Joe & Mac may be a clone of Wonder Boy, Chuck Rock and just about anything else you can think of, but at least it’s an endearing one. Kind of like Ewan McGregor in The Island (let’s not go overboard and compare it to Scarlett Johansson), but even less self-aware. It utilises the prehistoric theme pretty well, throwing a decent mix of dinosaurs at our Cro-Magnon companions.
I was originally going to recommend this as a decent game for your kids, but I’ve since had a rethink. Its deeper, overarching theme is quite brutal. The in-game narrative, as I have discerned it, goes something like this:
Another tribe has stolen your women, so Joe and Mac have been dispatched to kill any and all who stand in their path, and steal them back.
It’s fittingly primal for a piece of prehistoria, but not exactly suitable for children. Perhaps with the preface of “son, this is what being a man is all about”, I will one day sit my son in front of this videogame and allow him to play it.
This recalls the excellent writings of masculinist David Deida. He asserts that strength and confidence are traits that women desire most in their men (on a base level) because it affirms their ability to protect their young (and produce healthy offspring). He goes even further to suggest that your woman, believe it or not, subconsciously wants to believe that you could and would kill for her*. Just watch what happens when an insect enters your woman’s vicinity – ever noticed that killing the poor thing seems to be the only way to make everything alright? Ever noticed her disappointed facial expression and the subsequently castrating vibes she emits when you simply gather up the tiny creature in an envelope and calmly take it to the garden outside? Being one with all of God’s creatures is for the chaste monk; the sexless abbott! Man’s lot in life is to kill, kill, kill. Kill that bug, stomp that pathetic insect into the ground for even daring to enter your goddess’ presence!
Kill for Love. Be that Dark God. Tear down all barriers** and impart your dark gift.
That, my son, is what it means to be a man.