A Landmark Moment in Video Games

#1 Posted by superpow (226 posts) -

I completed 'Gone Home' earlier today. It is by no means a long game. And yet, I have been deep in thought about it ever since.

This game is important in so many ways to the advancement of interactive media as an art form. On a mechanical level, it encourages the player to immerse himself in the world by making almost all story elements contextual to the surroundings. The player is rewarded for exploring the rooms of the house and putting the pieces of the story together.

The story traffics heavily in subtlety. The main story is fairly obvious and straightforward, but all other side stories are left to interpretation.

Most importantly, this game is important for its social commentary. It doesn't force itself, but it is there. I acknowledge this game as a very important step in society taking games much more seriously.

On a more personal level, although I consider myself to be quite unphased by most stories, this one got to me. if a game can manage to make me shed a tear, then it is truly something special.

These are my first impressions of the game. I know it resembles a rambling bunch of half-ideas, hence why it is not a blog post. I mainly just wrote this as a jumping off point to hear the opinions of rest of the community. Thoughts?

#2 Posted by jerka707 (24 posts) -

I finished the game too, and I also cried several times, I guess its because you can relate to your own thoughts about things like that in general. I think what this game did, is why amnesia was a great game to me, even though that game had other gameplay elements.

#3 Posted by Oni (2094 posts) -

Yeah it was powerful to me, in its smallness. This kind of story is so readily available in other media, but I haven't ever played a 'proper' game with so simple a theme and story. What's so impressive to me is that kind of story hasn't been told in this kind of way in the medium before. There was no road map for it, yet they nailed it. The way all the details are laid out for you, somewhat in order but not quite, and how you can piece it all together, is really something. You can get Sam's story just by hearing all her diaries, but the mom and dad and uncle have their own story arcs that are left entirely to the player to find.

Besides that the writing is just really good, grounded and relatable. Like I said, profound in its small scope, the microscopic focus on the mundane details of everyday lives. The dad's failed writing career, which leads to a frustrated marriage, which leads to the mom starting to look outside of her marriage, and the dad eventually picking up the pieces enough to where he's putting both his professional life and his love life back together.

The way it's laid out in the house is a little gamey, as it's distributed in a way that makes sense chronologically but perhaps not always if you think about it from a logical perspective, and I almost wish I'd played through the first time without Sam's VO just so I could experience it 'fresh' twice, but these are minor concessions to suspension of disbelief I'm easily willing to make for a game that charts such new waters with confidence, grace and sympathy.

I wish Bioshock Infinite had been more like this and less shooty-explody. I love that game to pieces, but man, it just feels so juvenile next to this.

#4 Posted by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

I thought Last of Us was "the important title for the advancement of video games". What the hell guys, we can't have 2 Citizen Kanes or 2 Illmatics every year....

Can anyone post spoilers please, I'd really like to know what the main plot is. Oh and also, I play Bioshock for the powers, combat and sense of adventure as much as the story.

#5 Edited by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

I thought Last of Us was "the important title for the advancement of video games". What the hell guys, we can't have 2 Citizen Kanes or 2 Illmatics every year....

Can anyone post spoilers please, I'd really like to know what the main plot is. Oh and also, I play Bioshock for the powers, combat and sense of adventure as much as the story.

#6 Edited by Fistfulofmetal (676 posts) -

Doing stuff like this is only a disservice to the game. I really liked Gone Home but putting too much on it's shoulders will only work to bring the game down in the long run.

#7 Edited by Vuud (1943 posts) -

So is it really a game or some kind of avant garde interactive art project?

#8 Posted by Flacracker (1571 posts) -

Yeah I liked the game but I also feel bamboozled.

#9 Edited by JasonR86 (9577 posts) -

I just finished it. I think the story is very cool and very unique. It's really well done. In a lot of ways it reminded me of Dear Esther. But whereas Dear Esther's story spoke to me more personally Gone Home didn't really. But I can see how it could speak to others like Dear Esther spoke to me and how that would be very cool.

#10 Edited by eskimo (473 posts) -

@vuud: Probably leaning more to the latter, but its all about the medium of game.

Hell of a game, probably my GOTY, although I'm not sure what that means anymore.....

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