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.

It was no happy accident for the four-person Gone Home team, which had experience working with environmental storytelling in more traditional video games, like the BioShock series. Those games are about clobbering aggressors, but they’re also often atmospheric works about grand social decay and weaponized morality. You can imagine wanting to hone in just a bit more on the latter part, to tell the human stories, to remove the “fire plasmids” and rusty wrenches entirely and just draw the lived-in world.

Source: Home is where the future of games is – Boing Boing

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