The Path Soundtrack, Jarboe / Kris Force, 2009
One effect of the resurgence of the indie game scene from the second half of the 2000s onwards was the proliferation of titles that questioned the received knowledge of what actually constitutes a game. An early example of this emerging type of work was The Path, a reframing of the Little Red Riding Hood tale. The Path turns the classic fairy tale into an exploration of female sexuality and the painful process of growing up.
Particularly the former story aspect makes The Path a fascinating addition to the world of games, given how depressingly rare nuanced depictions of sexuality are in video games. In the game, the player takes charge of six girls of various ages and leads them to their grandmother’s cottage. If you stay on the path though, the game will tell you at the end that you’ve failed. Players can only unlock The Path’s mysteries by walking off into the woods, where the wolves lurk.