Another day, another think piece on why video games are important. I’ll spare you the usual long-winded explanation as to why gaming is an art form and can be used to deliver more than raw emotional fun if you promise to watch our video below on Path Out. It’s a game about the Syrian Civil War and one kid’s effort to escape. That’s not the kind of experience you find in gaming often, so even if the game isn’t very good, it’s worth a look on that merit alone.
Luckily, Path Out doesn’t have that problem.
What’s so special about Path Out is that it’s not just about the Syrian Civil War or even the kid escaping it. It’s an autobiographical game, meaning the developer is telling their own story. Abdullah Karam escaped Syria in 2014 and made his way to Europe to avoid getting drafted into the Syrian military, and this game tells his story.
Events With a Face
What I love most about this game is Abdullah himself, constantly appearing on camera in-game further elaborating on his experience. He’s so casual about it that he often makes jokes, such as telling you his house was better than the one depicted in the game, or chastising you for thinking there are just camels sitting around in the streets of Syria. These asides do a great job of further contextualizing what’s going on in the game, and seeing Abdullah himself really puts a face on the events in the game better than the sprite based character models do.
You can play episode one of Path Out for free on Itch.io or Steam. It’s currently unknown when the next episode will be out, or if there even will be a next episode knowing how indie development can go, but I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this. Don’t let the look of it fool you – this could turn out to be something special.