Returning Home: A New Perspective

After watching PSN be down for a month and viewing Kaz Hirai’s speech announcing the glorious return of Home services, I decided it would be an…interesting experiment to see the reactions of Home users after their little world was down for a month. What sort of people would still be using Home? What was their reaction to the loss of it for a month? What has Home become in the time since it launched?

Continue forward to view the answers to these questions.

After installing the 3.61 update and re-downloading and installing Home (as well as a bunch of patches that were bigger than the original Home download), I entered my character customizer. Aside from some UI changes, it’s nearly identical to the original version. The only addition seemed to be that your avatar starts off with a Castlevania: Lords of Shadow shirt. After making a fat character with a large jaw and jutting cheekbones (as well as a Richard D. James smile), I set out into the Plaza, the center of the Home community.

As you can see, it is still primarily populated by ghostly figures wading through purgatory. People at the dance floor were complaining about how terrible the hot club jamz are, just as they were when Home launched. I got to see dudes talk about Motley Crue and Anthrax, which was somewhat entertaining. The best part of the dance floor was the awkward personal conversation occurring near it.

“Just from conversating with you, i kann tell that you’re very beautiful N andy ******* that would ****** you did so only because they knew that was the only way that they could have you,” said one of the people engaged in it. I assume that the other person talking was engaged in a private chat, while this person was just yelling it out publicly. No one seemed to take notice.

Apparently people actually care about purchasing new outfits, be they western dusters, steampunk suits, or prostitute get-ups. The banner at the mall was even advertising “pin-up” outfits, each of which looked like the sort of thing only a prostitute or a very loose woman at a Halloween party would wear. But hey, Diesel’s still around if you want a decent pair of pants and an extremely douchey t-shirt.

Another new addition to the plaza is “Slap Happy Sam’s”, a mini-game. I never used it since the line for play was quite long, just as every mini-game was when Home launched. On the right you can see one of the many stereotypical douchenozzles that populate Home now. Many of them have formed a strong sense of elitism due to the amount of time and money they’ve spent on Home, buying new personal spaces and outfits. At the very least, that shows Home has… some sort of lasting community.

The Mall is still around, and it’s still populated by douchebags. A good enough replica of a real-life mall in that sense. Most of the chatting in this area involved poor grammar, just like every other space in Home. I did notice something interesting though: there were people communicating on a first-name basis. Surprising to see some sort of friendship forming out of such a broken, horrible space, but that does show that Home has a community, as douchey and elitist as most of it is.

But then I saw that someone there was named “Greenpope420”.

I then went to rest on the stairs near a crowd of people, so that I could have a better space to observe from. Unfortunately, I was too close, and I was soon accosted by this kackeldackel. I just sat there and ignored him, waiting for him to pass on. He just kept dancing.

He left after about ten minutes of silence. And then he came back seconds later and asked if I knew how to turn on mic voice chat. I just kept silent, and he moved on.

Then he started yelling “RUSE, RUSE, RUSE” until someone agreed to start a game with him.

People on Home are weird.

After observing the community of Home for an hour, I took some time to reflect on what I had seen. Despite several additions to Home, the basic, broken formula is still around. It’s just as much of a douche purgatory as it was when it started.

What I found most strange was that there was no talk about PSN being down. I went on right as PSN went up in my area, and yet no one on Home was discussing it. Everyone was just going around and douching it up as if it never happened.

I’m not sure what that says about the community. It seems that they’re all very close-knit and elitist, measuring the time and money they’ve spent on such a terrible service as though it makes them better than everyone else. Despite this, they do have a sense of community. A community of douchebags, but a community nonetheless.

And so I proceeded to delete Home from my hard drive, just as I did after experiencing it at the launch. Hopefully my hard drive shall never have to see it again.

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Justin Hutchison

Weekend Contributing Writer at DualShockers. Been gaming since getting an SNES with Super Mario World in the late 90s. My favorite games include Persona 4, Chrono Trigger, Sly 2/3, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and Shining Force.

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