Gone Home

Gone Home

Sometimes, in the gaming industry, a game comes along that makes you redefine what a game really is.  A lot of individuals like to limit things with their definition.  To claim a video game isn’t a game because it doesn’t have the particular mechanics you are accustomed to seeing in a game, is absurd.  What I’m trying to say, is, that the definition of a word is flexible.  As independent developers continue to emerge, we begin to see more and more creative ways to define a video game, and I find that exciting!

Gone Home is one of those games; a game that really makes you reconsider your definition.  Gone Home lacks any sort of combat system, leveling system, or even a scoring system.  Gone Home is simply a first-person interactive experience, devoid of any type of traditional gameplay mechanic besides story and the interaction of objects within the game’s environment.

This may seem like an alien concept to those unaccustomed to such a concept.  However, Gone Home shows an evolution in gaming: the ability to tell a compelling story without the conventional gameplay hooks required to engage an audience.  Gone Home is not the first game to do this, but it’s one of the first games of its kind to attract so much attention.

Yea, this homemade crucifix isn’t creepy or anything. 
Gone Home begins with the return of your character from a year-long trip abroad.  You arrive home in the dead of night to an abandoned house.  The home is large and expansive with many things to interact with and investigate.  The game doesn’t even give you an objective; you only explore the home and make your way through it, piecing together the last year of events that you’ve missed.  Throughout the journey, the large house creaks and the storm outside rages, creating some odd noises.  The setting is unnerving as you make your way through the house, switching on lights as if you’re ten years old all over again, reaching around the door frame, groping for the light switch.  (Admit it! You did it!)

Gone Home isn’t only an interactive story, but also a period piece.  The game takes place in the 1990s, complete with X-File references and anything else you can imagine.  Growing up during that time really made Gone Home hit even harder for me, referencing fond memories from my early childhood.  The pace of the story and the accuracy of the period culminate into a very enjoyable experience that stands on its own, despite lacking customary game mechanics.

Unfortunately, Gone Home can only be found on PC, Mac, and Linux currently.  However, the makers of Gone Home, The Fullbright Company, state that coming to consoles is a possibility.

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