Before I even begin to start talking about my experiences utilizing Gone Home, an exploratory video game, as a literary text in a high school classroom, I must give a hearty shoutout to Paul Darvasi, the man who inspired me to pursue the unit. His blog, Ludic Learning, is a must-read if you are interested in an in-depth discussion of games as more than just entertainment consumables, but rather vehicles for higher-order thinking conversations and meaningful curricular tie-ins. Many of the pieces I will discuss are inspired from his works, and I will give credit accordingly.
To be honest, giving credit to Mr. Darvasi is a good way to begin, because it was his blog that brought me to this idea. I started following the #gbl (Game-based learning) hashtag on Twitter because games have always been a large part of my life. I can still recall watching my brother play Chrono Trigger and Earthbound, becoming absolutely engrossed in the storylines and gameplay. I loved books - don’t get me wrong - but these stories felt so alive because the decisions my brother and I made impacted how we experienced the story. Narrative now plays such an incredible role in commercial games, and it’s because we, as a society, still demand to hear a great tale to be told.