A new Netflix show about a kid playing the MMO Final Fantasy XIV with his out-of-touch dad totally nails the freaky and opaque behavior of new players in MMOs.
Dad of Light is follows Akio, who lures his father into playing FFXIV in an effort to finally forge a relationship with him. The catch: His father doesn’t know the cat girl he keeps encountering in-game is actually his son. A series of hilarious interactions ensues while Akio swoops in to save the day after his novice father picks fights with creatures he can’t beat.
Akio’s dad hadn’t played a video game since he covertly took over his son’s Final Fantasy III game late at night many years ago. So yeah, he keeps running into stuff:
The first time Akio’s avatar saves his father’s from imminent death, Akio tenderly approaches him, waiting for his dad to acknowledge him or perhaps say thank you. It was his moment to introduce his avatar to his father’s and finally get his dad to open up. Here’s what happens:
Afterward, his father just runs away. It turns out that Akio hadn’t given him a keyboard. Is that why so many people do this to me in FFXIV?
After Akio finds his father grinding away experience points in a field, Akio’s FFXIV friends convince him to start a conversation with his dad. Would he get that heartfelt thank you for saving him the other day? An invitation to play together? A rare moment of bonding? No. All he gets is “ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah……”.
Then his dad runs away.
The keyboard he got his dad was stuck on the letter “a.”
Later on, Akio again saves his father from imminent death. This time, with a keyboard in hand, Akio will surely get that tender moment of bonding he’d been waiting for. And, yeah, he waits for it:
Finally, an in-game day later, Akio’s dad communicates his first true appreciation for his son’s avatar. It just took him a long time to find the “kneel” emote on the emote list.
As someone who’s accumulated many, many weeks (honestly, wow) of play time on MMOs, the behavior of new players still baffles me. Who thought a Netflix show called Dad of Light would illuminate these great mysteries?