< Neill Blomkamp
Video game dads might be all the rage in gaming of late, but there are plenty of great female characters as well. Seeing how it's Mother's Day in the United States, it only seems natural to shine the spotlight on one of them. Out of all of the iconic digital moms, Life is Strange's Joyce Price might just be the best.
While teenage antics and complicated relationships drive the drama of Dontnod Entertainment's Life is Strange, it's a mother's warmth that provides the heart. Joyce is the mother of Chloe Price, who serves as a crucial character in both the 2015 original and its recent prequel, Before the Storm. At first, they seem like tonal opposites; Chloe is a rambunctious teenager rebelling against societal norms, while Joyce is the kind diner worker that exemplifies small town kindness. Over time, though, it's shown that both mother and daughter share a strong moral compass, and a drive to do what's right for their loved ones.
The maternal relationship between Joyce and Chloe is one of the most interesting aspects of Life is Strange. Flashbacks and objects found around the Price household paint a portrait of the two being incredibly close until the tragic death of Chloe's father, William. This serves as a dividing point, as Chloe has never been able to move past the tragedy, and part of her begins to resent her mother for moving on and marrying her often misunderstood stepfather, David.
Despite these struggles, and having to deal with her own heartbreak, Joyce always does her best to stay composed in order to keep the household together. This isn't an easy task, as Chloe begins to get into recreational drugs and goes from a great student to a trouble child that gets expelled from school. Her strength as both a woman and mother is shown as she constantly serves as the mediator between David and Chloe, and she always shows understanding towards her daughter acting out when it'd be so much easier to simply cast blame towards Chloe's rash actions.
Joyce Price shows truly unconditional love and an incredible spirit to keep everything together after the death of her husband. She always has the best in mind for her daughter, and she never even thinks of giving up on Chloe. These qualities not only give her depth and make her a character worth celebrating, but they also indisputably earn Joyce a place as one of the best video game moms.