I recently played and beat the new independent video game Gone Home. Set in the 1990s, Gone Home is a story exploration game centering on a young woman who returns home from a year in Europe to find her entire family missing. Sifting through letters, stories, and other artifacts at the house, we learn all about the family and get to solve the mystery of where everybody has gone.
Jane McGonigal, a prominent scholar, author and game expert, has spoken a lot about the potential for games to make our world a better place. I don’t game very much (ahh, life…how it gets in the way!) but I do strongly believe that games have the potential to offer many benefits both from personal and cultural standpoints.
Gone Home is indeed a remarkable game that offers a truly immersive, empowering and meaningful gameplay experience. Unconventional to the core, it leads with a strong queer narrative and has remarkably gotten mainstream attention and tons of accolades from diverse critics. There’s no guns, no blood, no violence, no scary zombies (maybe a ghost…that’s all I’m sayin’…). There’s just a really sweet queer coming of age tale, a family drama, and tons of awesome 90s relics and riot grrl music.
If this sounds at all intriguing, I highly suggest buying and playing Gone Home and supporting the indie developers who made it (The Fulbright Company), as well as that little part of your heart that’s aching for a truly unique interactive storytelling experience.