Tired Dad Redemption

A video game image edited to include the title "Tired Dad Redemption" and a cowboy holding a mug of coffee.

Like millions of other gamers, I’ve been looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2 since playing the first one. I was delighted to get a copy for my birthday last week and, so far, it’s lived up to the hype.

It’s strange to say I have an affinity with a game that glorifies crime, but it brings back some very happy memories! I regularly played the original with oldest – then a blissfully oblivious newborn – asleep on my lap. He wouldn’t stay asleep otherwise and, as it gave my wife a much-needed break from breastfeeding, it suited everyone.

Back to the present and the highly-anticipated sequel and I’m loving that too. I play it most nights and am in awe of how much detail there is in it. It also dawned on me that there are several unlikely similarities between it and my life at the moment.

Here, then, are five reasons it should actually be called ‘Tired Dad Redemption’.

Getting around

In the game, your character obviously has to travel around on horseback. The map is gargantuan so, naturally, your steed can become uncooperative after galloping for a while. This is very much like the situation with our pushchair – a light-use stroller.

Youngest walks most of the time, but we still use it for greater distances. She’s too heavy for it now and, as a result, the small wheels can get caught on the tiniest of obstacles. Last week, I accidentally kerbed it while trying to lift the front wheels onto a centimetre-high dropped kerb. She was fine, but I ended up bruised and bleeding from the ‘bucking’ action.

Coffee is vital

One of the first things you can ‘craft’ in RDR2 is coffee. It’s there, of course, to increase your character’s energy levels. I don’t think I need to elaborate.


There’s so much more to the game than story missions. As well as challenges to improve your character’s skills, there are items to collect, a compendium to fill in, strangers to help and random events that you can choose to engage with or ignore.

This is staggeringly similar to working from home. However determined I am to write a post, answer emails or deal with other admin, there’s always something else apparently more pressing – as the tweet below illustrates.

Bathroom visitors

Another way of recovering your vitals in the virtual Wild West is to have a relaxing bath. Obviously, this is true of real life too. In both scenarios, though, interruptions are guaranteed.

Here’s where there’s a slight difference though. In the game, it’s the offer of a back scrub. In real life, it’s because one of the kids needs a poo.

Shaving – or not

Sticking with the bathroom theme, one of the many incidental things developers have added to make RDR2 an immersive experience is the opportunity to shave. Again, this is an option I have at my disposal.

Yet both in the game and in real life, I never seem to find the time to do so. There’s a very real risk of both me and my character participating in Decembeard completely by accident.

So there you go. Conclusive proof that Tired Dad Redemption is an equally good title. Have you played this great game? If so, have you noticed any similarities to parenting?

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