Last week, I went home. I flew back to my hometown for American Thanksgiving, the penultimate holiday worth celebrating. Between work, school, and the time-change, I was practically operating on a 12-hour difference. I split my time between cleaning out the respective attics of two separate houses and just Generally Poking Around. I found my grandfather's lone porn mag, circa 2004. I found three sealed Lord of the Rings Blu-rays and some rare toys I forgot I owned. And I found my mom's day planner from her teenage years, illuminating a lot about how she became the person I know. While my family slept, I poked around. More often than not, I exclusively uncovered mundanities that supported larger narratives. For example, the increased amount of frozen food in the house indicated a higher level of stress; nobody has any time to cook.
Oh boy, this sure is a roundabout way of saying that I have a newfound affection for Gone Home, huh? Sure, I liked the game when it first came out, as you might expect from Mike Cosimano: snooping's #1 fan. Gone Home is essentially Audio Logs: The Video Game, where the player spends their time piecing together multiple emotionally satisfying character-driven stories through ambient storytelling (the kind I so often crave).
That hasn't changed since I first played the game back in August 2013 (!!!) during my college freshman orientation. Now, as the second worst year of my life and a banner year for death, hatred, and general disaster crawls to the finish line, I keep thinking about Gone Home, and how it's served as a 90-minute oasis; a very particular kind of salve for my wounds.... read more