You've Got to Play This Video Game Involving Manic Panic and Zines


Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn’t get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that’s how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we’ve actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we’d actually tell our friends about. And now we’re telling you.

If you were equally bummed by how Grand Theft Auto V is strictly dickly, but you still want to play all the video games, you need to check out Gone Home.

Gone Home is a mystery that you play as a young woman named Katie, who has just returned home to Oregon after a year abroad in Europe. When she gets to the front door, there are no signs of life except for a note from her younger sister Sam, warning Katie not to come looking for her. Spooky. As Katie, you explore your own home and unearth clues that help you unlock the secrets of your family.

It’s an experimental first-person exploration game and the first one from The Fullbright Company, and it’s so fun to play that I started this morning and didn’t stop until I’d completed it three hours later. I will play it again. And maybe again after that.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s set in the mid-90s, and the soundtrack features Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile? Sam is the type of girl who uses Manic Panic, and makes her own zine called something like Kicking Down the Patriarchy. Sam’s school assignment on the female reproductive cycle is something I wish I wrote. If ever a game was created for Jezebel, it’s this one.

But the thing is, even though the game is told, in many ways, through a teenage riot grrl lens, it has universal appeal. It’s getting tons of buzz in the gaming world because it’s such an engaging, unique, and wonderfully clever game. And gender isn’t incidental to the story, it’s part of it. Don’t worry, it’s still a great time for dudes to play, and yes, there still needs to be way more games with interesting women characters, but this has single-handedly gotten me excited about video games — and their possibilities — again.

It’s currently $17.99 for the next couple of days, and then it’s back to being twenty bucks. It’s worth it.

[Gone Home]

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