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Gone Home and Gay Gaming *potential spoilers*
I have some things to say about this game and the response it has gotten as a gay man.

First of all, I do agree it shouldn't be $20. I think somewhere closer to $10 would be appropriate.

Secondly, I think people underestimate the amount of games that have a story or protagonist focus on an explicitly, non-choice homosexuality. There are some popular games these days (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age (1 or 2? I can't remember), Skyrim, etc.) where you can choose to be gay, if you want, as not to upset people too much.

Think about it. What was the last game that had a somewhat major/important character that was homosexual explicitly, not by choice of the player? Here's the few that I could think of (excluding Gone Home):

  • Kanji from Persona 4 (even then, a lot of people argue about this)
  • Gay Tony from GTAIV: Ballad of Gay Tony
  • Wallace Wells, Roxanne Ritcher, and Steven Stills from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (even then, you'd have to have read the comics/watched the movie to know that)
  • Steve Cortiz from Mass Effect 3
  • Col. Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (bisexual, but I digress)

Every other game that is coming out has straight protagonists and characters unless I'm missing some, in which you should point out. Even so, I can't even think of a homosexual protagonist from a AAA-game that is non-choice.

Now, you may be saying (and a lot of people have in other discussions about homosexuality in gaming), "Romance and sex isn't necessarily apart of gaming and it shouldn't be all the time." Well, sure, some games don't have really any sexuality to it at all, but people aren't realizing one key thing: heteronormativity.

Now, before you write me off for using that word (as some people seem to do when this word is used), put yourself in the shoes of a gay man or woman. Think about the fact that you're playing games such as Donkey Kong or Mario where you are a man rescuing a woman because they are romantically linked. You have to realize that you, as a straight male/female, have never been forced to play as a gay man or woman, yet gay men and women have been forced to play as a straight man or woman in many, many games.

It's refreshing to get a game like this where homosexuality is an important part of the story.

Admittedly, I'm not a very good arguer (would debater be a better word? Conversation starter?), so I'm sorry if this is a bit jumbled or whatever. You should read these articles below that explain it somewhat better then I do.

Awful Lot of Heterosexuals around Here[www.gamasutra.com]

A Gay History of Gaming

EDIT: Forgot this excellent Extra Credits video talking about this topic:

Sexual Diversity in Video Games

EDIT: Another great article I found, this time about this game specifically:

Finding Someone Like Me in Gone Home[www.polygon.com]

Last edited by mediarulestheworld; Sep 3, 2013 @ 12:46pm
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Showing 1-15 of 28 comments
Sankis Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:35pm 
Kanji wasn't gay. This is, like, spelled out pretty explicitly in the game.
Last edited by Sankis; Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:35pm
Originally posted by Sankis:
Kanji wasn't gay. This is, like, spelled out pretty explicitly in the game.

I disagree, but either way proves my point.
Last edited by mediarulestheworld; Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:38pm
meshpet Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:40pm 
It's not the norm to play any gay person. Right now apparently it is the norm for the main character to be a tall, strait, white male, with dark hair and a strong jaw. back in nes days it was cute furry characters (ducktails, sonic, tiny toons ect). So really you could make this argument about allot of things. Not allot of main characters are women for example. I give it about another 20-30 years before game makers get bold and start having more homosexuality around. It's still taboo and people are still scared of it because there's allot of ignorance surrounding it. Borderlands 2 implements it quite nicely so that it's more like a normal thing and 'not really a big deal' which is how it should be.
Green Skeleton Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:05pm 
DOWN WITH TETRIS! IT SUPPORTS HETERNORMATIVE VALUES THAT PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT AND SHOULD BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY INSTEAD OF THINKING THEY'RE ALL THE SAME PIECE!
Last edited by Green Skeleton; Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:06pm
Gregalor Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:27pm 
Interesting point, I hadn't thought about that. And we still (to my knowledge) haven't had a game where you play as a gay character without choice -- all the examples you list are NPCs.
Luftmensch Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:34pm 
Mainichi by Mattie Brice makes you play as a transgender person, but that's kind of the point.
Gregalor Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:42pm 
Well, I was thinking more along the lines of "major release available in stores". Obviously there's going to be free little indie games that do it.
roninnogitsune Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:42pm 
I'll be honest, I think Gone Home isn't a good representation of Homosexuality. The lazy Writing presents an unhealthy relationship (no I'm not talking about Homosexuality as unhealthy, when done right it is very healthy.) where Sam's happiness is 100% dependant on being with Lannie, she really only talks about Lannie, she has to go to all of Lannies shows and towards the end she's near suicidal, really only saved by a Deus Ex Machina where Lannie finally realizes she doesn't have to Join the Military and they run off. (hoenstly likely ruining their lives as they don't have much an education and experience for living in the real world.) It's an immature love story and the Writers are too cowardly to portray the relationship as anything but Pure and Good, with the only problem being that Parents Don't understand. It's a terrible message that paints a bad romance in a pure and Good light when it Should be the kinda thing that Sam would get over and find another girl after she finds some self value in the heartbreak, or actually have Sam reap the consequences of having your significant other be your soul source of happiness.

So I really think that Gone Home isn't good for Homosexuals or anyone. Hopefully the next Game to portray LGBT people will not be a trite poorly writen game.
Luftmensch Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:45pm 
Since when does a story need to present a good example to be good? It's about teenagers, not gay role models.
Eegul Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:47pm 
Aw, I was really excited about this game. I had no idea that these kind of sexual messages were part of the game. :(
At least I didn't waste the money.
Originally posted by roninnogitsune:
I'll be honest, I think Gone Home isn't a good representation of Homosexuality. The lazy Writing presents an unhealthy relationship (no I'm not talking about Homosexuality as unhealthy, when done right it is very healthy.) where Sam's happiness is 100% dependant on being with Lannie, she really only talks about Lannie, she has to go to all of Lannies shows and towards the end she's near suicidal, really only saved by a Deus Ex Machina where Lannie finally realizes she doesn't have to Join the Military and they run off. (hoenstly likely ruining their lives as they don't have much an education and experience for living in the real world.) It's an immature love story and the Writers are too cowardly to portray the relationship as anything but Pure and Good, with the only problem being that Parents Don't understand. It's a terrible message that paints a bad romance in a pure and Good light when it Should be the kinda thing that Sam would get over and find another girl after she finds some self value in the heartbreak, or actually have Sam reap the consequences of having your significant other be your soul source of happiness.

I think you and a lot of people forget two things:

1. Gone Home is set in the 90s.
2. They're teenagers.

It's fairly reasonable that the issue would be the parents. Parents (and a lot of people) were like this back in the 90s.

Mainly though, they are teenagers. They are so incredibly stupid and immature. I wouldn't expect a highly mature, educated, experienced romance story with two teenagers playing the two parts. It's not realistic.


roninnogitsune Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:57pm 
Originally posted by Luftmensch:
Since when does a story need to present a good example to be good? It's about teenagers, not gay role models.

It also fails as an escapist love story, there's no chemestry, there's no sexiness, there's nothing for it to be enjoyable on a shallow level. The Writers wanted the game to be deep but are selling a bad message and they couldn't show any real consqunces. They were advertizing health food but the food tasted horrid and was about as good for you as a whole box of Twinkies.
Originally posted by roninnogitsune:
Originally posted by Luftmensch:
Since when does a story need to present a good example to be good? It's about teenagers, not gay role models.

It also fails as an escapist love story, there's no chemestry, there's no sexiness, there's nothing for it to be enjoyable on a shallow level. The Writers wanted the game to be deep but are selling a bad message and they couldn't show any real consqunces. They were advertizing health food but the food tasted horrid and was about as good for you as a whole box of Twinkies.

Was your teenage love life full of chemistry, sexiness, and depth?
roninnogitsune Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:05pm 
Originally posted by mediarulestheworld:
Originally posted by roninnogitsune:
I'll be honest, I think Gone Home isn't a good representation of Homosexuality. The lazy Writing presents an unhealthy relationship (no I'm not talking about Homosexuality as unhealthy, when done right it is very healthy.) where Sam's happiness is 100% dependant on being with Lannie, she really only talks about Lannie, she has to go to all of Lannies shows and towards the end she's near suicidal, really only saved by a Deus Ex Machina where Lannie finally realizes she doesn't have to Join the Military and they run off. (hoenstly likely ruining their lives as they don't have much an education and experience for living in the real world.) It's an immature love story and the Writers are too cowardly to portray the relationship as anything but Pure and Good, with the only problem being that Parents Don't understand. It's a terrible message that paints a bad romance in a pure and Good light when it Should be the kinda thing that Sam would get over and find another girl after she finds some self value in the heartbreak, or actually have Sam reap the consequences of having your significant other be your soul source of happiness.

I think you and a lot of people forget two things:

1. Gone Home is set in the 90s.
2. They're teenagers.

It's fairly reasonable that the issue would be the parents. Parents (and a lot of people) were like this back in the 90s.

Mainly though, they are teenagers. They are so incredibly stupid and immature. I wouldn't expect a highly mature, educated, experienced romance story with two teenagers playing the two parts. It's not realistic.

The problem is they do not reap the consequences and the story puts all the blame on the Parents and none on Sam and Lannie. I wouldn't have a problem if the story held Sam and Lannie accountable for their actions. It's so focussed on the Tolerance issue that it's afraid to show the destructive effects that those relationships have on a person in general and not just the Homophobia effect. Gone Home's Story lacks the part where Sam and Lannie learn from their mistakes or pay the consequences due to the Deus Ex Machina. Heck an Epilogue where they run off and find out that love don't put food in your mouth, a roof over your head or gas in the tank would have helped the story.
Originally posted by roninnogitsune:
Originally posted by mediarulestheworld:

I think you and a lot of people forget two things:

1. Gone Home is set in the 90s.
2. They're teenagers.

It's fairly reasonable that the issue would be the parents. Parents (and a lot of people) were like this back in the 90s.

Mainly though, they are teenagers. They are so incredibly stupid and immature. I wouldn't expect a highly mature, educated, experienced romance story with two teenagers playing the two parts. It's not realistic.

The problem is they do not reap the consequences and the story puts all the blame on the Parents and none on Sam and Lannie. I wouldn't have a problem if the story held Sam and Lannie accountable for their actions. It's so focussed on the Tolerance issue that it's afraid to show the destructive effects that those relationships have on a person in general and not just the Homophobia effect. Gone Home's Story lacks the part where Sam and Lannie learn from their mistakes or pay the consequences due to the Deus Ex Machina. Heck an Epilogue where they run off and find out that love don't put food in your mouth, a roof over your head or gas in the tank would have helped the story.

Yeah, an epilogue may have helped that part, but think about what would happen if they included an epilogue like that. Sam just comes back home, "Whoops! Made a mistake." (I doubt it would be as simple as that, but I digress). It would feel like the whole story would have been for nothing.

Also, considering a lot comments I've seen around the internet regarding this game and other discussions of homosexuality, most people being fully tolerant is still a ways off. Heck, racism is still around a lot and the fight for racial equality has been going on for hundreds of years now. I think it's good we still have stories like these where one of the big issues is tolerance because one of the big issues still is tolerance. The tolerance issue in this game makes sense too because this game was set in the 90s, where it was an even bigger issue then it was now.

(A side note: The developers said in their statement about pulling out of PAX that their development team includes LGBT people, who presumably grew up as teenagers in the 90s. You write what you know.)

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Gone Home > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:54pm
Posts: 28