The Path: Interpretations

By Shamus
on Aug 26, 2009
Filed under:
Game Reviews

RE: This Whole “Rape” Business

Now, the game is open to interpretation, and it’s pretty hard to call someone else’s interpretation “wrong” with any kind of a straight face unless your name is listed in the credits. And mine are not. There are people who saw this game and concluded that it was about the rape of six girls. At least, that’s what they saw when they played. Fine. But I don’t see it, and I’m reasonably confident that it isn’t what the designers intended. There is a whole nasty side argument going on that goes something like this:

A) This game is about rape and if you liked it you are a sick freak.

VS.

B) This game is not about rape and if you saw rape then it came from your own imagination and thus you are a sick freak.

Perhaps this game isn’t about six girls at all. Perhaps it’s just the most subtly cunning troll ever devised. “Hey, I bet I can make thousands of people call each other rapists.” I’d like if we could get through this without finding new and interesting ways to hate each other. What say you?

The original story of Lil’ Red Riding Hood – well, the old stories, I don’t think there is a singular known origin – does indeed contain rape, cannibalism, murder, and nine miles of grotesque Ye Olde Tyme Storee-Telling Nastee Business. Those of us familiar with those old tales are no doubt going to have them in mind when confronted by The Path.

This game is engorged with disturbing imagery. It sets a mood. It alludes to unsettling matters. But aside from the Story of Carmen, we don’t see sexual imagery. I can’t imagine that the designers would go to all of this trouble if that was the deepest thing they had on their minds. You can read their blog. After reading what they have to say, I’m having an extraordinarily hard time imagining them sitting down and deciding to make something as thuddingly obvious and crass as “six girls get raped, hur hur hur”. Perhaps rape and murder are mixed in there somewhere, but I can’t believe they constructed such a web of of messages, images, and ideas, only to use them as a vehicle for the most obvious possible theme.

Consider the famous painting by Picasso:

picasso_old_guitarist.jpg

Haunting and moving when viewed alone, and turned into utter stupidity if you just write the theme of the painting right there where it will stare the viewer in the face.

Which is more likely:

1) The game is secretly and coyly and subliminally alluding to the rape which is obvious and central in the original story.

OR:

2) The game is actually a lot of complex ideas, which use the events in the original story as a metaphor for something else.

In my initial post I had a lot of thoughts on my childhood. Those old memories, and many more, were dredged up by this game. This game tapped into my childhood recollections, none of which had anything to do with rape. I don’t think the game would have hooked those ideas if it was aiming somewhere else.

So, what is it about?

I don’t think there is one overall answer. Or if there is, it would be something really broad and dull like “growing up” or “loss of innocence”. If we want something deeper, we’ll have to look at the girls individually. I’ll offer my take on each of the six girls in later posts. I don’t claim to have any special insight into the game, and I get the impression everyone sees something different when they look into The Path.

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20209Feeling chatty? There are 49 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Daniel says:

    It didn’t really help your case when I went to the Tale of Tales website, and the first thing I see was “Thank heaven for little girls” along with a painting of a topless girl. It has since been moved down the main page due to newer postings, but it still is a little unnerving.

    If not for that unfortunate choice of wording, I would totally agree with you that The Path is completely open to interpretation, and that is what the designers wanted.

  2. chabuhi says:

    I think some people may see the rape connotation because that is a widely believed interpretation of the original Red Riding Hood story.

    I played through The Path and I suppose you could, somehow and in some really twisted way, find rape symbolism in there, but I agree that it would be a HUGE stretch. In fact, I would argue that such a view is being imposed by the player and not the designers.

    So (with a playful smile, I say) get your sick, twisted heads out of the gutter, people!! ;-P

  3. Drakey says:

    Hey, that guy IS old, and may NOT be doing well, but just for the sake of wrenches in the gears, and nothing more than the image to go on, That guy might be a gal. I cant lift the oil skirt to find out though.

    EDIT: Dont let beards fool ya!

  4. Maiven7 says:

    Always read the fine print, Daniel. The post you are referring to discusses the personage of Salomé, from the Bible, and how various artists have interpreted her. In particular, the disconnection between how she is described in the Book, and how she has been portrayed since.

    It is, one feels, unnerving at a glance because one is prepared to be unnerved at a glance. Which seems to be how The Path itself meddles with people’s thoughts on the subject.

  5. Gregory Weir says:

    Daniel: That painting is a reference shot for Salome, their next game, which is based on the biblical story about a pubescent girl who demands the head of John the Baptist.

    Oh, and there is definitely rape imagery in The Path. Carmen plies an older man with alcohol and flirting, and later has something violent happen to her. I got the impression of murder with a sexual context. But that rape imagery doesn’t really turn up with the other girls.

  6. UtopiaV1 says:

    I just see that game as seven things that turn a girl into a damaged, but grown, woman, and in fact it is more of a cautionary tale than all the original stories combined could ever be. And @Gregory Weir, Carmen’s story only seems to be a warning about drinking heavily, no sex or rape was implied at all. At least, that’s what i got from it…

    That reviewer you linked sucked ass, he can’t review for toffee, keeps goin on about what he didn’t like, and the fucking SUB-CATEGORIES, what is he, twelve? That’s how i reviewed ‘books i read over the summer’ at primary school, man he was an idiot. I’m surprised he didn’t give it number out of ten at the end!

    Bet he didn’t even like Ico either, what a moron…

  7. Groboclown says:

    To me, the interesting thing about the story is that you do not have to encounter the wolf, which means all the Bad Things that can happen to the particular incarnation of Red you’re playing don’t have to happen.

    You can even not play the game, and let it sit there without a conclusion.

    Which means, beyond the power of interpretation we are granted with this game, we also have the power to control what aspects of it materialize.

  8. Burning says:

    From what you have said so far, I have no interest in playing this game myself. However, I’m quite interested in your series of articles about it. I hope the trolls stay away. Cheers.

  9. Meatloaf says:

    I am sad for that man who wrote the review. His view on the world must be so incredibly stunted.

  10. Gregory Weir says:

    UtopiaV1: In the lead-up to Carmen’s wolf attack, she flirts with the man, taking his hat, stretching provocatively in front of him. After the attack, in the house segment, there are sections in corridors where the sound of (apparently pleasurable) female moaning is accompanied by the rhythmic sound of sawing; a clear metaphor for the act of sex. With all this are images of bloody axes and saws, very direct symbols of violence. The montage at the very end of her house segment shows Carmen in two vulnerable positions: squatting looking up at the viewer and twisted around in an impossible position with her butt and legs prominent. These are scribbled over in red and interspersed with the woodcutter/wolf about to hit the viewer with an axe. Whatever the interpretation of Carmen’s wolf attack, it should account for these images of sex and violence.

  11. Sheer_FALACY says:

    Re: Groboclown

    Yeah, you don’t ever need to encounter the wolf, but if you don’t you get a nice big FAILURE screen. Or you wander about the forest with 10 things in it forever.

  12. Zukhramm says:

    You really got me interested in the game, so I tried the demo, and I couldn’t get anything to happen at all. The only thing I found was cellectible flowers, but I didn’t pick up all of them, and maybe that’s the only way something can happen in the demo.

    I did find strange thigns in the forrest, but no matter were I stoped using the controller the most interesting thing that happend was that the girl ran pack to the path.

    I hope the ful game is more interesting.

  13. Groboclown says:

    @Sheer_FALACY:

    I had this discussion with my wife. Yes, the game tries to push you into following the story, as though the game isn’t really complete until to follow the Red Riding Hood pattern. However, once you do, the game takes nearly all control away from the player (except for Quit). As a player, I push back against the game. Especially since, with a young daughter, some parts of it creep me out.

    @Zukhramm:
    I felt the same thing about the demo. However, based on playing the game a bit, and the comments on the ToT forum, it really comes across better if you play the demo after playing the game, as it shows the forest from a completely different angle. I could reveal a very slight spoiler about the game that links the two together, if you’d like.

  14. Binks says:

    “accompanied by the rhythmic sound of sawing; a clear metaphor for the act of sex.”

    What? I mean, huh what? How? When? When in the world did sawing become a metaphor for sex? Geez, next having a smoothie will be a metaphor for something, can’t we just leave things without double meanings?

  15. Dev Null says:

    I can’t imagine anyone reading this post and comments who was worried about apoilers, but just in case – the below is chock full of spoily goodness.

    I saw the game as about fear and loss of innocence – and by loss of innocence I mean exactly that, not some tired euphemism for rape.

    For each girl the wolf in the woods represents something she doesn’t fear but possibly should. For Robin, its animals / monsters. For Ginger its friendship and the loss of friends – connection. For Rose its death. For Ruby it seems to be a number of things, including possibly belonging or drugs (or a combo of the two in peer pressure? Hey, I didn’t say I had this all figured out…) For Scarlet its too much order – falling into a niche. For Carmen its, yes, men. But by purposefully _not_ showing the cut scenes continue through to any kind of grisly end after the girls are confronted by their wolf, its at least well open to the interpretation that they haven’t actually suffered at all from their encounter, just learned to fear the wolf. Robin’s wolf actually calms down and seems to submit at the end of its struggle, etc. etc. If I was guilty of rape for every time I sat round a campfire and had a few beers with a woman, I’d be on America’s Most Wanted. The images in grandma’s house are fairly universally disturbing, granted, but they could be images of what they now fear rather than images of what actually happened – certainly the barbed wire being symbolic would make a lot more sense for Ginger than believing that she actually dies wrapped in wire somehow at the end of the idyllic scene in the meadow.

    I’m not saying these things _couldn’t_ have actually happened. Just that they didn’t necessarily happen. The one thing I think you could safely say about the designers’ intent was that they left it ambiguous on purpose, so that people could read their own interpretations into it, and they are almost certainly loving all of this debate…

  16. B.J. says:

    Eh, I played the Path and I didn’t see what the fuss was about. It just seemed like a lot of random, abstract crap to me. Feel free to make fun of me because I don’t “get it.” You can insist that the game is full of Deep Meaningful Symbolism but it just seemed like random weirdness to me. I mean, what is the Symbolism of the ground covered in bullets by the broken wall? Can you really say it is anything other than weird-for-the-sake-of-weird?

    The problem with these sorts of things is that you can’t dismiss other people’s interpretations just because they make you uncomfortable.

  17. Tacoma says:

    There is a thrumming excitement in the air. Clouds gather. A mote of dust rises from the hoof of a stamping, champing horse and sails away far above the trees. The world darkens as it wafts slowly into the clouds above. The cloud weighs it down with life-giving water until it becomes too laborious to stay aloft, and it falls. A streaking, screaming, suicide plunge back to earth and home. And where it ends its final dive a pixel appears. #664365. Around it the patter of raindrops creates a mosaic, then an image, until a frame is displayed. It depicts a female human standing among trees. A great wind rushes through the valley and scatters the pixels and the process must begin again. As it will millions of times more before the player is finished. Skynet cares not for interpretation of art. The deific act of creation and destruction carried out is enough.

  18. Goulash says:

    Alright, so this girl is alone in the woods, she meets an ingratiating male figure, then the screen fades to black and when we see her again she’s obviously traumatized.

    Rape? No, it’s um… about growing up or some shit.

    • LMAO says:

      You know what? You’re right. Let’s ignore that one of the wolves is a girl about Ginger’s age and NOT an older man, and let’s ignore all the items and symbolism in Grandma’s house that generally have nothing to do with sex, and let’s ignore that only one girl has a direct reference to sex in her story! This game is most DEFINITELY about rape and anyone who says different is just being silly!

  19. skizelo says:

    OMG spoilerz etc.
    It’s clearly a stetch to say that every Wolf is a rapist (eg the Flower Field Wolf, who draws most of it’s symbols from, uh, tampon ads. Hey, the age is about right), but since each wolf-encounter is negative (the raining, the limping, the loss of one of the sisters) and about half of them are to do with men (or at least Billy Idol), and they all end in the bedroom (most of them have a double-bed as furniture), I can see why a few people call rape.
    I can’t keep track of all the Mulholland Drive/Killer7-style noodling, so this is a bit undeveloped, but it seems that the game forces you to relive unpleasant memories so it can redeem/comfort you in the third act.
    Also, last time I tried to write anything about this game, I ended up just mocking a few of the sister’s sartorial silliness. Who wears a semaphore flag, seriously.

  20. Sopping Topper says:

    You’re entirely correct, Shamus. After reading their blog, it couldn’t be just “six girls get raped, hur hur hur.” It’s “six girls get raped and murdered, and let’s make them look like American McGee doe-eyed goths, hur hur hur”

  21. Kellandros says:

    Sadly, it took me about a paragraph to realize that this wasn’t part of the AI articles.

    I was kind of wondering how path finding leads to THAT problem in games, but nevermind.

  22. Crazy Merry says:

    The main thing to consider is whether the designers intentionally made Carmen contravertial, or this is just an oversight on thier part. The former means that they may have worked the scenes a bit too much, and the latter means that it is very auteur, to the degree that Joe Bloggs can’t see all of the subtle imagery, so they see the designers doing this intentionally. Personally, I think they made it shocking and real to show the Grimm-ness in the story, but they should have anticipated the backlash.

    This all reminds me of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 hype, where the protagonist + friends battle by firing a gun-like object at their head. It was a pretty good game, but didn’t make me kill myself. I doubt The Path will cause a rash of rape either…

  23. LassLisa says:

    I got something out of the game similar to what Dev Null describes. The game fit remarkably cleanly with my own memories of being cavalier about things until something right-nigh-almost goes horribly wrong. Suddenly discovering vulnerability/danger can give you plenty of nightmares even if the danger isn’t realized. Just to take Carmen’s story since that’s the one everyone points to as ZOMG RAPE, Carmen’s fear afterwards struck me as realization that she ran the very real risk of being raped and murdered, but it’s not at all clear that it actually happened.

  24. SatansBestBuddy says:

    Dammit, I really want to play, but I have no money. -.-

    Anyway, if rape isn’t the only answer to what happened… well, what else could have happened?

  25. Crystalgate says:

    Carmen’s scenario is somewhat unique in that it’s more real looking than any other scenario. It’s actually plausible that she encountered a camping woodman in a forest.

    Ruby for example, encounters a shady looking man sitting on a park bench and who offers her a cigarette. There’s even a car nearby and it happens in the middle of a forest. That’s something you encounter in a town, not a forest. Therefore it makes sense to assume the whole forest is just a symbol for danger and her experience actually happened somewhere else.

    Most other girls also has something about their scenario which makes it seem unreal. The only exception is Carmen, her scenario can be taken almost literal. Add to that her wolf can easily be interpret as a rapist/axe murderer and I can see where the controversy comes from.

  26. Groboclown says:

    Since anyone who’s read this far has already seen enough spoilers, I’ll chime in here in regards to the Girl in White (GiW). Note that I haven’t encountered her as a wolf yet, so I’m just half-baked in my thoughts on her.

    In The Path: Prelude, you play GiW, who runs through the woods, and encounters objects, or lack of objects, which have black smoke coming from them. The initial thought is that these are the burnt remains of what the LRRH encountered, but remember that this is a Prelude (happens before). GiW can go to Gramma’s House, but the game ends upon entering it, and you don’t see what GiW sees in it. Also, GiW can use the phone on the road and leave.

    There are two significant, but subtle differences that I noticed between playing a LRRH and playing GiW: GiW can collect 144 flowers, but so can the LRRH (Word of God said that these are present as a sense of irony, though – throw in a conventional Game element into a non-conventional game as a red herring, as collecting these doesn’t seem to do anything). Also, GiW in her game can return to the path on her own. For LRRH, they can only return to the path after entering the woods by getting GiW to lead her back.

    Some on the ToT forum suggested that the smoke and non-existent items in the GiW view indicate that, either they don’t exist for GiW, or those objects are waiting to become manifest when the LRRH appears.

  27. FirstNameLastName says:

    I just feel that in all this talk about stunted world views and interpretations this way and the other all (or most) of you miss out on a few very basic things.
    First of all – being a pre/pubescent girl is NOT the same thing as being a young or middle aged man (as most of the people leaving comments here seem to be). The dangers you face, now, as well as back through history, are not the same. Rape and/or the possibility of rape is a very real threat to young girls. At least as real as the risk of getting mugged/beaten/ending up in a fight on a late Saturday night is for any regular guy. These things happen. Often. That’s a fact. Even if we, decent upstanding citizens that we all are (until proven otherwise), hate it and wish it was different.
    Ans secondly – art is allowed to talk about real things. And I believe that The Path has to be viewed as a work of art, rather than as a traditional “game”. Art doesn’t make things happen. At least most of the time it doesn’t. It observes and comments. It makes you think and form an opinion. Watching a movie about the holocaust (to use an old and pretty tired example) probably won´t make you go out and exterminate millions of people. In fact, the very opposite (whatever that is) is more probable.
    So. I guess my point is (I am a bit drunk writing this, actually, so I might just be rambling) that a). this work of art may very well be about rape. In fact, I think it is. I think it is about all the dangers awaiting those venturing off the beaten path. It’s about the very real risks young girls take in asserting their independence. It’s about the price we pay for going our own way (metaphorically) and for taking stupid risks (literary). In the case of young girls those risks may very well include the risk of getting raped/abducted/killed. And if the narrative had been about six middle aged men instead they would perhaps have included the risks of being trapped in love-less marriages or dead end jobs or being killed in a random traffic accident. Hell I don’t know. I’m just saying that you talk about rape as if it was just a perverted fantasy when in fact it’s very real.
    And you talk about art as if it was only allowed top touch on “safe” subjects when in fact I think that arts greatest challenge is to tell the truth.
    Did that make any sense what so ever?
    I’ll look it over tomorrow morning when I’m sober and maybe give it another tryzzzzzzzzz…zzz…

  28. thegrinner says:

    The thing I want to point out to the people getting angry at the linked review: yes, the review is a bit angry and rather judgemental. Yes, it disagrees with the point of view most of us seem to hold. But read the comments and realize there’s some intelligent discussion going on between people about why they see certain things in it. Don’t just read the article on that one – look down.

  29. JadedDM says:

    I just found the whole game pointless and boring. I feel like a real idiot for spending $10 on it. Maybe there is some deep symbolism in it I’m simply not getting, but all I know is that the entire game is just spent moving the girl (very slowly) to various points in the forest.

    I just found the whole thing pretentious and dull. If you’re at all curious and don’t want to spend cash on it, look up the Let’s Play on youtube. It’s quite thorough, and the experience of watching it is exactly the same as playing it; there’s no skill or chance (or fun) involved whatsoever (thus, in my opinion, excluding it from the definition of ‘game’).

  30. acronix says:

    I had a look at it a few days ago. I´d say it´s an “interactive 3D movie” more than a game.

  31. Dev Null says:

    FirstNameLast – You’re making perfect sense, so you’re either not that drunk or you’ve hit the magic “clarity bubble”. Roll with it brother / sister!

    I totally agree its about dangers and risk (and fear thereof) and that those risks _include_ rape, I just don’t think that the _only_ danger its about is rape, nor that the rape necessarily has to have happened already for it to be a danger and / or induce fear. As any good horror writer knows, the anticipations the thing; once you _show_ em the ghost, its just a guy in a bedsheet.

  32. Sho says:

    #29: because males can’t be raped, murdered and abducted? Or it’s “not as bad”? Or “doesn’t happen as often”? Or we don’t fear it because it doesn’t seem as likely?

    Anyway. I can only see the rape as a metaphor. Waking up crippled/ashamed in the rain seems to signify rape to a lot of people (including myself), but I can’t see it as literal rape. There’s too much dissonance. You can believe some of the wolves are rapists but it just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Is every man/*thing* (in the case of the non-people stuff) who is alone with a girl prone to raping her? Even the suspicious ones (the guy near the body bag, the woodsman), it seems a bit strange.

    The game is fairly realistic up to the point where you run into the wolf, and then it goes all squiggly. It ceases to be a literal “girl walks in forest and encounters someone” and becomes, well… unrealistic. Not that that’s a bad thing, because then it’s free to symbolize as it does. Rape works as a pretty good symbol for “worst case scenario” while leaving the actual events to our imagination (should we choose to use it). Or so I see it…

  33. Hipparchus says:

    Sounds like this would be a crappy game AND a crappy movie. Game side: the point is not to play. So you don’t. So it isn’t a fun game. Movie side: You do vague things that have vague consequences and most important and controversial things happen under a black screen. You are left to “interpet” what happened. What I think the devs plan was:
    1. We have 3d modeling tools, but creating actual game play is hawrd. I know lets make it a movie thingamijig!
    2. Hm… lets throw Goths (everbody likes Goths!)…into a spoooky rendition of Red Riding Hood (everbody likes twisted fairy tales!)….
    3. But making a story with interesting plot, characters, and setting is hawrd. That and actually having things happen. I know! Lets make it “symbolic” and have no plot, characters, setting, and explain everything with flashes of “Symbolism” and black screens.
    3. Throw in some random crap from random places and call it “symbolism”.
    4. Throw in some random crap that might be controverisal, But Not Too Controversial.
    5. Release the gameplayless, plotless, characterless, settingless, blend of random crap and call it “Art”. Hey those paintings that look like a little kid finger painting is abstract art, right?
    6. ???
    7. Critical acclaim and profit!

  34. Jabor says:

    I suppose that’s one way of looking at it, if you are an imaginatively challenged drone.

    • Shamus says:

      Once again I want to stress that there is no need for people to be rude to each other over this or to accuse each other of stupidity or having latent rape fantasies.

      Look, if I’m willing to have Google banish my site to the search-engine ghetto for having the word “Rape” repeated a thousand times, then I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that you folks not burn the place down in the meantime.

      Sheesh.

  35. Avilan the Grey says:

    @Jabor: Actually you don’t have to be that, to feel like Hipparchus. I won’t buy the game because I don’t agree with a lot of things in it, but I would probably not buy it anyway because of this. The “Art” factor, or rather the “Art” excuse.

  36. MuonDecay says:

    Spoiler:

    The one little girl actually dressed as Little Red Riding Hood… Robin, I think… now that is an example in which I really could not possibly identify any hint of physical harm coming to her. If anyone is seeing that there it’s because they already played as Carmen and they’re so focused on the frightful events there that it makes them see it everywhere else.

    To me it just seems that she wanders around, being naive about death, and her “wolf” is the realization of the tragedy or fear of death… and then she arrives at grandma’s house… to find grandma dead.

    Sure, she flops into the grave, but that doesn’t seem to suggest entirely that she’s the one doing the dying. She walks into grandma’s house, up to grandma’s bedroom, and finds grandma’s bed propped up, occupied, above an open grave. The message there is more strongly that grandma died… and that perhaps her awareness flops right into the reality of death.

    I like this game, actually, as a medium for provoking reflection. It takes effort to make me think clearly about a subject like this.

  37. Vladius says:

    RAPERAPERAPERAPERAPERAPE

    Just kidding.

    The game is about being vaguely creeped out by six Little Red Riding Hood people encountering the forces of nature and/or humanity, which are bad and represented by “wolves.” There’s supposed to be multiple layers of interpretation. I think Shamus was right, it’s a huge troll.

    There.

    As for theorizing, from what I gleaned from YouTube comments and other sources where people don’t know how to spell, one theory is that each of the girls represent what grandma could have been at some point in her life. You’re supposed to “stay on the path” because any other direction leads to very, very bad things that could potentially happen to young granny. Either she has already followed the path, or she is “exploring it in her mind” or whatever, possibly on her death bed.

    No idea where the girl in white fits in.

    I’m interested on what everyone thinks about the bizarre wolves, especially the floating cloud-zombie one over the lake.

  38. Otters34 says:

    I’d have to agree with Hipparchus. Upon watching the Let’s Play, it seems that the guys at Tales rather drastically overestimated the capacity for videogames to have a truly deep moral(and it so very much has a moral), and lessened to the point of impotence the players ability to guide themselves.

    They ought to make movies or real adventure games if they think they can tell a really good story. And another thing, where’s the wood-cutter? the guy who in most modern re-tellings rescues Little Red Riding Hood?

    Please note I’m not saying it hasn’t real interperative promise, it is simply that they could do much better by just writing the stories down and letting you imagine what it looks like.

    Lastly, the picture by Pablo P. above loses power only if you don’t already feel sorry for him. It’s like if someone wrote on the Pieta:”This man is dead and is being held by his mother.” If you know what it’s about, that will hardly change the way you look at it.

  39. Tacoma says:

    It’s like smacking a caption on the Mona Lisa:

    “LoL she is smile bc she thinking abot frittata!”

    Although I personally think the Mona Lisa, while nice, is not the pinnacle of art. It’s just well-known.

  40. Gregory Weir says:

    @Binks: To give your quote of my comment the proper context: “the sound of (apparently pleasurable) female moaning is accompanied by the rhythmic sound of sawing.” Moaning plus a rhythmic noise, one produced by a periodic thrusting motion that clefts something in two? It’s hard to see that as anything other than a sexual metaphor. The moans don’t sound painful, so no one’s being sawed in half. I doubt that it’s the sound of a woman who really likes carpentry.

  41. Your Bro Joe says:

    Hipparchus nails it!

  42. k24601 says:

    I’m with side B, as I believe that it’s possible and more intelligent/thoughtful to make a “horror” game..stories…movies…ect. with scary parts or the entire piece being one scary thing after another and rape never entering into it. I think putting rape scenarios in your works lessons the value of your works and the value of yourself as an artist, writer, director, whatever and lessons your value as a person in general. There’s way too many rape this and rape that crap in the world already. Its sickening, especially as a female gamer and amateur artist…writer…game creator…ect. myself it makes me very angry and sad. It’s scary how often people just seem to casually and thoughtlessly throw rape scenarios into their works.

    • Anonymous says:

      I respectfully disagree, and I am currently in the process of writing a story-game centered around rape despite KNOWING that it will lessen the value of my work, of myself as an artist/writer/director/whatever, and of myself as a person in general. I accept that this makes me a monster, a tattletale, a traitor. But at this point I simply don’t have much left to lose. If the audience (not that I expect to find one) hates me for making something so painful, it won’t be much worse than my surviving relatives threatening to institutionalize me for mentioning that I have D.I.D. from trauma. I believe that the purpose of Art is to tell the Truth, even when it’s deeply unpleasant to people who have been sheltered from that Truth. I believe that no matter how hideous Truth can be, embracing her leads to freedom, and denying her will only make her bite you harder when there is nowhere left to run.

      Yours truly,
      Someone with nowhere left to run

  43. Kate says:

    I’ve seen tons of theories behind the game, one of which I find most interesting.
    Could it be that the six sisters are the same person, with each other showing a phase of their life. The Grandmother at the end could be how their all turn out, with the girl in white acting as the shouldern angel as it were.

  44. Anyonomus says:

    I figured out the meaning 3 minutes after i finished watching a let’s play of The Path. THe Game symbolizes the metaphor, “Never trust strangers, But there is always one who will help you along the way.” The “Strangers” Being the wolfs and the “One who helps” is the girl in white. The girl in white overcame fear in its prime and defeated the wolfs saving the sisters as they go back to their normal lives and never see the girl in white ever again.The girl in white might be a Guardian angel in disguise, And if you notice in the grandmas house there is a picture of the girl in white above her bed,Possibly meaning that the girl in white was her granddaughter.I think that the girl in white was lost to the wolfs and is a defender of the defenseless almost lost to the wolfs. Very very symbolic

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