Death Stranding, A Note On Being A Father


Back in 2020, the worst depression in my life had enveloped me. Unable to work because of COVID and a misdiagnosis from a doctor sent me down a very dark path.

The medication given to me nearly made me take my own life, yet I had to push forward.

My family needed me to get better.


Sitting in my apartment for months, I had not watched TV, read a book, or played a game.

Until one day I saw that Death Stranding was on sale. The reviews were all over the place, some calling it a “walking simulator”. But I bought it and knew that Kojima was good at making games, so I gave it a chance.

To be honest, it took me a while to get into because of my depression and even stopped playing for a month. As I progressed through the game, I saw the parallels between the world Kojima created and the world we were living now. The idea of having to lock down and rely on front-line workers, prompting them up as heroes in our society.

In Death Stranding, you play as Sam, a glorified courier in a post apocalyptic America.

Very similar. I wonder if some Japanese people are simply prophets without knowing. Something is in the Japanese air or water that makes Japan more in touch with the universe than the rest of us. At least that\’s what I think.

However, that\’s not what struck me as profound about Death Stranding, it was the storytelling and your connection to your little buddy “BB”, a premature infant that helps you see the enemies in the game and is a connection to the other-side. Strapped to your chest in a little pod, it is also your job to protect it, care for it, even rock it to sleep if you accidentally fall over from too much cargo.


I had a daughter in December 2018 and a new one was on the way, so I immediately starting bonding with the character of BB.

I gave up the chances to beat PS4 achievements because BB was crying or didn’t want to drive or walk too fast.

Then came the character of Cliff, played by Mads Mikkelsen. You see glimpses of this character almost every time you reconnect with BB. These cut-scenes reveal more of his story overtime.


In them you see Cliff mourning his wife in a coma, through the eyes of what you can only assume is your BB. I won’t spoil the story, but the one line of dialogue from Cliff that hit hard was this line:

\”When I found out I was going to be a father, I was so scared. I had to be there for you and your mother, no matter what. I couldn\’t just go off and get myself killed anymore. But I had it wrong. Being a father didn\’t make me scared, it made me brave. Don\’t make the same mistake. Be yourself. Be free.\”

-Clifford Unger

I paused the game and cried. I then went to go check on my daughter (my real \”BB\”), her sleeping face now a little older than that of the baby in the pod.
For over a year, I had been blaming myself for being weak and a poor father for being scared.

But I realized I had chosen not to kill myself for her, my stepson, my wife and our new one on the way.

I couldn’t give in to the depression and despair I felt. I had to be there for them.

\"But I had it wrong. Being a father didn\'t make me scared, it made me brave.”

I don’t know how or why, but I’m believing that things don’t just happen without reason.
That there are no such things as coincidences. I played this game precisely when I needed to.

I was still suffering, but Death Stranding made me realize what I was fighting for.
So to Hideo Kojima, the actors, and the entire production team, I thank you.

BB\’s Theme

Song by Jenny Plant and Ludvig Forssell

See the sunset. The day is ending
Let that yawn out. There\’s no pretending

I will hold you. And protect you
So let love warm you, Till the morning

I\’ll stay with you. By your side
Close your tired eyes. I\’ll wait, and soon
I\’ll see your smile in a dream.

And I Won\’t wake before you go
And I\’ll Still be your heartbeat

Feel the raindrops. The dawn without you
Watch that star rise. Eons without you

I\’ll stay with you. In your mind every single day
I\’ll wait and soon.
We\’re stranded on the beach in our dream.

We part too soon. But in our love
There\’s a truth to find. The end is new
And tomorrow we must reach far to be heard.

See the sunset. The day is ending
Let your heart sigh
See the sunset
See the sunset

And I\’m gonna stay with you.
But I won\’t stray away from the truth.
And I am still living two worlds and you.

See the sunset.

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