Sam’s Locker

A big part of Gone Home that really intrigued me was the fact that every room and wing in Gone Home represented a different character, and each helped uncover facts about a character simply from being where they spend their time. Sam’s locker in her room did this perfectly. I think that just by seeing her locker and its contents really provided a full overview of her life more than any other item in the house did for any other character.

The locker is a necessary part to the game, as it holds the key to the basement, which then has the key to the attic, which is required in order to finish Sam’s story and essentially complete the game. The creators definitely planned it this way, as the locker greatly enhances our view on Sam’s rebellious life. Besides the basement key, the first thing that we can notice after opening the locker is the inner door of the locker, which holds a picture of Lonnie with the caption “Lonnie ’94.” This shows Sam’s passionate affection for Lonnie by having a picture of her in arguably the most private space of hers in the house. On the top shelf of the locker is a pack of cigarettes, which again shows just how rebellious Sam is, as well as the clothes that are hanging in the locker that appear to be stolen, as they still have the security tags attached that cashiers are meant to remove at checkout.

At the bottom of the locker is a magazine called “Gentleman: The Magazine for Men,” with a picture of a half-naked woman on the cover, leading players to believe it is porn. As soon as Katie sees the magazine, a heads-up display appears, saying “Gosh, Sam,” which in my gameplay was the first time we saw Katie’s unsure feelings towards the new personality that she is realizing Sam now has. On the side of the locker is a sticker that says KSNC Sonic 101.7, which I assume broadcasts music such as the Punk Grrrl music Sam has become fascinated in since Katie left for Europe.

All of these items, in just one locker of one room of the 3+ story house that Katie is stepping foot in for the first time show just how exceptionally much you can learn from a person’s belongings. The creators of the game did such an incredible job packing so much information into the house to provide a narrative for players to discover themselves. It’s an incredibly interactive way to create a mystery narrative, since players aren’t handed anything, and have to uncover every part of the story beginning from finding the keys to enter the house to finding out that the main character’s sister has run away from home with her lover. The creators of Gone Home focused so much on detail that gameplay truly made me feel like I was going through the house myself and truly made me relate to the characters and experiences as if I actually knew them, which I believe is the mark of a good narrative.

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4 Responses to Sam’s Locker

  1. amd197 says:

    I think that you made a very interesting point here, and one that I noticed during my play of the game as well. The creators do an amazing job of making you feel as if you know so much about the entire family, while also not including interactions with any other characters in the game play or showing a single image of any of the characters. That just points to the strength of the narrative and the actual meaning behind the seemingly useless items that are placed around the house.


  2. pjm92 says:

    In complete agreement with the above comment as well as your post, I feel if this game had me in it, 3 or 4 items in my room would tell a lot of pliers what I am like. It is interesting how little it takes to learn a lot about a person and how material items may be able to tell what someones personalty is like. Interesting post… Great concept and evidence.


  3. theterribles says:

    I thought that the inclusion of the obviously stolen clothes was a little odd. While it’s clear that Sam is rebellious and free-spirited, no where else in the house does it imply that she ever does anything harmful. Between this and the cigarettes, the locker shows a whole different side of Sam that isn’t really reinforced in other parts of the game, in my opinion.


    • kalihira says:

      I also thought the stolen clothes were strange. While rebellious, no part of the journal entries or the additional readings gave me the impression that she had dipped into thievery. It seemed irrelevant


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