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As we wait in line to see the Easter Bunny, the reactions to my son are varied: some parents (especially those with new babies) just don’t get it. Parents of older kids chuckle and smile, point while they think we’re not looking, and when I do make eye contact, they smile and give me the knowing-dad-nod. Sometimes they walk by my son and say “cool!” Kids in line tug at their moms’ dresses and wonder why they’re in their Sunday’s best and my son is dressed like Wolverine.
As another little boy walks by and stares, my six year old says in a gravely voice, “happy Easter, bub.”
The new normal is that brands are showing fathers as competent, caring, emotional and intelligent. They’re part of the family unit, no longer relegated to the hungry animal blasting in the door from work, ready to eat, have a beer and tune out. The image of fathers in commercials has matured (we won!), and because of it, commercial dads are cooking, cleaning and raising kids. It’s great.
One of the brands that’s consistently put out great dadvertising — Zillow — is back again. The real estate website has a spot on TV right now called “Gunnar’s Home”, and it tackles a non-traditional household with grace and respect.
“No, I know. It sounds weird to me too,” I assured the mother of my son’s friends. “I did just ask if your kids could come over and I could show them Japanese cartoons and take pictures of them. I get it.”
Let’s rewind back to mid-December: my son and I were Christmas shopping, and Nintendo had a game kiosk set up in the mall. Among the games was one called Yo-Kai Watch. My son and I wouldn’t have paid too much attention to it, except that one of the game’s characters was a butt. Like, literally, a butt. A Nintendo rep asked my son if he wanted a Yo-Kai Watch mask. “THE BUTT I WANT THE BUTT,” my son yelped because he’s seven years old and he’s my son and I love him as much as anything could love anything.
But I digress.
As the father of a young daughter, I am not used to social progress. I’ve come to expect that female politicians will be constantly asked about their appearance. I’ve come to expect that corporations will forget to make toys based on the female lead of their new blockbuster movie. I’ve come to expect that it will take Barbie over 50 years to acknowledge what real women look like. I’ve come to expect that, at every turn, society will find a way to let my daughter down, in big ways and small ways, entirely due to her gender. I am used to being disappointed on my daughter’s behalf.
So, imagine my surprise when I recently encountered some small, hopeful progress for girls in a completely unexpected place – children’s character underwear.
That’s right. There are Star Wars and Marvel underwear for girls right now and it’s kind of a big deal.
Here at 8BitDad we care about parents. We want parents to know the most effective ways to parent their children, and so we’ve compiled a list of all of …
Too bad, so sad for a father in Pembroke, Ontario (Canada, y’all) whose son managed to buy almost $8,000 of in-game content in a FIFA game on his Xbox recently.
Lance Perkins’ 17 year old son dropped $7,625.88 CAD (about $5364.86 in USD) on EA’s FIFA game store content, which, assuming he’s playing FIFA 16, consists of “FIFA Points” – an in-game currency that allows you to buy “FUT Packs and Draft Entries” – basically, stuff to beef up your soccer/football/fútbol club. That’s a lot of draft entries; EA sells packs in increments ranging from 100 points — for $0.99 — all the way up to 12,000 points, which will set you back $99.99. Even if Perkins the Younger bought the 12,000 point packs alone, it’d still take him over 50 transactions to hit his total.
That’s dedication to the game, people.
We should’ve seen it coming. After the #WheresNatasha and #WheresGamora campaigns – hashtags that called out the lack of female representation in the merchandise for Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy – WHY did anyone assume that Disney, toy manufacturers, or retailers would’ve learned their lesson for Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Were we that naïve? Did we just not want to admit what we all KNEW was going to happen? That, even though Daisy Ridley’s Rey was the LEAD CHARACTER in the whole damn film, she would be almost impossible to find on Force Awakens merchandise. Because that’s EXACTLY what happened. Hence the inevitable hashtag #WheresRey.
It has been zero days since my last heartburn.
Welcome to the holiday season – a stretch of calendar days where people of every culture have at least one day set aside for gift giving and eating. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, I am in a constant state of satisfaction and indigestion. Should I be eating all of the foods? At once? YES AND YUM.