As you play through Gone Home for class on Monday, I want you to liveblog your experience playing. Liveblogging is an informal sort of freewriting — while you are in the midst of playing the game, just notice whatever seems interesting to you and pause periodically to note those observations in your blog post.
The game begins with a fairly simple puzzle sequence that introduces a little background for the main character and serves as a simple tutorial for basic game mechanics, so launch the game and play through that opening section, then pause the game and open your Worpdess dashboard. Write a new blog post which starts by announcing that your’e beginning to play through the game and links back to this post (not just the course site, but this specific post). Tag your post with “Gone Home” and “sq3” plus whatever other tags you’d like. (You can add tags in the post editor page, in the section labeled Tags, which should be in the sidebar just beneath categories and just above the featured image area.)
Write a paragraph (or a few sentences) responding to that opening sequence. Pay careful attention to how the game begins. How do you feel at the start? What kinds of predictions to you have at the start of the game about the sort of game you are getting yourself into? What do you notice about the visual style? the sound? How does the game establish setting and time, both at the start of the game and then throughout? How does the game establish character (especially given that there is only one person present in the narrative and it’s the first person narrator — without dialog and other traditional methods of defining character, how do the game designers go about doing so?) Pay particular attention to all the various things that you pick up and examine and how the writing embedded in the game frames the meaning of those objects. You do not need to address all of these questions. You do not even need to answer any of these questions, to be honest — if there is a different pattern that really captures your attention and you feel a burning desire to explore it in your blog post, then do that instead of answering the questions in the paragraph above. Publish the post. Once you’ve published your post, you might check out the other students’ posts and see how they responded to the opening sequence — please feel free to leave comments on their liveblog posts responding to observations they made!
When your’e ready, go back to the game and play on. When you find a scene that seems particularly cool or beautiful or interesting, screenshot it. Be on the lookout for moments that seem worth commenting on. Check in periodically with your peers’ responses to the game and pay attention to whether you have similar or different reactions. Periodically leave comments on your own post updating your progress through the game and recording those observations. So when you’re done, you’ll have one post with a series of comments attached to it as you play through to the end.