly thereafter, my character became a father for the first time, after having a great relationship with his IG dad, whom he misses very much.

Dads really do rule. I love my RL dad oodles... but I think the awesomeness of my IG dad has made me remember how to love him more. I have the best IG daddy ever.

I grew up without a father, but I've had more then enough father like figures in games :P

I'd like to be a mom in the future.


heh I understand a lot now of what my parents were trying to teach me when I was young. I was kinda..well...a very rebealious kid for a long time...and I feel so bad for that now since I understand that they were only trying to protect me. 

Yet to find one in game but hope to get one soon

Hope to one day find parents

Roleplaying is definitely something you can learn from. Even though it isn't "real", the experience of the roleplay itself can shed light on things you've never thought of. It is real enough for that! I tried explaining this to my father once, and he didn't understand.

families never did have much appeal to, mud-wise. it just feels weird.

I normally shy away from the text-family angle as I find it a tad uncomfortable. I'm not against being part of a family but I woudn't get deeply involved in that avenue of roleplay. I'm married IRL with a daughter so it would definitely be a little awkward and my wife doesn't play Achaea.


My father certainly did not even close to rule, but kudos to all that had normal (so-to-speak) dads. 


And yay for credits.

My IG father (and mother) was very cool and made the game a lot of fun for me in the early days. I still have a fondness for them and my first siblings (later on the family grew way too big for me, it was hard to keep track!)

Mine is brilliant too, even if he's chopped my head off a few times from us being on opposite sides of the current alliances. Still gives excellent advice!

Mine is brilliant too, even if he's chopped my head off a few times from us being on opposite sides of the current alliances. Still gives excellent advice!

Mine is brilliant too, even if he's chopped my head off a few times from us being on opposite sides of the current alliances. Still gives excellent advice!

belated Father's day?

You're not late. Don't worry.

You're not late, don't worry.

IC dad?  he's ok, RL dad about the same. 


its always intresting how in-game relationships can change how we see the out of game ones

God of Exotic Fruits is my Father

Well, the real Father day is coming up this month, can't go wrong with the coming of the bound credits.

no one ever agrees to take responsibility on me

no one ever agrees to take responsibility on me

no one is willing to take responsibility on me

Buy dad some!


Buy dad some!


my dad....

My IG dad was pretty cool. Wish he'd come back now and then. My RL dad, well we agree to disagree. Playing as a dad IG was great, some of my favorite RP times. Would like for some of that again eventually.


Don't have an IG dad but my sire is pretty win :)

Its fathers day in the UK on 17th June - can we get more free credits then too?

I second that!

Its fathers day in the UK on 17th June - can we get more free credits then too?

It's weird for me to role play having a dad when I grew up without one. It's interesting, to say the least. My Achaean dad is awesome, though!

It's weird for me to role play having a dad when I grew up without one. It's interesting, to say the least. My Achaean dad is awesome, though!



It's weird for me to role play having a dad when I grew up without one. It's interesting, to say the least. My Achaean dad is awesome, though!

I never quite remember about this day because my dad is very strongly against doing anything special on the day. He's right in a way, if you really like your dad, just make it know through the year. Which is what I do.


Hrm, site messed up, posting again to get credit.

It messed up for me, too!

will there be a FATHERSROCK this june?

Don't have an in game dad. Never put much thought into it actually. But when my real dad was alive he was great so an IG one would have to be really good to compare. Happy Fathers day, soon.


Dang sight messin up


I have two dads. Double fun. 

I have two dads. Double fun. 

Elriths dad in Imperian is very nice, sadly he's not as active, but nor am I.

Aye exactly. :)

Being a dad is a large part of Greys's RP.  Imagine oneday the grandkids will be more numerous.

No ingame dad. I do have a few siblings. There's no bloodlining in MKO yet, so...doesn't seem to matter much. And Eledhel are tough with ages and such..per the lore, we only have children once every few decades or something like that.

website malfunctioning: double post

I'm a new in game daddy. It's a lot of fun.



Getting him a new coffee mug or something practical on this day, he never wants much in terms of gifts, just time together and chat, which is something that's less frequent overall these days.

Flail -.-

My character has no dad and no children. But yay for great RL and IC dads out there! :)

Oops, double post.


Families are overrated.


This is a surprisingly thoughtful article. One I'm probably going to read more than once.

Seems like the credits were from last year, heh! Oh well. The article itself is still excellent, and I'm glad I read it again.

Happy fathers day to all the dads.

No promo this year? What about parent equality? :(

Happy Fathers Day to all you daddy-o's