Gone Home: Complicity and Subconscious Agency


Spoilers ahead. Thou hath been warned.

There’s a lot to talk about in Gone Home, The Fullbright Company’s award-winning “story exploration video game.” The subversion of horror that it presents, the “is it really a game” argument, LGBT issues that it brings up, or any of the controversies surrounding it. But this is a transmedia blog, and so what I’m interested in is how the title makes use of multiple media platforms to make the player complicit in how the narrative unfolds.

Sorry for being long-winded on this one, but we’re talking about art, so I get to act all hi-falutin’.

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The Importance of Memetics

Memes are ideas, behaviors, styles, or usages that spreads from person to person within a culture. Some of you already know this. Some of you are thinking about Advice Animal macros. Others are new to the concept. Bear with me, all. It’s important, because memes are the core of every brand, and thus, at the core of every narrative.

What is a story but a shared idea about how the world works, after all? I have an experience that I share with a friend because it highlights an analogy I am trying to make. He retorts with a story of his own that is contrary or complementary. If one is better than the other, both change to reflect this. If not, or if the ideas are badly stated or too deeply entrenched to be affected, you have reached a sort of equilibrium state. Both co-exist, even if they are mutually exclusive. In both cases, the participants in the story have tried to express themselves in a way that crosses the gulf of humanity. It is hard enough being human without also having to be alone.

What happens when that isn’t enough, though? What if somebody is trying to change a culture?

Or sell a product?

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