The Fullbright Company’s Gone Home launched in 2013 and became an instant classic among video game fans. The atmospheric game cast you as a girl exploring her family’s new home, half-unpacked, in search of clues about your missing sister. The story told through that exploration—the pillow fort and stained pizza boxes in the VHS-littered living room, the printed zines and childhood scribblings spilling out of storage areas—is so delicate that to talk too much about it collapses it. But the game, along with other rebelliously observation-oriented, “action”-averse games like Dear Esther, helped prototype an entire genre: Telling the stories of people, of a place, through gentle exploration.
— Leigh Alexander explores the importance of the home and its artifacts in different video games.