Friday, June 21, 2024

That’s Underrated: Samantha and Lonnie from Gone Home

There are so many things to say about Gone Home. It’s a heartbreaking, but uplifting story about family, sexuality, and love wrapped up in an immersive, first-person exploration game. There is no real goal but to discover, a fitting task considering our protagonist’s, Sam Greenbriar, story.

The beginning of the game starts with you, Sam Greenbriar’s sister, Kaitie, coming home and discovering that the house is empty. Your parents are on vacation, but where is Sam? To find the answer to this, you need to explore the house and find out what happened while you were away.

It’s easy to put the pieces together after a while of playing. Sam started school, was bullied and felt alone until she found a friend in Lonnie – a girl who used to play Street Fighter in the 7/11 after school. It took some courage, but after their introductions, the two became fast friends.

One of the best things about Gone Home is how it portrays the relationship between Sam and Lonnie. Back when the game was first released, when it came to two women being in a relationship in video games, we’d often see the relationship portrayed purely on a sexual level. That is, if we were lucky to see any queer relations between women at all.

For Gone Home, we’re able to explore Sam and Lonnie’s relationship and truly savour the small instances of falling in love that most of us can relate to. For people within the LGBTQ+ community, there is, of course that hesitation, that fear of being exposed by the world. I often felt like my heart beat a little faster each time it was expressed in Sam’s journals or notes. It’s so familiar, and feels so raw.

The euphoria of being able to be yourself too, is often expressed by Sam whenever she’s with Lonnie. The two of them send cutesy notes and postcards to one another, little things that’ll help solidify their love for one another in a way that can be seen as innocent from unknowing eyes. It’s loving, and as I said before, familiar.

But what really sells Sam and Lonnie’s relationship for me is the ending. While LGBT relationships are improving over time, most of the endings we get are still overwhelmingly depressing. It’s not sunshine and rainbows for these two characters either, but the fact that they have the chance to carve out a path together, to work towards their happy ending, is something that’s worth celebrating.

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