8. Gone Home - Samantha’s Story
Gone Home is an entirely story driven game that pushes the concept of video games as an artform.
Players control protagonist Katie as she explores her family home on the day of arriving after an overseas vacation. Her parents and younger sister are nowhere to be found and, as Katie looks around, she begins to piece together what has happened in her absence.
Reading younger sister Samantha’s diaries reveals the winding tale of teenage love and all of it’s difficulties, exacerbated by her parents who refuse to accept that their daughter is a lesbian. As the game draws to a close, Samantha leaves home to be with her beloved.
On it’s release the game was adored by LGBT gamers for its relatable portrayal of queerness in the nuclear family. The importance and relevance of the title only seemed to grow when it was criticised by right-wing gaming audiences for… existing, one can assume. This only spoke further to the isolation and segregation that the gay community, like Samantha, often feels.
It runs the full range of emotion: sweet, heart-breaking and euphoric all packed into a neat little 90 minute experience. The game does such an incredible job of telling its story and delivering its characters in that time that you’ll feel like you spent years with them, especially if you’ve ever felt the way that they do.