My father coined a couple of terms that stick with me to this day. Whenever I played too many videogames and gave him lip, I was accused of suffering from “Nintendo Attitude.” My GameBoy wasn’t egalitarian enough for him. It was my “GameChild.” Whenever he got shot down, ran out of missiles or botched a refueling in the original NES Top Gun, the game was a “f&*$ing a$%hole.” Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure he can’t take credit for that last one.

Fathers in games haven’t suffered a much better fate than mothers. The King of All Cosmos has gone on so many benders that The Prince should be attending weekly Al-Anon meetings. Tidus was ridiculed and abandoned by his father, Jecht. Without spoiling anything, that didn’t turn out so well. Then there’s Bowser… actually, he’s not a horrible father. Sure, he’s evil, but he is teaching the kids the family business… which is being evil.

Thankfully, in real life we have our own fathers and father figures. These men sneak us extra candy, teach us the importance of black licorice to our diet, provide a place to bury our head when Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk, allow us to watch games we shouldn’t and make sure we know the important facts of life (the names of all five Dinobots, the Thundercats’ call to action, the script for forming Voltron and the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for instance).

From all of us here at RipTen, thanks to all the fathers that have played a role in shaping who we are today.