Electron Dance
29Oct/13Off

Counterweight 8: Gone Home

gone-home-tv
In this specially extended episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin tackle Gone Home (The Fullbright Company, 2013). In a first, Joel tells Eric to check his privilege. Spoilers within.

Contents

02:00 "It wasn't what I thought it was going to be - I'll be honest."

12:00 "And then you get the first audio journal and it suddenly morphs into a completely different game."

16:20 "I like it when games misdirect the player."

20:20 "Let's be clear about this, Gone Home still uses ... gamey conventions to work, right?"

23:10 "...would that have done well, say, ten years ago? That we're talking about the audiences moving on, not simply just the designers."

34:20 "I have never been in Casablanca in 1943 but Casablanca the movie works for me."

38:50 "I tended to feel this was a very good TV movie."

43:00 "There's a lot of gay cinema and gay literature out there which makes it seem like coming out is like the worst thing ever..."

47:50 "...you don't have to use your brain a lot in Gone Home?"

49:20 "That moment doesn't exist if you don't get that journal fragment..."

52:30 "It came across as being positive but I couldn't really swallow that."

56:10 "I really do look forward to playing the next game from The Fullbright Company."

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References

There are also Companion Notes for this podcast!

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  1. Thing I liked about the audio logs: They’re KIND OF diegetic because they represent Sam’s diary entries, that Kaitlin finds and reads at the end. They can be entirely diegetic if they represent Kaitlin’s internal reading of said entries (movies have taught us that when people read other people’s handwriting they internally hear the author’s voice saying the text aloud).

    But of course they’re out of sync with Kaitlin’s actions. They were written BEFORE and will be read AFTER the main game. It seemed strange at first for them to take this deliberate step to separate player and avatar like that, making you witness information that your character won’t have until the very end, but now I think they have a cool purpose, which is to make the player understand the meaning of the stuff Kaitlin finds around the house. A meaning that Kaitlin may have an easier time piecing together, given that she knows the people involved much more than the player.

  2. I accept that the game is cool the way it is. It was just… a little bit of a shortcut. I wonder, a decade on, whether this mechanism will look quaint. Because it isn’t revolutionary, after all, although it takes away the so-called realistic grounding of finding datacubes or memory sticks or whatever people store diaries on in games.


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