Two months ago, I made a Gone Home review and said that I’d like to follow it up with an in-depth, deeper and more spoiler-sprinkled second review. Since the Internet ended up hating (the very successful) Gone Home and decided that it was propaganda for left-wing hippies, I’m now on the defensive. But it’s not like I mind. Gone Home is pretty easy to defend.
Shortly after publishing the first review, I noticed a “nongame” sentiment towards Gone Home begin to foment on various message boards and user reviews, and I thought that was interesting because it’s inherently more touchy and twitchy than its counterparts. That was actually a point I made in the review, I did not expect the whole “anti-game” debate to stick to the game, but it did.
The internet has an infinite capacity for misinterpreting everything and jumping to the most hyperbolic conclusions, and that’s pretty hilarious. I saw one too many user reviews that claimed Gone Home was a liberal political conspiracy out to infect our children’s minds with the poisonous gay agenda (and you can see a small clip of one in the article), so I knew I had to write something.
I emailed Steve Gaynor up and asked him about the anti-game accusations, then pooled his answer alongside my own notes and the swatch of negative user reviews to put together this feature that ended up on Gameranx.
Remember that Gone Home is a thoroughly mundane game that uses a constant threat of the supernatural as a bait-and-switch. The whole game is about questioning what we consider “normal” for video game storytelling, and then making those norms look ridiculous. If you’re angry that “nothing happened” or that “the ending was predictable,” then congratulations. You’re getting it. All you can do is feel embarrassed that you were looking forward to seeing a ghost or a suicide or whatever, and that embarrassment is the point.
The feature can be read here: http://www.gameranx.com/features/id/17896/article/two-months-later-gone-home-is-still-asking-us-what-a-game-actually-is/
PS: I’ve added a new “Outside Articles” section to the nav bar on the top of the page, to help people find my non-bunnyhop articles easier. I’ll update it every time I write something for another site, and I’ll also make a few tweets or blog posts or something about it as well, so keep an eye out!
- George Weidman