In the past decade or so, we’ve had a rise in cartoony-based horror with games like Five Nights at Freddy’s, Bendy and the Ink Machine, and Poppy’s Playhouse. Now, we have Welcome Home.
Welcome Home is an alternate reality game (ARG). ARGs are fictional narratives that are set in the real world and allow for the real world to interact with its many forms of storytelling. The best example of an ARG is Pokemon Go, as it allows players to become Pokemon Trainers through their phones.
What is Welcome Home?
Welcome Home is a Sesame Street adjacent show that aired in the early 70’s according to the website. The site serves to be an archive of the lost puppet show. The creators are constantly updating the site as they find new media to share with the public.
The show follows Wally Darling as he interacts with his neighbors in the neighborhood known as Home. Upon clicking on the homes of each of the characters on the page, you learn about the other characters that live in those homes. We meet Julie, Frank, Barnaby, Eddie, Howdy, Sally, Poppy, and Home. Yes, Wally’s house is also a character.
The character sheets, art, and many other pieces of media depicting the creation process and popularity during its run fill the website. Most of the images appear to be innocuous. However, there is the occasional unsettling image, making the viewers think there’s something more sinister at play.
Now, where is the interaction part? Well, visitors to the site can leave messages in the Guest Book. Periodically, this is updated with doodles from who is presumed to be Wally. Look at the doodles on top of the comments in the Guest Book, maybe you’ll find hidden messages in them.
As you click through the website, there are some things that seem out of place, and I suggest keeping a note of these inconsistencies. In case you miss some of the hidden features of the site, click tab to highlight hidden features.
Welcome Home’s Future
The website went live a few weeks ago, but Clown, the creator, has been working on the project since 2018. Recently, Clown announced a voice cast, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future of Welcome Home will bring. To support him and the development of the project, check out their Ko-fi for a behind-the-scenes look into the project and a first look at new assets that will come in the future.
Find your place in the neighborhood. We’re happy to have you, neighbor!