The central theme of Three Fourths Home is the frustration of movement and independence when grander problems like work-related accidents or financial shortcomings circumscribe individuals within strict boundaries, and these ideas are replicated visually. The top half of the screen depicts Kelly’s car on the road, cruising by cornfield after cornfield in a worsening thunderstorm and occasionally passing sights like lonely H-frame transmission lines or faraway wind turbines. The bottom half displays the text of the phone conversation like a Twine game, bouncing from a family member’s words to Kelly’s potential responses. What’s noteworthy is how the car remains fixed on the top-left side of the screen as you accelerate. For the entirety of the game, this car will remain rooted to this spot, seemingly immobile if not for the passing fields and rainfall that animate it with an illusory sense of movement. Like a trick of vintage Hollywood special effects where an actor walks on a treadmill as a scrolling backdrop moves behind them, the world moves around the subject who is actually just stuck in one place. In Three Fourths Home, Kelly remains motionless even if she thinks she’s moving; the world marches on indifferently.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.