This Game Isn’t About Violence Or Guns. Just People.

Once in a while, a game comes along that means a whole hell of a lot to you — one you want everybody you know to sit down and play. For me, Gone Home is just such a game.

I know I’m not the first to praise Gone Home and I certainly won’t be the last. In the video above, I talk about why I feel such an immensely personal connection to the game, why I think it’s important, and why I think you should play it right now.


  • I think if the characters were written better, I may have felt the same thing. I’m not going to tell people how to feel but this game seems to be getting almost no scrutiny or criticism and that’s just ridiculous. Everything has flaws and in this one it’s that the damn message of the game is a mixed up and muddled mess, manipulative like the opening of JJ Abrams movie, designed to just make you feel with little effort.


    I felt almost no reason to understand (not believe) why my sister felt like this. Of course we know kind of why… but it’s never really explained. She seemingly has an unwavering contempt for basically everyone and I assumed it must be because she isn’t accepted, she’s not understood because of who she is. Then I realised the game had given me no reason to think this, that it expects us to believe that homosexuality and exclusion go hand in hand because all it did was establish conflict with her and others because of the house, not sexuality. An interesting idea but I can’t say that helps with the narrative. I actually found the idea that this child was so contemptuous of the world, that she almost just assumes she won’t be accepted and instead runs away, expecting you to feel some sort of relief that she’s finally escaped this oppressive hell-hole. Having a gay sibling who went through something similar, I’m not happy to say that members of my family were less-than-thrilled but instead of running away, this person made a point of staying to show the people he loved how to lose their ignorance. The message that these people who don’t understand deserved to be dumped like yesterday’s trash is almost horrifying.

    Maybe this creates some sort of bias with me but if the point of stories like this are to strike home, then this one succeeds only in showing me a romanticised, ignorant view of real problems. So the answer is when you mistakenly feel wrongfully persecuted; hastily run away from the situation. Isn’t she displaying a worrysome level of ignorance towards her family by doing this? She makes no mention and shows no concern for her parents at any point, nor is she interested in their acceptance. I felt the game was almost selfish in asking me to empathise with someone who was so self-involved that she couldn’t see anything beyond her nose. The game tries to pull you in with her charm and whimsy but I found it forced and pandering. She’s a combination of several overconfident, wise-beyond-their-years characters from any Ellen Page or Chloe Moretz movie, realised in the hippest way possible so we’re sure to like her.


    The writing isn’t terrible but it definitely sounds like something from a screenwriting class, I’ve heard a lot of people praise it with lofty comparisons against great films and literature. I’m fairly confident that if you played, watched or read any of these comparisons side-by-side, you’ll see where your exaggerations lie. The design in itself however is utterly brilliant and it’s testament that I still actually finished the game despite being consistently annoyed with it’s muddled main character. That’s maybe the lesson here; do we forgive an ironically ignorant, pandering story when there’s gameplay here that actually does a great job of supporting it? That perhaps you as the player, serve a different place in the narrative? So obviously the game can not be faulted for being uninteresting. Whatever way you take it, there’s a great game here despite some problems and while I can sit here criticising somewhat unfocused, manipulative writing; I can tell you that I was always more interested than annoyed. Maybe games that provoke discussion provide their value like this, presenting a story dealing with real issues that I’m actually talking about. Maybe this is what the game wanted, maybe in that respect it’s actually pretty great.

  • Top marks for trying something different. Lot’s of potential for this kind of storytelling. Having said that, the story for this game was a let down. It felt like I had experienced it a hundred times before, the only difference being the way in which it was presented.
    It’s extremely hard for writers to grab hold of an audiences emotions these days, considering the sheer amount of entertainment we consume. Games can usually get away with generic storytelling when the gameplay and sheer beauty of the visual setting compliments it. It’s a harder sell when the narrative is presented as the primary focus.
    Maybe I’m just jaded. The Last of Us failed to grab me because the gameplay couldn’t prop up the aveage story. This game failed because the story couldn’t engage me on it’s own.

  • *Spoilers, I guess*

    Am I the only one who was pissed that they tried to pass it of as a horror game? The whole time I was playing, I could never fully engage with the story as I kept expecting some jump scares or a horrific ending of sorts. In the end, the whole sub-plot about the creepy uncle didn’t actually affect the story at all.

    It’s almost as if the devs were afraid that people wouldn’t pay for a purely narrative-driven game, so they played up the horror side of it a la Slender etc.

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