Games tell stories about people and places. This can be similar to books and films, offering snapshots, flashbacks and poignant scenes that form a life. Because we can explore the spaces where games happen, they can also tell stories by the things we find.
Games often use their character's possessions to tell us about them, as much as what they say or look like. Favourite toys, carefully written letters, hurried notes, pictures on the walls, dilapidated architecture, menus, vehicles, ticket stubs. The objects of our lives tell a story about who we are and what is happening to us.
Games like The Sims or Animal Crossing enable us to use possessions to create spaces that reflect the character we are playing. In , we are given a prized camera and bird book from our grandparents to tell the story of their bond and trust.
Some games let us get to know characters solely through their possessions. In Unpacking we spend hours placing and arranging someone's things, and as we do we get to know them (and their hopes, loves, losses and travels) deeply. In The Last of Us we find people's notes and possessions abandoned. In this, we find the story of a world in panic, but also of the people's lives before everything went wrong.
Other games use possessions as an important part of how we interact with the world. In Overboard, for example, we need to use medication, earrings and clothing to tell a story that the other characters in the world believe (one where we didn't murder our husband).
Finally, games use possessions sentimentally to connect us to the past of characters. In Hindsight we are asked to decide which objects to keep and which to let go of. In Before I Forget, possessions offer a gateway to our own fraying memories.
However games use these possessions to tell stories, it's always worth slowing down, noticing the objects we are rushing past and reading the literal and metaphorical notes about the world in which we are playing.
This list includes 96 games from the last 24 years, with 2,110 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to discover the importance of possessions.