Dear Esther

Mysterious is the theme of the game. I still cannot figure out whether the narrator was the character, whether the island game was a dreamland. But I gain something valuable from the game, something that is intangible.

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Being placed on a strange island alone was ambiguous and being alone made the journey aimless at first to me. Everything began to make sense as the story goes. Listening to the narrator, I knew a woman called Esther, who was killed by a car accident. Lots of landscape on the island can be regarded as metaphors of the car crash; organic molecules represent alcohol interacting with nerve cells and electrical diagram on the cave represent part of car systems, because both Esther and the person involved in the car accident consumed alcohol before the crash.

The whole story was shrouded in darkness and despair. Music is spooky and dolorous, which sounds like it was written in the minor key and made me feel empathy with the character. Houses and boats are dilapidated and abandoned, representing the dying island. Character broke his leg and infection spread upward to his heart. Light often means hope and freedom. I saw various kinds of lights in the game, but none of them showed me a sense of freedom. Light of the cave is attainable, but also was limited; candles along the shore are not limited, but was viewed as a path of the ghost, hopeless; the lighthouse was accessible, but there was no light of its own.

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At the very last, character climbed up to a very high place and gave a birdized view of ocean and island. After he jumped out of the high place, I felt like his journey was still continued even after his death. Ocean was like a passage from life to death, which was a transition but not the destination. I felt hope after the character jumping from the high place because he would have a new journey in the other world.




I always dream of flying like a bird when I was young but the dream doesn’t wake up yet. In my eyes, sky means freedom. I even want to soar in the sky and never come back. Being a human being, we are bound to the mundane world and surrender to the secular matters, such as wealthy and fame. Even though seldom people can get rid off the temptation of worldly matters, people cannot lose themselves. Gyrfalcon flies highest among the birds and views the scene in a much clear and comprehensive way. I am also being tied to the human being society but I don’ t want the flashy moment blind my eyes, instead, listening to my own heart and see the world in a fair way.



Reflection on playing Gone Home

A telephone message was heard at the beginning of the game that a twentyish women Katie is going to fly home tomorrow. The message let us built a little background for the game and set ourselves to be the role character, Katie.

The story was set in 1995 and Katie went home and accidentally found out that no one is at home. The only things that  given are the identity document of Katie and a note left on the door by Sam. The notes said never try to find her and she and I would meet someday. My first thought was that Sam was in trouble, such as being kidnapped or being threatened by some bad guy. I found the key of the door in the storage box outside the door.  There is no dialogue or conversation in the game so I was totally lost in the first. After working around the house, grabbing the stuff and reading the notes that scatting in each room or on the floor. I began to draw a blurring picture of the family. Because there is no pre-information given, I tried to check each article that came up with. The house was big that contains two floors and appear in a vivid design. I have to open the light before I can see clearly the arrangement of the room. Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.51.56 PM

The weather in this game was set to be heavy storm rain and the music was also scary. When I walked around, I can hear my footsteps which often made me anxious, thinking of something or someone would show up in a sudden. I think this is a great way to keep game players concentrate in the whole game.

Sam, my sister, her journal was also gone along the game. The voice would emerge whenever I found something related or important. The journal was between Sam and her “friend” Lonnie. She described the relationship between Lonnie and herself in details. Sam developed a relationship with Lonnie but was not supported by our parents, leaving her in disappointment and depressed. As I rambling in the  house and glean information from small things, such as postcards, books, letters and so on, and hearing Sam’s journal, I came to realize Sam hide her secrets in the basement, where we used to play when we were young. Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.06.47 PMFounding the key and discovering the secret passage, I finally read the notes Sam left that she was in an elopement with her girlfriend “Lonnie.”

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