Good news, friends: If you were one of those people who thought that “Gone Home” was an awful pile of indie game garbage, you are not alone. Despite what every brainwashed reviewer on IGN and Reddit will tell you, you are actually the ones with good taste. Congratulations! To the rest of you, I can only express my condolences. You have been misled, completely exploited for your money.
Indie games really aren’t for me. The culture of modern Western indie games combined with the general lack of resources leads developers to create games with great mechanical gameplay but absolutely zero meaningful writing. For this reason, I was greatly surprised and pleased to find out that “Gone Home” had been created. It was a narrative first-person exploration game similar to “Dear Esther,” and I was so excited to get into what I thought would be a well-written narrative that I made sure not to spoil it for myself at all.
God, what a mistake that was. “Gone Home” is an unapologetic, pretentious pile of edgy moneymaking trash, and I have zero respect for any of the deluded hipsters who have somehow managed to stick their fingers in their ears and convince themselves that it was a good game. If “Gone Home” had been a novel, it would have faded into the obscurity that it deserved, because even mainstream novel readers who aren’t looking for deep literature at least have some modicum of taste. It’s truly revealing of how unawakened most video game players are that someone could actually say “Gone Home was a great video game,” without immediately being ridiculed and Going Home themselves. If only someone had reached a hand out to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “DON’T play Gone Home, it is fucking terrible!” then I would never have had to inject this awful, awful game into my brain.
I actually enjoyed the puzzles in this game. I have to admit, the layout of the house and the careful placement of clues, furniture, and personal items makes for a very compelling exploration game. Picking up tiny cards and pieces of paper from the ground in order to learn more about the main character and her family was pretty interesting. I even allowed myself to listen to the long, rambling sound clips about the main character’s sister and her lesbian romance. They were boring, passionless, and trite, and boiled down into several categories:
“I didn’t realize I loved her!”
“It feels special inside when I am with her!”
“It makes me cry and feel sad when she is gone!”
These sound clips all suffer from a horrible, incurable case of Telling Me Instead of Showing Me. A good story should allow the reader to experience the emotions and thoughts of the characters, not simply tell it to you at face value. “I love her! It feels weird!” — such terrible writing is so obviously boring and unacceptable.
But I figured that this was okay, since I had assumed that the shitty romance was just a side story that revealed itself in audio clips. You can then imagine the look of horror on my face when I realize at the end of the game that the dumb romance wasn’t a sidestory — it was THE story. It was there, at 5am, having played the game continuously and reached the last scene where the narrative’s sister reveals that they ran away together, I experienced something like dumbfounded shock that rapidly turned into outrage.
Four hours? Seriously? It took you dumb writers a four hour video game to articulate one of the dumbest, most cliche romance stories ever written? Fullbright, you disgust me. You really do. You made a stupid game and pandered to the LGBT community in order to artifically inject your game with the real struggles of gays and lesbians in the modern world. Your game really does it no justice at all. You convinced reviewers to shill out your dumb content and tried to brainwash innocent feminists and LGBT advocates to think that their very identities were linked to your game. And you were so successful that criticizing “Gone Home” became tantamount to homophobia.
But I can tell that you really don’t care. It shows in your half-assed writing. Only an unsympathetic, unimaginative robot would churn out such lazy, terrible writing that fails to evoke any feeling at all. Your video game is an unapologetic exploitation of the LGBT community. I sure hope the money was worth it.