So this started as a bit of a lark, based on a Questionable Content strip. But the response was interesting, and I bought the domain, dadnd.com. Not just to have it, but I dig the concept. Aside from the strip, it’s also somewhat based on Chloe Condon’s boyfriend bot. While honestly, and sadly, I can see a use for a service that, if needed, has a grizzled old grumpy, yet affectionate guy show up to check in on his child because they just happened to be in the same place, there’s other uses.
You’ve seen the response to “free mom/dad hugs” signs at Pride events. Be nice if that wasn’t the only time you could get them. Hearing someone say “Hey…you’re kinda dumb sometimes, but I love you” feels good. Yeah, I know, it’s a service, you’re paying for it, but man, there’s times when regardless of source, hearing that drags you back from the edge a bit. Gives you a little distance from the precipice so that instead of looking over the edge, it’s a bit easier to look up at the stars.
Or for the events where you just want to look at “your” side and see people there smiling and cheering for you, making silly faces. Maybe walking you down an aisle. Doing stupid dances. Making awful jokes. Taking pictures at a graduation. Being family, even if it’s just for a few hours.
Or just when you need, so badly to hear a friendly voice on the phone because the day has just sucked, and you feel beat down, and you need someone to call Dad and have them call you Scooter, and that the people who made you feel bad are dumbasses and you’re really awesome.
I can’t even begin to imagine how to build that. The screening, boith background and empathic would be intense, although I know a few people who would do well there. That would be hard, along with the actual, you know, programming and infrastructure. I’m only good at one of those. And lord knows, I ain’t got squat for moola.
But I think it could be cool. And if one is going to even think about building something in a world that seems to delight in making people miserable in search of profit, why not have it help people feel good?