Contraception, Pregnancy, Childbirth in Gaming

I’m not a mom, but I’ve attended two births and helped parent with newborns, toddlers, kids, and teenagers. I have long decried the fact that games never talk about positive things: sex, pregnancy, birth, love; along with loyalty, truth, freedom, justice. I enjoyed listening to these awesome women talk about their perspectives.

It’s a sad but true statement that none of these game designers can point to a game that gets all of them: contraception, pregnancy and childbirth right. I hope that this can be heard as a call for others to incorporate such things, naturally, in their games.

Here’s some random thoughts about this topic from my point of view:

  • Pregnancy is not sickness: a paladin who is pregnant doesn’t lose her powers; she has even more for which to fight.
  • Neither childbirth nor pregnancy should cancel someone’s personhood: yes it will affect you, yes you have to figure out how to handle this new life. Yes it will upend your life. Yes, you are going to have more responsibility, but you will also have more reason to live. So that Paladin shouldn’t have to stop being a Paladin.
  • The presence of contraception in a society changes that society. If it is efficacious contraception, it changes that society even more: children who are born are wanted. People who can get pregnant are not required to spend all their time pregnant. And sex for fun becomes safer and possible. It’s possible that such a culture could then start paying attention to sex education among their young, treating it as a rite of passage.
  • In a matrilineal, matrifocal culture it is quite clear who is related to whom and your only obvious relative who has a male gender is your Uncle, the Brother of your Mother.
  • In a patriarchal culture, the paternity of the child must be determined, frequently to determine inheritance or the legacy of a crown. A priestess who can effectively read the bloodline of a baby is going to be privy to exactly who is related to whom.

Some or all of these is going to find its way into some game material I write sooner, rather than later.