Since I am always complaining about how technology accelerates life, transforms it into something we feel compelled to consume more and more quickly rather than experience, I was intrigued by this video-game review at Slate by Chris Sullentrop that promised a look at the apparently emerging “slow video game movement.” It’s a review of a game called The Path, and it sounds totally bizarre. Even after reading Sullentrop’s description several times, I still didn’t get it. Here’s how Wikipedia explains it:
The game begins in an apartment. The player is shown six girls to choose from, and is given no information about them other than a name. Once the player selects a girl, the journey begins.
The player is given control of the girl, and is instructed: “Go to Grandmother’s house, and stay on the path.”
As you explore, you’ll find various items scattered around. However, there is no ‘interact’ button. For a girl to pick up or examine an object, the player needs to move her close enough for a superimposed image of the object to appear on the screen, then let go of the controls. The character will interact, and an image will pop up on the screen, indicating what’s been unlocked; every item a girl encounters in the forest shows up in some shape or form in Grandmothers House, and some objects open up whole new rooms. Small text will also appear, a thought from the current character. Some items can only be picked up once, and do not appear in subsequent runs. However, each character will have something different to say about an object, so player has the option to access a ‘basket’ to see what they’ve collected. In this way, the player comes to understand their character, giving following events more significance when they encounter the Wolf.
It is not required to find the Wolf. In this game, there are no requirements.