Gone Home tells a personal, human story about what a family leaves behind
Gone Home sounds like the world's most yawn-inducing game when observed from a superficial level. You play a college student returning to your family home in Oregon, only to discover your sister and parents aren't there. There's no obvious evidence of some cataclysmic event, no ransom note, nothing - beyond the family's absence - that calls out, "solve me!"
Polygon's Tracey Lien does a wonderful job of selling the premise of Gone Home, despite its designer repeatedly calling out the game's design as un-sexy and borderline boring. This is a game that would never make it past 10 seconds for a pitch at a major publisher, yet somehow I am excited to walk around a world with no other characters, no action, just stuff to look through and interact with.
Ben wrote awhile back about how the Oculus Rift could unlock new, non-violent genres and ways to interact with our games. Seeing more voices contribute to that discussion is a good thing, if for no other reason than it should make you realize how rapidly, drastically we are redefining what a "game" is. Is Gone Home something you would say you "played"? I don't know, but Lien has made me curious.