Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Path Video Game

Little Red Riding Hood, that versatile girl, is appearing in a new, unsual video game that was featured on NPR's All Things Considered this week. You can read the article at: On 'The Path,' Everything A Big Bad Wolf Could Want by Heather Chaplin

The game itself is interesting, not one I have ever read about, but it definitely won't be for everyone since it goes beyond light escapist entertainment and unabashedly calls itself a horror game. However, it sounds like it can be an empowering experience for players interested in it.

The point of the game is to face the wolf and deal with him, facing the dangers of girlhood and womanhood, often very real ones. In my mind, after exploring the links, I thought of it as the female version of Call of Duty, one of the video games that is too real and can be traumatic for veterans. The Path uses Little Red Riding Hood to recognize and confront the dangers of everyday living for girls.

"I think we've succeeded in making a game that's about the player," says Samyn [one of the game's creators]. "What's frightening about it is the confrontation with your own interpretation of things, and probably realizing that they're your own."

The official game site is here: The Path. The game is available for either Windows or MAC platforms.

In case you're wondering if it might be too dark, the makers have this warning on it:

For Ages 15+. While The Path does not contain any graphic violence or sexuality, it does allude to these themes. The overall melancholy mood of the game and the potentially unsettling course of events, make The Path unsuitable for children.


  1. I bought the game and it is sitting on my desktop. I find it utterly incomprehensible. Of course, I know nothing about gaming, so I might just be the problem!

  2. Many people who don't play games, have enjoyed The Path. In fact, Tale of Tales somewhat specialize in making games for non-gamers. The Path is very easy to play, technically. But it requires your active imagination and emotional involvement in order to become meaningful.

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  4. Ack, I've left replying to this so long that the developer themselves have beaten me to it. But I can still add that if you look at their Web site SurLaLune is listed as one of their "Friends and Idols" (that link may be how I first discovered SurLaLune, though it's been so long I can't remember for sure, nor have I any idea how I discovered them) and MichaĆ«l posted on the SurLaLune discussion board at in announcement of The Path's completion. Their aim as I understand it is to make video "games" for people who don't like current video games – who don't have the time to put up with challenges that need that need to be attempted again and again and even then with no guarantee that you'll ever get it right (as real life has more than enough such challenges) – though The Path in particular has been an attempt to make something that is accessible to gamers (by giving them a manual and the option of an inventory to track their "progress," which in The Path is more something different than something good) as well as to their target audience of non-gamers who are happy to play by intuition and discovery, so if someone of the latter group has failed to "get" it due to their concessions to the former then it's definitely not your problem but rather something that needs looking into on their part.

    Another of their Friends and Idols which I think would be of much interest to SurLaLune fans is – and if you only know of The Path, you really owe to yourself to investigate their original, less horror-focused fairy tale project, 8:

  5. I'm not really a gamer and I haven't heard of this The Path game. After reading your post I am quite encouraged to lay my hands on the game since I haven't tried playing. I hope it comes as Download Games so I'd be able to play it over and over.