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Little Red's Path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Red`s Path

By Sandra Coroian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISBN : 978-1-365-24362-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

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p<>{color:#000;}. THE AVATARS OF THE WORLD

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p<>{color:#000;}. Perraultian Avatars

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p<>{color:#000;}. Contextual Avatars

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p<>{color:#000;}. Politically Correct Avatars

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p<>{color:#000;}. Virtual Avatars

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p<>{color:#000;}. SIX FRAMED CHARACTERS VERSUS ONE ANTHOLOGICAL CASE

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p<>{color:#000;}. Twilight Little Robin

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p<>{color:#000;}. Rose – The Lady of the “Bath”

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p<>{color:#000;}. Ginger – Misapprehended Youth

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p<>{color:#000;}. A Ruby-Runic Type of Youth

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p<>{color:#000;}. S.O.S. Carmen

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p<>{color:#000;}. Scarlet – Snobbishness Revisited

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p<>{color:#000;}. Classic Little Red

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p<>{color:#000;}. PAIDA AND LUDUS

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p<>{color:#000;}. Robin: Agon – Mimicry

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p<>{color:#000;}. Rose: Mimicry – Ilinx

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p<>{color:#000;}. Ginger: Alea – Ilinx

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p<>{color:#000;}. Ruby: Agon – Alea

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p<>{color:#000;}. Carmen: Agon – Ilinx

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p<>{color:#000;}. Scarlet: Alea – Mimicry

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p<>{color:#000;}. TOWARDS A CODE OF PERSONAL BEHAVIOR

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p<>{color:#000;}. Don’ts

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p<>{color:#000;}. Do’s

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p<>{color:#000;}. Fighting Fire with Fire

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Many of you may be familiar with the almost “cliché” fairytale of our childhood, Little Red Riding Hood. Nevertheless, within this paper I will further try to break the barrier and look beyond the Grimm Brothers’ innocent version of this anthological story, emphasizing on Charles Perrault’s earlier variant and approaching a new, more modern field, such as the PC gaming area.

Although Little Red has always been presented as an innocent account for children, having a strong moral touch, such as to warn the little creatures of the mean – not to be trusted – strangers, in its essence, it has always had a sexual approach. This last important aspect led me to connect the two – the classic fairytale and the modern PC game The Path – as they both have a sexual connotation.

As for the psychological and interpersonal journey, the author of this paper is inviting the reader to join; I will start first and foremost with defining the terminology I have made use of in my paper. As such, the first key phrase involved is the “fairytale” as defined by Thompson (1972) with the main meaning of a “short story that typically features fantasy characters”.

Second, the picture has been enlarged by involving the collocation “a PC game”, also known as a “Computer game” with the specific connotation of “a video game played on a personal computer, rather than on a personal game console or arcade machine” (Entertainment Software Association 2005). Added to this, in order to render a larger visionary approach to my interpretation of Little Red computer variant, I further on displayed my analysis at the level of “Paida” and “Ludus” seen as “free play” for the former and as “formal play” for the latter. (Caillois 2001)

The novelty of my paper resides in bringing together two facets of “Paida”, i.e. the understanding of how both the classic fairytale and the PC modern version of it can influence the reader’s/player’s perception of growing up whilst engulfing the moral values attached to essential living stages, such as self-discovery, the meanders of teenagehood or death.

Consequently, whether we refer to the classic fairytale or the PC version both variants meet within the tempting irresistible whirlpool of sexual attraction in the former case, controlled by the author, whilst in the latter by the player himself/herself.

Furthermore, in the second chapter of my paper I will try to make a character analysis for both the Charles Perrault’s Little Red and Little Reds from the PC game The Path. Also I will compare the storyline of each field presenting the common points and trying to demonstrate that both the PC games, especially the one in discussion, and the fairytale were born from real life situations and human concepts and beliefs.

The third chapter will consist of an understanding of how does the original fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” and the game “The Path” influence our lives and what moral issues do they arose.

Finally, in my last chapter I will approach the “freedom of speech” topic and “censorship” and also raise the question whether Little Red Riding Hood is a real warning or just a fairytale for children.

All in all, the main reason for which I have chosen this topic is the discovery of how two so different domains, such as technology and the classic literary text of a fairy tale could emerge and produce the same moral tuning of a complex personality whether living in the 17th, the 19th or the 21st centuries.

 

1. THE AVATARS OF THE WORLD

 

1.1 Perraultian Avatars

 

In this chapter I will try to present as broadly as I can the two different fields which are about to be analyzed. The Grimm Brothers’ version of the Little Red Riding Hood is probably the most widespread version of the fairytale, thus I have chosen not to talk about it but to go deeper in the history of literature more precisely in the late years of the 17th century, when Charles Perrault, a French writer, brought to light his “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge”, a “more sinister and more overtly moralized” version than the later ones. “The redness of the hood, which has been given symbolic significance in many interpretations of the tale, was a detail introduced by Perrault”. (Tatar 2002: 17)

One reason for choosing Perrault’s version and not the Grimm Brothers’ would be the fact that Perrault brings us closer to reality even if still in a subtler way. Also this story has more in common with the PC game “The Path” which I have chosen to discuss. Moreover, even though both Perrault’s version and the Grimm Brothers’ variant have a moral for little children, Perrault goes beyond the innocent approach of the it’s forbidden to talk to strangers matter and emphasizes a more hidden – sexual – moral. Back in the days, when fairytales appeared in an oral form, even though they were not fully accepted, as the Puritans thought of them as being “substandard”, they somehow managed to spread throughout the diverse cultures and thus transformed from the violent and even cruel fairytales meant to give a tough moral to confused offspring and even adults to the more innocent and even censored versions targeting more or less only young children.

Could it be that even if Charles Perrault kept his somewhat erotic message hidden, his work was still seen as “too much” for the eyes and the ears of whom may have fallen upon it? It may as well be true, that during the 17th century, literature and fairy tales in particular were exposed to the eyes of the Puritans, notorious for their strict morale and highly religious behavior, which also happened to be the utmost authority in the society, having the last word when it came to such matters. “The literary fairy tale, by contrast, began as an art form of the upper classes -- made possible by advances in printing methods and rising literacy.” (Windling 2000: para.2)

It seems once again that religion truly had a great impact on literature and its writers and even on history itself, as we can see this clearly when “The Brothers Grimm (19th-century Germany) blurred the line between oral and literary tales by presenting their German “household tales” as though they came straight from the mouths of peasants, though in fact they revised these stories to better reflect their own Protestant ethics.” (Windling 2000) In other words, religion had everything under control. It may be tough to process and acknowledge such a reality, more precisely the fact that even a simple bed time story such as Little Red Riding Hood, could be used for political and religious interests.

Like back in the days when the Bible was written, the 17th century was a time when women had no rights and often, if not always, were belittled by the men writers who took all the credits for their storytelling, bringing them down to a mere faint shadow. However, remaining on the French land where aristocrats were the crème de la crème of the 17th century’s society, the writing and rewriting of the fairytales seems to have moved in an unconscious circle.

If the old, yet almost forgotten, folkloric fairytales were meant strictly for little children, Charles Perrault, as well as other writers of his time, modifies the original versions for the précieux (the aristocrats highly named themselves this way; Préciosité, or preciosity, was inseparable from aristocracy. Those who called themselves précieux thought that brilliant conversation, spirit, and elegance of the language were means to show their distinction) to better entertain them, thus bringing fairytales to a whole new level, when two centuries later, the Grimm Brothers return to the roots of the fairytales, writing them, once again, for the ears and eyes of the little ones.

We can now say that Charles Perrault’s work was a polymorphic (it is simultaneously a literary fairy tales compendium, made in the salon fashion; a parody of folktales; and a close rewriting of those tales) one as he kept the substance of the folktales building up on their margins, his own versions, as to suit the present situations.

Focusing once again on Little Red, I would like to point out the fact that even though this fairytale is not a complex one, readers and specialists along the time found different interpretations. Although at a first glimpse the fairytale seems to have no hidden context, almost all of the interpretations are somewhat sexual.

 

1.2 Contextual Avatars

 

Further on, I will try to shortly present some of the most encountered interpretations of this fairytale, beginning with the “Natural Cycles” – we can say that even here we have a word play as Natural does not necessarily refer to be Genuine, but it can also refer to Nature as in this interpretation, specialists such as P. Saintyves and Edward Burnett Tylor had an astronomic-nature correlated vision upon Little Red Riding Hood. What I mean to say is that in this case Little Red’s “hood could represent the bright sun which is ultimately swallowed by the terrible night (the wolf), and the variations in which she is cut out of the wolf’s belly represent by it the dawn.”(Tatar 2002: 25), in terms of nature “the tale could be about the season of spring, or the month of May, escaping the winter” (Dundes 1989:27) in this case Little Red could easily represent the blooming nature.

When it comes to “Ritual”, specialists go back in time, emphasizing on the puberty ritual – having a prehistorically origin – which follows the girl’s steps, from the moment she leaves her nurturing-safe home, to the innocent stroll in the woods, until the moment of her liberation from the wolf’s belly. Taking into account all of the phases the child takes, in the end she founds herself transformed into an adult woman.

Bruno Bettelheim interpreted Little Red Riding Hood as a “Rebirth” in his work The Uses of Enchantment (1976). Not only did he use motifs, in terms of a “classic Freudian analysis” but he mostly emphasized on the “motif of the huntsman” (Tatar 2002: 148) as to accentuate the moment of when he cuts out the wolf’s belly and the little girl is practically reborn. This can be, once again, the moment Little Red acknowledges her mistakes, thus taking the leap from an immature and naive thinking to a calculated more percipient one.

This tale in its whole, seems to somehow circle around a sexual nature, more precise, in time, it has also been interpreted as a “Sexual awakening”. The symbols that lead us to this type of interpretation have been focused on the girl’s puberty, more exactly, on the moment when the girl reaches her menstruation – the red cloak representing the blood or “the hymen (earlier versions of the tale generally do not state that the cloak is red).” (Zipes 1993: 382) The fact that the wolf walks on his back legs brings it closer to the resemblance of a man, who in this case could be the reflection of “a lover, seducer or sexual predator.” (Zipes 1993)

Last but not least, we can find traces of Little Red even in the “Norse Myth”, where the northern people are well known for their harsh and rigid culture. “Loki’s explanations for “Freyja’s” (actually Thor disguised as Freya) strange behavior mirror the wolf’s explanations for his strange appearance.” (Dundes 1989: 32)

It seems that European fairytales spread through the entire world, growing roots in various cultures, taking different shapes and meanings. Little Red Riding Hood reaches even the “Land of the Rising Sun” (is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent.), where it is shaped, more or less, after the culture’s beliefs and traditions.

Asian people, especially Japanese, are known for their respect towards moral values such as: honor, honesty, submission etc. If in Charles Perrault’s version of the Little Red, the wolf has none of the moral values mentioned above as his only goal seems to be the urge to eat the girl, no matter what the consequences, in the Japanese version the same wolf, “upon meeting an angry hunter kneels down, confesses his guilt and asks for mercy.” (Prasol 2010: 247)

 

1.3 Politically Correct Avatars

 

Nowadays, fairytales seem to have suffered an even greater transformation due to a need of political correctness (a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent). They lose texture, purpose and even amenity. Even though, not many may give a great importance to fairytales, in a subtle way they somehow have a great impact on the psychological development of our society.

What I am trying to say is that, once a bedtime story becomes politically correct, it loses its main purpose, that of teaching children an important moral. Yes, it is true that these new fairytales, even if they have kept the basic story line, protect moral rights and are conceived to minimize racism or other social and institutional offence, but nonetheless they also damage, unconsciously, the psychical growth of children.

Lingering on this matter, we can almost say that these politically correct bedtime stories have the opposite effect that they were initially meant to have. If such a fairytale was meant to teach children how to accept their flaws and not judge others who had them, it also impairs their process of maturation. So, we find ourselves facing an involution of our human race, even if it sounds extreme, due to the fact that parents, by adopting these politically correct fairytales, think that they are protecting their children. More and more parents nowadays chose not to tell classic bed time stories, afraid that these would affect their offspring’s mental development. Even Red Riding Hood (I chose not to use “little” just to emphasize the political correctness) can be classified as too brutal if we refer to the act when the wolf eats the grandmother.

We can say that we have here a “hypercorrection”, even if it is not in grammatical terms, as parents believe that by reading to their children politically correct fairytales, they help educate and improve their moral values, omitting the fact that they, more or less, hinder them from acknowledging that the world is not as peaceful and correct as these fairytales lead to think it is.

We can see that fairytales suffered different alterations due to religious implementations, aristocratic unwritten laws and last but not least to the political correctness of our days. Would it be so wrong if we were to say that fairytales are influenced by people’s beliefs and culture and vice versa? I think not, as long as we have a game of mutuality.

Moving on to more modern grounds, fairytales leave behind, in a metaphoric way, their written universe and enter the world of films and PC games. I will briefly talk upon the film adaptations made on the so popular bed time stories, focusing more on Little Red Riding Hood. The first form of a screened fairytale was the animation of Disney. In 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “was a ground-breaking film for fairy tales and, indeed, fantasy in general.”(Grant and Clute, 1997: 196).

Soon after, Hollywood became more and more interested in fairytales and started exploiting them to the last drop. Little Red Riding Hood had a first appearance on the big screens in the early 1960’s, and about three decades later it came out as a black and white short movie (12 minutes long) where the soul-speaker character was the narrator. Even on this matter, the director David Kaplan chooses not the late version of the tale of Grimm Brothers, but the more sinister and cannibalistic primer version. After this courageous debut, Little Red enjoyed a very well earned success throughout the upcoming years. This fairytale traveled through countries such as: Mexico, Russia, Japan, Singapore and Belgium; taking different shapes and meanings in movie genres from black comedy to romance, drama and even thriller or horror.

In the latest American/Canadian dark fantasy film of Little Red Riding Hood (2011, directed by Catharine Hardwicke) we find almost all the folk tale Little Red Riding Hood collected by both Charles Perrault under the name “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” (Little Red Riding Hood) and several decades later by the Brothers Grimm as “Rotkäppchen” (Little Red Cap). Although in this film version the protagonist “Valerie” receives a proposal to become she herself a werewolf, this detail being the movie director’s personal touch on the tale, as in the original versions the girl gets eaten in the very end.

 

1.4 Virtual Avatars

 

When it comes to PC games, Little Red Riding Hood is given a rather interesting attention, its basic characters and storyline being used as main poles in games such as: Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, [_ Fable, Fable: The Lost Chapters, American McGee’s Grimm, Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ_], and last but not least The Path upon which I will be discussing further on.

The Path designers Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn, saw their hard work brought to light on March 18, 2009 from Tale of Tales (which by the way was their first blog), Steam and Direct2Drive at the same time. It wouldn’t be too wrong to say that their horror video game, which was in fact inspired by the classic fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, “met with both mean-spirited criticism and over-the-top adoration.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009)

The two designers, who behind the scenes were in fact lovers, had a first project based on another fairytale, more precise Sleeping Beauty – “a part of a series of games, each based on a classic fairytale and with a number as its title.” Due to a limited budget, the creators of The Path were somehow coerced “to re-use the Girl in White character from 8” and also “the environment rendering system of ‘The Endless Forest’”. (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: Prototyping) Even though this Little Red project wasn’t, at first, very well defined, the designers managed to give it a definable genre, unlike 8, as The Path easily turned out to be a horror game. “At a time where gothic Lolita style and Pop Surrealism was very trendy” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: Prototyping) the in-game characters were about to enjoy interesting features such as: stylish, dark and they necessarily had to be female figures.

The game initially started out as an underground project, but the designers wanted to push their luck and bring it out in front of the “commercially minded people” and see how they would respond to it. The Path was having more and more success.

The name 144, which was the first title of the game, “encompassed the spirit of the project.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: Girls at play, Designing for exploration) Although, maybe skeptic at times, the creators tried to illustrate as best as they could their thoughts, their conceptions and the message they wanted the game players to understand. Maybe in an almost absurd way, the designers fantasized on the idea of having 144 Red Ridinghoods play and lead to death, taking into consideration that this number has a great importance, but eventually resumed to only six girls. The girls are placed “into a chronology of growing up from age 9 to age 19.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: Designing for exploration)

If in the classic fairytale Red could have been the symbol of good and the wolf had represented the evil, in this game each girl has her own wolf, an alter-ego or we could even name it an embodiment of a great inner fear. Even though the game is a form of paida, as I specified in the introduction, it has maybe a few set “rules” which are followed unconsciously. For example, the place where each girl meets her wolf cannot be changed or altered by taking different decisions.

Once again, this is a point where the fairytale and the game take separate paths as in almost all the classic versions of the tale, Little Red encounters the wolf not far form the grandmother’s house, whilst in the game, the wolf is to be found on a playground, on an old stage, in the middle of the lake, near a cemetery, on a camping site and in a clearing.

Dealing with modern technology, the designers tried to bring their forest as close as possible to a real one. Using numerous effects, to give the setting a more solemn and somber aspect, the creators manage to give the perfect horror feeling of being watched or chased through the entire game play. Their deep motto which says that “it is more important that the place feel real than look real” supports what I have said earlier.

Clues are to be found all over the settings, some leading directly to the wolf and others to the Girl in White; we can almost say that we have here a vague influence of Hansel and Gretel, as the claw marks on the trees in the game can be easily associated with the bread crumbs, both representing in a way or another the trail that guides the lost towards something. Nothing in the game is without a purpose “and there is nothing on the screen that doesn’t in someway serve as a clue for the player.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: Looking for an aesthetic style)

The Path was designed to be an open-ended game, thus making it possible for players to interpret the story in their own way, make up their own ending and try to figure out what could have happened when the girls met their wolf and had the blackout. This sort of game makes people use their imagination and also it can be used “to explore their own psyche.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales , 2009)

This game gathers tiny fragments from all of the fairytale’s interpretations, as the wolf is by turn: a werewolf, a gorgeous man, the hunter etc. We can see how the designers didn’t stick to one solid version of the fairytale but combined the classic stereotype of the wolf with a more modern/ present-day one. Most people wrongly conclude that PC games are meant only to entertain but as in the case of the fairytale, The Path is a game with a moral.

“Heather Chaplin, of Filmmaker Magazine, pointed out how uniquely feminine The Path is: “For me, The Path is about what a remarkably fine line it is that separates childhood from adulthood, innocence from cynicism, and how utterly not black-and-white most things in life are.”” (Chaplin 2010)

The Path could be even a feminine game, as the protagonists are all female and the plot, more or less, emphasizes the girls’ flaws, personal traumas or fears and desires. As a mind-twisted game it has crossed the borders of its genre and reached a diverse scale of game players. Even the fact that this game has a punk aesthetic, gives the plot an almost chaotic aspect and feeling as the characters seem, beside curious, lost and confused in the endless gloomy forest. Furthermore, The Path has been conceived and seen as a form of art, thus we can say without restraint that games “represent a new lively art, one as appropriate for the digital age as those earlier media were for the machine age.” (Henry, 2000)

Videogames are a young phenomenon, still experiencing the growing pains of developing their own aesthetics and critical discourse. The game in cause managed to develop these features much faster than other games of its genre maybe because its protagonists were built on the personal feelings, memories and dreams of the designer and the plot, somehow, reflects a combination of the past and the present of society. “Others may claim that videogames are not art but occupy an important cultural space all the same. Some say the question of art is even irrelevant. Whatever the discourse, it is clear that videogames represent a major center of cultural controversy.” (Wise 2004:5)

The video gaming world brought fairytales even more to life, far past the film experience. If the movies gave us the possibility of being an outside observer, the games, especially The Path, put the character’s destiny in our hands. In a sick kind of way, games let us be God, and maybe that is another reason for which games are despised. We can make a distant parallel between what happened in the 17th century with the Puritans and fairytales and what is happening now with religion and videogames. If in the 17th century Puritans held a grudge against literature, nowadays it seems that the situation flipped upside-down as more and more videogames are accused of putting religion in a bad light and also connecting it to violence.

So, we can see that there are so many controversies and so many issues and complex substrates regarding videogames that it would be almost infantile to still believe that these are strictly meant for children or teenagers. Even now when we talk about the game The Path, I personally do not think that it was meant for children to play, when the plot and even the entire game – although it is based on Little Red Riding Hood – has such a sinister and almost self-analyzing structure and purpose.

As an art game (An art game or arthouse game is a video game that is designed to emphasize art or whose structure is intended to produce some kind of reaction in its audience), The Path reached its goal. Designers managed to transform the idea of a typical horror game into a self-assessment game, if I may call it that, as designer Auriea Harvey herself tells us that:

“We force the player into that compromising situation much like a film director does. You don’t have much choice in the matter. Every time it is a choice of letting her go, or doing nothing, or wandering endlessly in the forest, or shutting down the game entirely. If you play on we hope that you will draw your own conclusions. Maybe there are things in there that relate to your own life. For many girls and women there were, in fact, and they have told us so. […]The game becomes a tool for this reflection. And I think if at first I had not also gone through that process, of letting each girl come out of me, no one would have felt anything at all. It is a question of the characters feeling real in an ethereal way. They are mere expressions of what you are already thinking. So, whatever your interpretation, it says more about you than about whatever the situation has meant to me. In that vagary of the blackout lies infinite possibility.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales , 2009: Character Design and Environment Design: Artistic impression vs. accessible game: a personal meaning)

 

It is fair to give The Path an artistic note as its creators gave the possibility to players of freely using their imagination and create own interpretations even if the game already had a set storyline. Looking back in the past, precisely in 1983, we have the first form of art game Moondust considered as “being a piece of art rather than a video game”. “Dealing with the same representational aesthetics as other audiovisual arts, game art appropriates the digital realm and virtual spaces of gaming much like Andy Warhol used the iconography of pop culture to create pop art.” (TheCreatorsProject, 2011)

Throughout the years, a polemical question started haunting the gaming field, “can video games be art?” Some remain unshaken on their answer, and somewhat skeptic, stating that it’s impossible for a video game to be art. But even in this case we are dealing with an unfounded and subjective argument, as many of the ones which sustained this idea, haven’t even played the game/s in discussion.

In other words, how can one say that a videogame can’t be art or can’t inflict emotions if he didn’t have the experience of playing a videogame or feeling the emotions a videogame can induce? If we try to analyze the real meaning of “art” we can see that art literally means to create, to use imagination, to create something that would determine others to use their imagination. Taking into account what I previously said, it is fair to say that videogames are indeed a form of art as they engage people in using their imagination and in some types of videogames, people can even create something.

As all art needs to be created, characters from fairytales as well as from videogames need to be created too. Further on I will discuss upon how the characters were created and in the upcoming chapter I will make a more detailed analysis.

Going back to the idea that Little Red Riding Hood was initially a fairytale for children, it seems somewhat logic that the main character would be a little child so that children could better relate to the story. The character definitely had to be a girl, as in those times little girls were more prone to be seduced and harassed than little boys, although if we think about it, those were times when morality was at its lowest depths of the ocean, so I believe that children were likely to be fooled or persuaded no matter what the sex. The character of the tale took many shapes along the time, the red cloak maybe being the only ubiquitous element in all. We can say the tale had a Little Red from mere innocent child who could be between the ages of 6 and 9 to an adolescent or young lady.

It is known that the red cloak didn’t exist from the beginning, when Little Red was maybe a red-headed girl, and as the years past and the tale became to be of a bigger interest, the red cloak became a symbol. In some versions the red cloak represented the girl’s virginity or the moment when a girl passes from the stage of being a child to a stage where she is a young lady and can conceive a child, and in some it was simply just etiquette.

If the Little Red in the fairytale was just an ordinary little girl, we find that in the PC Game The Path, each Red has a different feature, something that makes them unique and noticeable in every way. Unlike the original fairytale, The Path has not one but six Red Riding Hoods which were named, aged and catalogued by their appearance. I will not present them by an age order but by how they where created.

The first character built by the designers was the Goth-leg-braced girl Ruby, which also seemed to be a sort of inspiration for the two creators, as they didn’t know very well at that time where everything was going. Auriea Harvey sustains about Ruby that “she’s the girl who, for me, totally epitomized what I felt about my time growing up. What happens to her, could have happened to me.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The Making of Ruby) This Little Red, to all intents and purposes, is the clear image of an adolescent, but until reaching its final shape, the designers dug up the internet for ideas and inspiration. Nonetheless, no matter how modern this Little Red looks, she still possesses a rather important element, that is the color of “red”. For her appearance, Auriea was inspired by “Fuco Ueda’s girls and the undulating necks of Audrey Kawsaki’s fantasies” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The making of Ruby)

Ginger, as the designers named her, is only 13 years old, even the name is representative as it, somehow, would lead someone to think that she is frail and tame. The designers kept the basic idea of the fairytale, that of Little Red being seduced by the wolf, and spiced it up a little by adopting the features of a film protagonist. Ginger was discreetly molded after “Mathilda”, the little girl from Léon (a 1994 French-produced film, staring Jean Reno as the hitman Leon and Nattalie Portman as the 12-year-old girl), taking her hairstyle, necklace and the grim – innocent – flirty and somewhat perverted features.

Even though Ginger is older than Rose, the designers chose to make her shorter and a tom-boy, thus inducing maybe involuntarily a flaw to their character, as Auriea sustains that “even though she is 13, she is smaller than her little sister Rose… something she is not happy about.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The making of Ginger)

 

Once again art and “drips” of the Japanese culture make their way into the imagination of the game designers. If earlier I presented how Ginger was created, it was only natural that Rose would come up next. Being almost nothing like her older sister, Rose appears to be the shy one, a feature that does not necessarily bring to mind innocence but maybe the idea of a trauma or hidden thoughts.

Even though Auriea made Rose a shy and quiet Little Red, she says about Rose that “she seemed a bit too jealous of her older sister so I made her skirt longer than in my initial sketch. The lace I added later seemed to express her innocence but also the visceral quality of lace… kind of like veins.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The making of Rose) This time it seems that the creator Auriea had her mind set on the anime serial Lain and the amazing artwork entitled Finch of Esao Andrews.

Moving on to the “first born”, designers present Robin, the smallest one, which is maybe the only one that comes as close as possible to the original Little Red from the fairytale. She wears the same red cloak as the Red in the tale, not like the other 5 Reds which only wear the color; she is also playful and fits perfectly the idea of a Little Red.

Auriea says that Robin “started as inspiration in the form of an outfit Michael’s daughter wore one day. Then she was next seen as a (bad) sketch, by me. From there, there was no stopping her emergence!” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The making of Robin) It is obvious that designers focused a lot on the color of red in their game, as they even gave little Robin’s eyes the color of blood, a detail which would make her appear more or less diabolic, regardless the fact that she could be a good kid after all.

It seems that Carmen, one of the elder sisters, even has a fragment of a poem which relates to her, a poem written by the protagonist Humber Humbert in Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel Lolita. The designer Auriea considers Humber Humbert a kind of wolf as in Nabokov’s novel, the narrator and the protagonist becomes sexually obsessed over a 12-year-old girl, which goes by the name Dolores Haze. Here is the small fragment where our Carmen appears:

 

“Who is your hero, Dolores Haze?

Still one of those blue-capped star-men?

Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays,

And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen!” (Nabokov 1955: 185)

 

In comparison to Robin and the other girls, the creators made Carmen to be somewhat more rebellious and they gave her well-defined body curves. If the other girls were inspired by movies, paintings, anime, this Little Red was created on the features of dolls. Although, in the 3D designing field the creation of a sexy girl is as ordinary as making a stick man, for Auriea this was a bit of a bumpy road, as she had to rebuild Carmen after she was advised that the way she had “done her shoulders, knees and elbows would never deform correctly during animation.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The making of Carmen)

Last but not least we have Scarlet. Even though she is the eldest, she was last on the list of creation. Tall and slim, with an elegant allure, Scarlet almost fills the shoes of a young protective mother in relation to her 5 little sisters. Once again Auriea enters the film world saying that: “I sketched her after being inspired by the films of Ingmar Bergman, the mannerisms and characters of his actresses, especially the lovely Liv Ullmann.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009: The making of Scarlet) The designer kept Liv Ullmann’s hairstyle and of course the color red.

This was but a brief introduction of the characters which I will analyze later on. Whether we talk about the Little Red in the fairytale or the several Little Reds in the PC game, in the end it all comes down to the idea that they were inspired by real people’s emotions, fears, traumas, imagination and of course by factors which, more or less, compile daily life human typologies.

 

2. SIX FRAMED CHARACTERS VERSUS ONE ANTHOLOGICAL CASE

 

After a presentation of the two fields, more exactly, the fairytale and the PC game, I will continue by making an analysis of the 6 girls from The Path, starting with the behavior of each one during game play. As the game is based on the fairytale, The Path begins with a short movie clip of a path, after which you, the player, are presented with the room in which you can choose from the 6 Little Reds which will be further on tackled from the author’s personal perspective, whilst the actual quotations for each heroine are extracted from the PC game.

2.1. Twilight Little Robin

 

“Youngest sister and one of the 6 characters you will take on a mysterious journey through the Forest. […] She loves playing in the forest. Only on the path, of course. Mother tells her to never go into the woods. She never says why. Robin thinks there may be fun things to play with in the forest. She sometimes hears the creaking sounds of what seems to be a swing! Or the howl of a wolf in the distance! Robin likes wolves. They are her favorite kind of animal!” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009 – Robin)

 

Robin is the youngest of the Reds, only 9 years old, and the only character in the game which can literally fill the shoes of Little Red Riding Hood. At a first glance, Robin seems to be an average child, as she is playing on the floor with a toy car. When entering the game, the girl is very playful and curious; these characteristics can appeal to any child of her age. The moment the game starts, you are given the possibility of choosing whether to follow the path to reach grandmothers’ house or to wander into the dark woods. Regardless of your choice, there is no winning in this game, only the choice of wanting to obey the rules or wanting to feed your curiosity.

The image of the innocent and childish little Robin fades away as soon as she finds a silver bullet on the ground. It is fair to say that a child does not know of the danger that a bullet may represent or its significance, especially at the age of 9, even though Robin picks it up and says: “A silver bullet; how pretty”. Could it be that Robin does not know the meaning of fear because of her older sisters? Children often are prone to the idea of growing up faster or tend to find a model in their siblings, in which case the little one could be somewhat misguided.

When Robin finds an old pick-up player and picks up the vinyl she has flashbacks of an old rocking chair and a jukebox, and says: “Singing, howling. Ringing. Moon”. Although she is young, she seems to be aware of the fact that the wolf is lurking somewhere in the same forest she is “playing”. The flashback of the old rocking chair and the jukebox could represent the idea that she is thinking of her grandmother and the acknowledgement that she was sent by her mother to fulfill a task.

Controversy kicks in when the little girl finds a syringe on a pillow and exclaims: “Yum! Candy!” We can correlate the syringe to “medicine” and “cure” and find maybe an explanation for the child’s reaction, even so the interjection “Yum!” is revolting, as it brings to mind that she finds the syringe to be delicious. Upon collecting the object, she has another flashback, this time of her ill grandmother who is lying in bed, maybe another reminder for what she was supposed to do. Even though she has these changes of personality, Robin is still a child. When she finds a playground she jumps on a swing and says: “Tickles in my belly. Cuddles in the wind” It seems that she, like any other child, is in need of affection and attention. The scenery changes a bit when she picks up a two-headed teddy bear and says: “A teddy bear! A big and soft and warm teddy bear!” Again, we have here the innocence of a child, as children at such a frail age are unable to judge the appearance of something or someone

At every 4 or 5 picked flowers, a hint appears on the corner of the screen. The first hint is a shopping cart, but on the way towards it, Robin finds a treasure box, opens it and picks up a diamond saying: “I can buy all the toys in the world with this treasure”. The objects found by the little girl so far seem to reflect her desires. Unlike the children who are, almost all the time, supervised by their parents, Robin wanders alone, unprotected. When she finally reaches the abandoned shopping cart she jumps in it and starts balancing until she flips over with it. She seems to have a rather rich imagination saying: “I’m a kid, I’m a kid, I’m a little kid! And I play, and I play in my little way! Buy me now at discount prices.” We can see here that Robin’s thoughts are almost a cry for attention, if we take what she said literally, she would even want to be bought only to receive more attention.

Girls, back in the old days, or at least the Little Red of the Grimm Brothers, were supposed to be afraid of the wolf; little Robin on the other hand seems to be fond of it. Even though she is very young, in some situations, she can distinguish right from wrong, for example, she stumbles upon a knife implanted in a tree trunk and says: “I’ll have to be very careful with this and not run anymore”, thus she is aware of the peril a knife would be if she were careless. The last object she finds before encountering the wolf is a feather; she picks it up and says: “I can make a pretty present with this feather”.

The scene where Robin meets her wolf is somewhat disturbing but at the same time suggestive. She finds the wolf lurking in a cemetery, where there are only 5 graves and the sixth is empty. This is but a subtle way of making us understand that she is destined to end up in the empty grave. Even though we are capable of acknowledging the danger, Robin seems oblivious, not understanding the concept of death. She’s at an age when children love animals, especially dogs, because they are cuddly, and for her the wolf is just another cuddly dog. For many, the scene where she sits down and starts digging in the dirt of a grave may seem macabre, but because of her lack of understanding she doesn’t realize what she is doing, she is only playing with dirt, something which is natural for children of her age.

Robin finally meets her wolf. She doesn’t seem to be afraid of it, moreover she jumps on its back and starts riding him around until it gets up on its back feet and carries her in the woods. After the blackout we find our little Robin on the ground, on the path, in front of grandma’s house. It is raining heavily and she starts walking slowly in an awkward somewhat hurting kind of way, towards the house. It takes her a very long time to reach the house taking into account the fact that she is unable to run anymore. When entering the house the light is very dim and the doors have wolf scratches on them.

Even though we are talking about the grandmothers’ house, it appears to be more of a “flashback house” as there is a lot of fog inside, and the scenery comes as close as the idea of a nightmare. If the Little Red stops from walking, the light goes dark and she can hear the wolf. This short journey takes her through everything she has seen and done, she enters a room full of chairs and balloons, a scene that represents maybe her upcoming birthday which she will not enjoy as much after her incident.

Finally, after following a long corridor she enters a room where she sees a big orange moon. The moon which correlates with the wolf and by its size it can also reflect the intensity of Little Reds’ fear. After falling down unconscious, she starts having violent flashbacks of the moment when she encountered her wolf. Little children often have to make a mistake so that they can realize that what they did was wrong. In Robins’ case, she probably realized that wolves are not cuddly dogs and that they are not as friendly as they seem to be.

 

2.2. Rose – The Lady of the “Bath”

 

“Rose is mature for her age. But there is a certain air of innocence about her that is charming and disconcerting at the same time. Barely a teenager – Rose is eleven – she is discovering the world around her with fresh eyes. And all is beautiful! The wind in the trees, the birds in the air, the flowers along the path. Rose is taking it in voraciously. So much so that she will defend even nature’s smallest creatures against anyone who might wish them harm.

But who will protect sweet Rose herself, when she is lured off the path? With a promise of unearthly bliss, of light in abundance where no sun will ever shine? You’re just a little girl, Rose! Jus a fragile little girl…” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009 – Rose)

 

Unlike her little sister Robin, Rose, who is only 2 years older then her sister, sits on a chair next to the table with her knees put together while petting a white rabbit which sits in her lap. Rose would seem the kind of child who loves all the animals, as we can see from the beginning that she is followed by a bird.

It is often said that, as children, we dream more about flying than we do at a later age. Little Rose seems to be stuck on the idea of floating. Even if she is only 11, she obviously has a better understanding of life and death and also seems to relate everything to floating one way or another. The first object she encounters is a wheelchair. Although the wheelchair doesn’t have anything in common with flying or floating she says: “The closest thing to heaven must be floating on water.” Most children at her age are either starting to learn how to swim or know already how to, this thought of hers reflects in some way the curiosity towards water and swimming and also the idea that she is still a little girl who needs to play, even though she seems to be somewhat more mature.

On her journey through the forest, she finds the shopping cart her younger sister turned over. She slowly picks it up and grabs its handle. This scene represents her desire to grow up, to act like an adult, to be responsible for something as most children of her age tend to do. Rose finds an old broken fountain, she looks inside and says: “deep inside everybody is a dream”. For a girl her age, she uses deep metaphors which can hide a desire or a dark thought. She is the kind of child that day dreams all the time, she does not relate too much with reality, a characteristic that does not help her very much.

She also comes about the cemetery and contemplates: “The cycle of life and death knows no beginning or end”. Regardless of what many may think, and what original stories were about, Rose is more likely to follow the path of reincarnation and that of spiritualism. By what she thinks, she leaves the impression that life doesn’t end when someone dies. She finds a human skull and buries it saying: “The dead go in the dirt while their souls fly to the sky”.

Even though she mentioned “Heaven” when she was sitting on the wheel chair, her beliefs are somewhat uncertain. If she were to believe in God than she would know that people die and go to heaven, but if she were to believe in Buddah, for example, it would be correct for her to assume that there would exist an afterlife. But yet again, at the age of 11, children are not very familiar with what religion really means, so in this case it is fair to say that Rose is at a stage in her life where she starts to contour her beliefs, her actions and her personality.

The scene when she finds a red balloon is again a tag of childhood and that of a childish reaction. The horror touch of the game kicks in when she grabs the balloons’ string and starts wandering off, almost as if she were hypnotized. “If this balloon did not have a string, it would simply float away”, says Rose. Could it be that she is so attached to the red balloon believing that maybe she will be able to float too if she keeps hanging onto it? Anything is possible when it comes to the imagination of a child.

When Rose finds a piano in the middle of the forest, she opens it and starts to play, saying: “I am a little bird. Making sweet forest music. Floating on the waves of sound.” Again we have here the idea of floating. Rose is ready to grab onto anything which could make her fly, not in a literal way, but give her that feeling of euphoria. If we try to look deeper in this context, her vision of “floating” could easily represent the notion of freedom or happiness. In my opinion I think it is more suitable to say that we are dealing here with a need for happiness rather than one for freedom, taking in consideration that she is only 11. Music, balloons, water are things which can bring happiness and also connect to the image of childhood.

On the other hand, the age of 11 is an age when children, although no one really touches this subject because it is a rather sensitive one, discover sexuality, even though they cannot understand it or know how to react to the feeling. As I have mentioned in the previous chapter, The Path has undoubtedly a sexual approach, not in a perverted kind of way, keeping in mind this is an art game, but in a girl maturation process way. The fact that during the game play of Rose, we can see and hear a lot of water and even a bathtub, it brings us closer to the one thing which is almost taboo and could happen in a bathroom, which is masturbation. When she approaches the lake, which again is foggy, she finds a boat and says: “Hello clouds welcome on Earth” it is almost as if she feels comfortable and glad that she sees a familiar surrounding.

As she gets into the boat it starts to drift away into the fog. Note that the boat resembles remarkably with a bathtub, and is full of water but it does not sink. The mystery begins when she passes between two trees in the middle of the lake and out of nowhere appears a man embraced by steam and clouds floating above her boat. The man is Rose’s wolf and also her vision of a man. Even though she starts floating and moving towards the floating man, she does not seem to be afraid, for he seems almost natural and familiar.

She wakes up from the blackout in front of her grandmother’s house, on the path, just like her little sister Robin. She also walks very slowly with her head bent to the ground, almost as if she were ashamed of what she had done. When entering the house, all the imagery relates to the bathroom; there is a room full of toilets, the house is mostly flooded as she walks through the rooms and hallways, and in an awkward way in one of the rooms it rains. In the last room she enters, there is furniture which floats in chaos, almost like a hurricane or, if we were talking about the bathroom and the bathtub, the twirl could represent the water draining from the bathtub.

This stage of life as taboo as it may be it is absolutely normal and happens to all of us at one point in our lives. Rose’s encounter with the wolf is not an unpleasant or traumatizing one; in fact, even when she starts walking towards the house she doesn’t look like she is hurt; she maybe only looks ashamed as she still can’t figure out if what she did is a bad or a good thing.

 

2.3. Ginger – Misapprehended Youth

 

“The forest is a great place for adventures! And a much more fun way to get to grandmother’s house. Ginger isn’t one for sticking to paths. Running around in the fields, climbing gnarly old trees, playing wild games with abandoned toys, collecting pebbles and hitting things with sticks. The idea of growing up doesn’t hold much appeal. Who’d want to give up their childhood? But Ginger is 13. The end is near.

She’s a fresh flower of the field in the own way. Very independent – a loner, actually – and completely absorbed in the game she thinks of as life. Will she bloom before she wilts? Will he never learn? Should she?” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009 – Ginger)

 

Ginger looks like the average, rebellious girl, more of a tom boy which plays on the floor with a twig and a piece of chalk. She is only 13 and barefoot, a sign that she is still a child or at least she wants to be. The first object she finds in the forest is a torn boot, she picks it up and says: “I can keep my pebbles in this”, even at this point she seems to be having a childish thinking, as she thinks of how to place her “toys” into a boot instead of wandering whose it is or if she could wear it.

When the Little Red, Ginger, finds a fence, she passes under it saying: “You cannot stop me. I am never still.” She could be simply just playing and talking to an imaginary friend, as most children her age still have, or she could be running from something that scares her. Another idea may be that of a boundary, meaning that her passing underneath it that could represent a breaking of the rules. I have found for Ginger three possible interpretations which I will be discussing further on.

The scenery where the Little Red meets her wolf is a serene one, not as macabre as the other ones. There is a clearing where the rays of light strike in between the tree branches, flowers, birds and a scare crow, not the typical scary one but a friendly pumpkin head one. In my opinion, it almost looks like a playground for girls.

Ginger’s wolf isn’t that fearful either. This is the point where the Girl in White comes in. She is supposed to be the forest girl/ forest spirit, wearing a white dress, being playful, with dark skin and dark hair. Her role in the game is to give the Little Reds hints, to guide them back to the path or lead them to their goals. We can associate the Girl in White with intuition. In this case, the wolf is the forest girl, at a first glance, but with obvious different aspects. This double of the Girl in White, wears a red dress, has white pale skin, heavy makeup and dark hair, with playful but flirty gestures.

My first interpretation of Ginger’s encounter with the wolf would be “confused sexual orientation”. It is fair to say that at the age of 13, one starts developing his/her sexual orientation. Most girls become fond of boys, but some – which may be even the case of Ginger, lacking a proper guidance – turn and become attracted by the same sex. The fact that Ginger passes underneath the fence shows that she wants to break the (moral) rules of society but also she is afraid, being aware that the relationship between the same sexes is not encouraged. The play between the two in the clearing could suggest the idea of young childish love.

The second interpretation consists of a rather delicate but at the same time natural matter, which is “menstruation”. At an age when the whole world changes, more or less, for a girl, Ginger is bound to be “next”. She does not seem to be very keen on the idea of letting go of her toys and her childhood, for a matter of fact, nor is she prepared to face the troubles of life. In this context her passing beneath the fence, from one side to the other, emphasizes the transit from the stage of childhood to the stage of growing up physically. The wolf, in this case, is the girl’s menstruation sneaking up on her, taking the girl by surprise and “dragging” her into a new phase of life.

Last but not least, I linger on a well-known matter, such as “getting in touch with the feminine side”. For our Little Red, also known as Ginger, it would seem to be a bit of an issue, as far as it does not look like she would care very much about her appearance, but as a matter of fact, what girl at her age would? She is rather short for her age, a bit of a tom boy, not very ladylike and also, said in a very extreme way, wild. It is at the age of 13 when the body of a girl starts to bloom and show its beauty, but yet again our Ginger seems to somehow run from this type of maturation. This time her wolf, the forest girl, would be a perfect image of how Ginger should act and look. Their play is a reflection of Ginger’s refusal to accept the fact that she will have to leave her toys behind and walk into a more feminine world.

All in all, the “fence” motif, which appears in the different rooms of grandmother’s house, accentuates Ginger’s fear of passing from a stage to another within her process of maturation, or of the idea of doing something immoral in the concept of the society she was born and raised in.

 

2.4 A Ruby-Runic Type of Youth

 

“The other girls call her “goth”… It’s one way of killing people: stereotyping them, putting them in a box and throwing it away. But there’s more to Ruby than meets the eye. A young lady by now, 15 years of age. Life has opened up to her as a rotting flower of corruption. She can see through it all but remains an enigma herself.

When asked about her leg brace, Ruby says she’s in pain. But doesn’t specify where it hurts.

Ruby does not long for death. She takes a perverse pleasure in observing the extreme decay of adult society. But what will happen when she ceases to be a witness and becomes a participant instead?” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009 – Ruby)

 

We can say we have the perfect frame for a 15-year-old girl like Ruby. She is sitting at the table reading a book. Unlike her sisters she has a noticeable flaw, a brace on her left leg. Even though there are two aspects which come in conflict, such as her repugnance towards affection and her need for attention, Ruby seems to be the exact image of a teenager. While running through the forest we can observe that our Little Red Ruby actually runs faster than her sisters, in spite the fact that she has a problem with her leg.

Teenagers often like the idea of being a victim of pain, even though the pain itself could be inexistent. As well as any other teenager, Ruby faces the disorientation of her age. Upon finding a broken car in the woods, she looks inside and says: “Engines, and friends. Turn them on. Turn them off. Life. Death. Are they so different?” Analyzing her words, it would seem that she is dealing with an issue of acceptance. Yet again the age of 15 is an age when encouragements seem to appear and also the age when one defines her appearance and style.

In the case of our Ruby, we can see the Gothic, somewhat Emo style she has adopted by her gloomy, dark clothes and heavy makeup. Such young and inexperienced offspring are prone to fall into the depraved vices of life. The first hint would be when Ruby finds an old armchair, sits on it and says: “Cigarettes. I can’t believe I have never smoked. I really should. They say it makes your life shorter.” It is obvious that curiosity for the unknown, intrigues the little lady, but at the same time she gives us a small hint that she thinks of dying.

She tends to be a bit of a pessimist, or maybe even disorientated, when it comes to thinking of what she has, what she could have, or what she will have. Ruby looks like she sees men as objects, machines, saying that: “Men are like motorcycles. You just drive them where you want to be and then let somebody else take care of them.” Could this be an inversion of roles? Could Ruby be a little wolf which likes to play with her pray? At such a tender age I don’t believe that Ruby understands just yet the meaning of “feelings” or the difference between right and wrong.

The fact that she says – “Sitting on wheels. Paralyzed soul. Nowhere to go. Fast.” – when she sits on the old wheelchair clearly represents the frustration of a teenager which is still depending on her parents. It is that moment, which we know too well, when the desire of doing reckless and crazy things, meets a brick wall which we can’t breach. It can also represent the craving of growing up faster, wanting to mature quicker and maybe be able to do “grownup” things like her bigger sisters.

Another aspect of her rebellious side would be “vandalizing” in an artistic way. Teenagers have the tendency to break rules, to vandalize, to do almost anything that would be against the ethics of society. The most common act of vandalism would be graffiti, although, in my opinion, graffiti could be seen, with an open mind of course, as a (post)modern form of art. Just like other teens, Ruby, upon finding an old empty shack in the woods, draws a graffiti of a sad smiley face with “X” instead of eyes. In a macabre way the Xs represent “death” and the sad smiley face could reflect her sadness and frustration.

Just like in one of the fairytale’s interpretations – let us say the more cannibalistic variant – even though we do not have here an actual human, when Ruby enters the clearing, she walks to the scarecrow, takes off its pumpkin head and says: “If you give me your head, you will please me so much more. From a silver platter I shall eat you!” In a sick kind of way, Ruby seems to get a thrill out of doing “bad” things. Nevertheless, bad things and bad deeds always brought people in the center of attention. It’s at this stage in life when teenagers try to blend in and be accepted by others, thus taking unwillingly wrong decisions and even doing unpleasant things.

Ruby’s encounter with the wolf could be the most macabre, as the first scene which appears is that of a young blonde man dragging through the woods a rolled carpet. At a first glance it would appear to be only a simple rag, but if you have seen too many horror or crime movies, your thoughts would be the same as mine. The “thing” that he is dragging looks a lot like a wrapped body. Even though the Little Goth Red witnesses this creepy scene, she is brave enough to walk to the abandoned playground and sit on the bench. Underage girls seem keen on the idea of being noticed by older men, this makes them feel important and gives them a more mature allure. Naivety is such a rotten apple – a reality seen both through the Biblical version or Nabokov’s Lolita.

We have here two illustrations and two variants of Ruby’s story, as follows:

 

Fig. 1

 

In this first variant (fig. 1) we can see a faint trace of the religious story of Adam and Eve. From this scenario we can see that Ruby is the one who lures the young blonde man, who somehow seems to feel uncomfortable or even a bit shy in her presence or in that specific situation. Judging by this picture, Ruby would be Eve who offers the man, Adam, an apple from the forbidden tree. In my interpretation, the forbidden tree’s apple represents the girl’s virginity or the fact that she is only 15. This also reminds me of Twilight, where you have again a similar scene, and where the apple offered is symbolic of the man’s virginity offered to the girl, and the blood suggestion/ flow is somewhat more explicit

Ruby is a playful little creature who enjoys the presence of a man but does not seem to know the exact danger she is dealing with. Although, from Fig. 1 we can tell that the roles are easily inverted and that she does not seem, at leaf, to be the one that is scared. On the other hand, the “wolf” looks like he is in a dilemma, whether to trust her and take the apple or not.

Men are often attracted to innocent pretty girls, but in some cases, especially this one girl, Ruby, could play the role of the “Black Widow” – I am referring to the black widow female spider, which in some cases has red stripes on the abdomen, notice the resemblance of Ruby’s T-shirt with the former, and lures its pray by waiting in silence – which awaits for the man, the pray, to approach.

 

Fig. 2

 

For the second variant we find the opposite of Fig. 1. What I mean is that the fair young man is the one who is confident and mysterious and Ruby is the shy Little Red who knows that what she is doing is wrong, but nonetheless she seeks acceptance and would do anything for it. The key element in this frame would be the “cigarette”. Ruby finds herself at an age when she is discovering the world. When she accepts to take a cigarette from the young ‘wolf’, she is doing it not because it would be a good thing, but because she would feed her curiosity. Even though she does not care much about what others think about her she longs to be part of something, to be one with the trend. This would be a false concept and vision of maturation. The youth thinks that by adopting a vice such as smoking, makes them more mature, grabbing on the idea that it is a grownup thing.

If we take a closer look at the Fig. 2, we can see the horrific contrast. The underage girl sitting next to a complete stranger, the stranger offering the girl a cigarette and for the picture to be complete, we have in the background a mysterious carpet-wrapped body just lying there, waiting for its possessor to finish the job. Ruby’s end remains a mystery even to me. There are various possibilities of what could have happened to her after the blackout, but I will not dig into them.

Finally, Ruby’s walk to grandmother’s house is one of guilt and maybe of fear. Judging by her body posture – she keeps her head facing the ground and holds her arms tightly around her chest – it is obvious that her conscience rubs in and she is aware of what she has done. The imagery from the house presents rooms with a lot of smoke, flames and bird cages. Could it be that in a twisted kind of way Ruby’s imagination ran wild and maybe thought that she would go to hell for what she had done? Taking into account the rich imagination of a teen, it could very well be the matter I was talking about, but as far as I am concerned, youths often tend to exaggerate and let their imagination run free.

 

2.5 S.O.S. Carmen

 

“Seventeen. A glorious age of a girl. Having left her childhood body behind, she enjoys parading the new Carmen. She is fully aware of the heads that turn when she passes by. She’ll give them a little bit extra to look at too. A shake of the hips. A wink of the eye. But no more. […] But inside she knows that all she wants is a little bit of attention. From a warm and handsome man, perhaps. Who can keep her safe. Hold her tight. With a strength that approaches violence. He doesn’t need to be as wild as she is, but it wouldn’t hurt” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales,2009 – Carmen)

 

Carmen just left behind her childhood and walked into the world of “attention”. At a first glance, she would look like a depraved young woman who is in search of sexual intercourse. Keep in mind that she is only 17, Carmen likes to receive attention from handsome strong men, and enjoying the curves Mother Nature entrusted her with, she does not give the matter a second thought. Leaving aside the fact that she is a flirty naughty little young lady, it is most probable that she is still a virgin and curiosity is at its highest peek.

As a matter of fact, it seems that Carmen does not really know what she wants, but her desire to “see what it’s like” and the fact that she “fancies herself a femme fatale”, drive her to do reckless things. Men, for girls like Carmen, are just toys. Our Little Red Carmen is the perfect alter ego of Lolita. This Little Red’s features and personality become more accentuated during her encounter with the wolf.

We can say that we have here a paradox. If, in the classic fairytale, the wolf was in fact a wolf, in The Path, Carmen’s wolf is the woodsman, the supposed hero of Red Ridding Hood. It is not so common to have a good character put in a bad light, but it seems that the designers thought it would be an interesting turn-over. The situation is very similar to that of Ruby’s first interpretation, Fig. 1, as Carmen, more or less, plays the role of the wolf. Some girls would do anything just to be noticed, and this Little Red would do the same.

Upon Carmen’s arrival at the camp, the woodsman ignores her completely. This would be a first hint that she is the one that tries to capture his attention and not the other way around. The young lady does not accept the idea of not being noticed so she insists by entering the camp and helping herself to one of the forester’s beer. He does not offer her his beer and he does not analyze her, in fact, he does not do anything which could take us to the idea that he would want something with her.

The man carries on with his work, ignoring the attractive female figure which is trying to flirt with him, taking his cap and putting it on her head. Again, the girl receives no response from the woodsman, who doesn’t do anything threatening. Beside the fact that he continues using his axe (on the trees of course), which would be somewhat scary – but keep in mind that he is a forester so that’s his job – he does not even give her an unsettling look. Carmen does not lay off that easily, so she continues her game, trying to provoke a reaction out of the hard working man.

She lights the campfire, sits down in a provocative way, and drinks some more beer. It is as if she tried to make the perfect setting, and create an appropriate atmosphere for the two of them to feel more comfortable. After a while, the forester finally comes and sits down next to Carmen, offering her a beer and taking one for himself. This is the moment which distinguishes Carmen from Ruby. If in Ruby’s case the young man was trying to persuade her to take the cigarettes, in Carmen’s picture she is the one that comes on to the forester, looks at him in a perverted kind of way and, it is fair to say, makes the first step.

The camera moves away and fades to black, leaving the two sipping their beers. If I tried more, I am sure I would have found more variants to this scenario, but I will stick to the one that is more evident. It is obvious that Carmen had her first sexual experience; not only because of the above-mentioned prelude, but because of the representative imagery we see while she walks through her grandmother’s house, especially this one:

 

Fig. 3

Another link to why I think the two had intercourse would be the moaning sounds you can hear while she is in the house, not painful or suffering sounds but you can easily deduce the kind of sounds they are. We could use the high-level of alcohol in her system as an excuse for what she does, but at the same time the forester has no excuse whatsoever for sharing his beer with an underage girl. Needless to say Carmen would have been the first or the last teenage girl who had this sort of experience.

Even though the forester is not an actual rapist or an axe murderer, he represents the perfect typology of a man that could fulfill Carmen’s needs. Her long walk to the house is another solid fact that we can’t talk about a rape scene, but more of a regretful experience, as Carmen is holding the back of her neck, a sign of a probable headache caused by a hangover. She is obviously neither hurt, nor in pain, but she maybe resents the fact that she let alcohol lead her in bed with an older man on a one night stand.

As I see it, every reckless doing carries a moral with it. Maybe, in the case of our Little Red Carmen, she needed to convince herself of whether this experience would be as bad as many others say it is, or is in fact a merry-go-round of accomplishment.

 

2.6 Scarlet – Snobbishness Revisited

 

“Scarlet is the oldest of six. The firstborn. In a family with an invisible mother. Quite a responsibility. One that she faces with determination and a sense of duty and pride. She is 19 years of age. She should probably be enjoying what’s left of her youth. But with five younger sisters, one more unruly than the other, somebody needs to maintain order and stability.

Not that Scarlet doesn’t wish to share the burden. Or a moment of silence. A moment of quiet understanding with a soulmate. A moment of true togetherness. Her loneliness is a secret she will take to the grave. Sooner than se may expect.” (Harvey A. & Samyn M. Tale of Tales, 2009 – Scarlet)

 

Last but not least, we have the more mature, responsible, older sister Little Red. Scarlet is the ideal image of a perfectly educated, classy girl. Not too childish, not too vulgar, maybe a bit too serious but overall a good girl. Even the first image of her in the mother’s house reflects her strong, imperious personality, as she is obviously having an important conversation on the phone, but immediately responds by putting the phone down when she is chosen to go to her grandmother’s house.

This Little Red is the kind that wants to install order in the world by all means. When she finds a cobweb in the forest, she pushes it away with an irritated air and says: “The panic that consumes you is the fear of order”. And soon after, she finds the same syringe her little sister Robin found, but in comparison to her childish reaction, Scarlet says: “Junkies. They’re everywhere. This needle won’t send any poor devil to his fate anymore.”

The scenario changes and takes us closer to Scarlets’ real problem and frustration, when she finds the wheelchair and sits on it saying: “Men can be such monsters. It’s simply disgusting. What ever happened to elegance and sophistication?” “A serenade in the woods. Somebody is playing my song. Long slim fingers gently caressing the keys of me.” From a first analysis of what she said it would seem that she finds men repugnant, but on the other hand, it is evident that she is in search of a male that has a certain IQ and would possess at least a hint of talent.

Scarlet tends to be arrogant, a bit snobbish if I may say, with a tendency of looking down on people. When she finds a boot she says: “What’s next? A jacket? A sweater? Underwear scattered around? People can be so primitive.” She is certainly the perfect housewife. She finds some clothes that were hung out to dry, starts gathering them and says: “Get dirty to be clean. No light without darkness. A tear and a smile.” This is but one of her subliminal messages. She may be thinking that there is no win without a loss. This type of pessimism is often encountered in people who have suffered from love and who came to know what the taste of disappointment is.

In other words, Scarlet could have suffered a great disappointment; as a result, we can notice her lack of trust in men and life as we know it. Her longing for someone who could comfort her is lively accentuated by her thoughts. She finds a TV set, turns it off and says: “Chaos awaits order like you await me. Let me silence this madness and sing for thee.” Loneliness marks its meaning when it comes to Scarlet, as she would not admit it, because she can’t be seen as “weak” in the eyes of others.

The peak moment of Scarlet’s game play is when she finds an abandoned old stage. Upon finding a mask she says: “Art is where the nobility of humanity is expressed. I could not live in a world without it.” Funny how destiny works, but Scarlet is already living in a world which lacks art. We can almost place poor Little Scarlet in Cinderella’s glass shoes, when it comes to think of her duties and the sad lonely life she is living.

Her wolf is a tall, white-haired man, who seems to be a piano teacher. The theater stage, as well as the wolf, could simply represent her unaccomplished desires, her dreams for her future. Nonetheless, as long as her sisters are still underage, she cannot expect to have a personal life. Who would take care of the little misguided creatures? The mask found on the stage could also reflect the idea of Scarlet’s need to put on a fake appearance and hide her frustrations and discontent.

The fact that – when she enters her grandmother’s house – the furniture is all covered with white sheets, doesn’t necessarily mean that Scarlet died upon meeting her wolf. This imagery is more of a reflection of Scarlet’s meaningless and dull life. Her desire of bringing order in everything and the responsibility she carries for her younger sisters, detain her from overcoming her current situation. Thus her repugnance towards men and humanity is but a pent up of her lacks.

 

2.7 Classic Little Red

 

When it comes to the late 17th century fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, referring of course to Charles Perrault’s variant, characters tend to have that extra something, which captivates the readers interest. Taking into account that this is an analysis of Little Red, I will talk only briefly about the other characters.

First of all, I want to remind you that the French writer’s version of the tale is harsher and also more realistic, in comparison to the Grimm Brothers’ variant. I am not sure I will be able to bring something new to the analysis of Little Reds, but I will definitely try to analyze her from my perspective. In Perrault’s account, Red seems to be a spoiled little girl, having the undivided attention of her mother and her grandmother. Such spoiled offspring often tend to think that they can have it their way any time and that even a little mistake as wandering off the path can be forgiven.

It is true that back in the days, education, especially in small villages, was not that much of a concern, although, Little Red seems to be a bright young child. Nonetheless, every apple tree has its rotten apples. Even though the little girl was strictly instructed by her mother to follow the path to grandmother’s house, and not wander off in the dangerous woods, Little Red is still a young girl at an age embraced by curiosity and satisfaction in breaking the rules.

She is young, thus naïve and starry-eyed. She is a child, who only thinks of playing and of the wonders of nature, omitting the fact that a wolf is lurking in the surroundings of the forest. How ironic! You would think that a prudent parent would care about what the child is wearing upon leaving the “nest” and entering the dangerous world outside. But instead, Little Red leaves the house dressed in an egregious red hooded cloak. It’s almost as she would want to be noticed, but she’s unaware of the danger, even a little detail, it can bring.

Along the time, the red cloak received numerous interpretations from symbolizing passion, lust, love and beauty to anger, frustration, sin, guilt, remorse and often connected to loss of virginity, sex, sacrifice and blood. (Tatar, 2002) It is almost unusual, if we come to think of it, of someone to wear bright colored clothes, as people, in those days, usually were wearing neutral ground colors such as gray, black and mud-brown, ‘anti-dirt’ colors for people who could barely afford new clothes once or twice a year. This Little Red could even be the faint image of the stereotypical person who wants to be different from others; thus, although she is little, she seems to have her own personality. I do not think people back then really understood this concept, but Red seems to have been the first to bend even those simple rules of “being like the rest”.

Another aspect of her cloak would be the “hood”. In my opinion it is not only a fashion element; I think that her hood could very well represent the danger that surrounds her, but also an involuntary reflex of hiding her body and her face. This matter has two edges, as she could be self-conscious of her appearance, or she could be vain and by hiding her face in the cloak’s hood, she would raise the interest of others. Even though in Perrault’s version the girl ends up dead after her wolf eats her, it is a bit awkward and almost immoral, how a child is presented as attractive and also considered an object of lust.

But yet again the 17th century was a time when such things were possible. It was a time of immorality, pedophilia and of unwritten and unspoken orgies. From this point on it looks like the naïve and kind little creature is heading unconsciously towards her death. Her encounter with the wolf is not even the least as scary as it should be, although, Little Red tends to remember, more or less, the most important rule “never talk to strangers”, but she decides to forget about it, maybe just this time. The wolf almost seems friendly to her, despite his hidden thoughts and wicked plan.

Curiosity and naivety are the two most important characteristics of Little Red. In Perrault’s version, the scene where she arrives at her grandmother’s house is somewhat representative, even though it is revealed in a more subtle way. Again, the girl’s blind trust in strangers and her lack of sexual education push her into the wolf’s trap. Unlike most versions of the tale, Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood dies soon after being raped. Maybe it is a bit too cruel, but at the same time it seems that the account was intended to have a harsh, even shocking, moral, so that young girls just like Little Red, would be more careful when they choose to wander off in a dangerous forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. PAIDA & LUDUS

 

The omnipresent concept of “play” in the former chapters, made me want to dig deeper into the essence of the matter. Whether we talk about the “play” as a play matter for children, or a perverted “play” between two adults, the concept in itself seems to have a great impact and resolution in everything that surrounds us. To strengthen my arguments, beliefs and opinions I turn back to the author of The Magic Circle: Principles of Gaming & Simulation (2001), Roger Caillois, who put the basics of the “paida” and “ludus” concepts. Thought as “extremes of a continuum”, the two dimensions reflect the free play of a game, for the former, and the formal play for the latter.

In his concept, Caillois also brought to light four categories of play, “cultural activities”, as follows: Agon, Alea, Mimicry and Ilinx. Each of the concepts mentioned earlier are seen, in the authors’ vision, as “basic attitudes governing play” and also specifies that these “attitudes” are “not always encountered in isolation”. This being said, I will further on present an adapted Classification of games from Caillois .

Table 2.2. Classification of games adapted from Caillois (2001)

table<>. <>. |<>.
p={color:#000;}.  

 

 

CRITERIA |<>.
p={color:#000;}. AGON

Competition

 

Equal probability of success |<>.
p={color:#000;}. MIMICRY

Imitation

 

Players pretending to be someone else |<>.
p={color:#000;}. ALEA

Chance

 

Players cannot exert control over outcomes |<>.
p={color:#000;}. ILINX

Vertigo

 

Attempts to disrupt regular perception patterns | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. PAIDA

(Free-form, improvisation)

 

LUDUS

(Rule-driven, conventions) |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Racing,

Athletics

Playing jazz

 

 

 

 

Soccer,

chess,

sports tournament |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Children’s

Imitations,

Masking &

Pretending to be someone else

 

 

Theater |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Counting out rhymes, heads and tails

 

 

 

 

Lottery, roulette |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Acrobatics, horseback riding, merry go round

 

 

 

Mountain climbing, tightrope walking |

 

 

Although Caillois had in mind real, physical games, I would like to “break the rules” once more and associate his six possible combinations between the “attitudes” with our six Little Reds from The Path. The mentioned combinations come as follows:

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. AGONALEA (competition and chance)

#
p<>{color:#000;}. AGONMIMICRY (competition and simulation)

#
p<>{color:#000;}. AGONILINX (competition and vertigo)

#
p<>{color:#000;}. ALEAMIMICRY (chance and simulation)

#
p<>{color:#000;}. ALEAILINX (chance and vertigo)

#
p<>{color:#000;}. MIMICRYILINX (simulation and vertigo)

 

I associated each girl with a pair of “attitudes” based on their actions, character and way of perceiving things. I would also like to mention that all of the pictures in this paper are taken either from the site www.tale-of-tales.com/ThePath or from www.google.ro

 

3.1 Robin: Agon – Mimicry

 

For our Little Robin everything that surrounds her represents a potential game. Although children of her age do not understand the meaning of “winning” or “losing”, Robin tends to throw herself in the game anyway. As I see it, Agon is very much present when the Little Red starts “playing” with her wolf, therefore we have an “equal possibility of success”. What I mean to say by this affirmation is that it is possible that she would tame the beast, but we also have the possibility that she is going to end up hurt or worse, eaten up by her “playmate”.

The way I understand Mimicry in this case, is in a very simplistic way. Robin as any other child, being at an age when children tend to be “knowledge sponges”, has this inclination of “copying” her older sisters. The first obvious hint on this matter would consist of the Little Red straying off the path. Even though she knows it is wrong, forbidden even, to enter the forest, we can suppose that she has seen one of her sisters do the same thing, thus, making a self logic, she could think that if her sister entered the off-limits place, she would be entitled to do so as well.

As “play” for little children represents an important stage of personal development – by the fact that it helps them enlarge their imaginative perspective, as well as the idea of being responsible for something – Robin follows her instinct to the fullest, considering her mother’s warnings as another type of “play”. In my opinion this does not necessarily mean she is disobedient, but it is more likely that she has misunderstood her mother’s intentions – those of warning her, those of keeping her safe.

 

3.2 Rose: Mimicry – Ilinx

 

At an age when children start exploring the world, or in Roses’ case, their body, the idea of Mimicry is very much alive. In her case, the concept of Mimicry tends to be visible when it comes to internal instinct, and once again, of copying adults. Rose, despite her age, walks in a more mature way than her other young sisters, emanating an air of a wise person. Not only does she feel important because she has discovered another meaning of the word “pleasure”, but also a step closer towards adulthood.

This brought me to correlate her to the concept of Ilinx, due to the fact that her subconscious tells her she is doing something wrong. Although the actual act of masturbation is a natural phenomenon, due to our constraining society, and the fact that parents still think of this topic as taboo, children are prone to believe that such an act is shameful or forbidden. Thus, Rose does nothing wrong by following her instinct, but at the same time feels like she is disrupting the “regular perception patterns”.

We can see a very good example in the following picture:

 

Fig. 4

The position of her legs, which we can observe in Fig. 4, tells us allot about her new “experiences”. Whether it is a sign of shyness, or a sign of shamefulness, Rose is the type of girl who cannot hide her emotions. The “play” in Rose’s case can consist here of a more mature type with a sexual connotation. I firmly believe that she has broken the barricades between right and wrong, as she thinks, imagines, even dreams about a man at such a frail age as 11.

 

3.3 Ginger: Alea – Ilinx

 

The “rebel” of the group, as I see her, cannot escape faith or the growing up process. We all know that the age of 13 represents a stage of puberty, a passage from childhood to teenage hood, this giving our Little Ginger, more reasons to try to escape. Whether she is simply playing or trying to enjoy what is left of her childhood, we can see the perfect combination of Alea and Ilinx.

If in the former, we can say that Ginger takes a childish “chance” to run away from the unstoppable upcoming, in the latter we have the perfect example of a “breaker of the rules”. The fact that she passes beneath the fence, is either seen as an act of delinquency or, how I mentioned earlier in my paper, a metaphoric symbolic imagery of her submergence from one stage of her life to another.

In the following picture, Fig. 5, we can see the fence and another important element such as the “barb wire”:

 

Fig. 5

 

If we take it in a literally way, the “barb wire” is meant for protection, or keeping away trespassers. As a symbol, I would describe it as follows: Ginger is about to pass from a “childish” stage of life to a more “mature” one, thus, not only does the event of “menstruation” represent a painful yet unexpected outcome but also a step forward in the process of maturation.

The “unexpected” seen as a type of Alea is also very well defined in the scenery when Ginger meets her wolf. Correlated with the female maturation process mentioned above, the “wolf” sneaks up on the Little Red in the clearing, just as adulthood sneaks up on any teenager. Thus, this brings me closer to my interpretation.

3.4 Ruby: Agon – Mimicry

 

The “categorized” teenager who never fits in society’s eyes. The perfect slogan for a young, marginalized girl. Ruby fits perfectly in the “attitude” pair of Agon and Mimicry, as, first of all, she is always in competition with society or herself, and second, the fact that she has an almost fanatic desire to be someone else. We can say that this heroine is a “two-faced player”, not only because she is obscenely tagged as a “weirdo” but also because she enjoys exaggerating when it comes to pain and excessive attention.

Agon, in her case, consists of the idea that she, like her younger sister Robin, has an equal probability of success when it comes to being accepted or not. Ruby’s acceptance in our modern society, weights hard on her personality and choices. She yearns to be accepted but does not change her way of dressing, acting, being. This desire of hers’ takes us to the soul-mate of Agon which is Mimicry. “To be accepted you need to be someone else”, that is how I would picture this matter of Mimicry.

Ruby, although she is only 15, she would do anything to be part of “something”, thus it should not surprise us when she assists, without any reaction, to the scene where her wolf carries the wrapped body through the woods. This sort of “bravery” only strengthens my opinion, when it comes to teenagers and Caillois’ Mimicry. If we follow Caillois’ table we can see that in the “Ludus” area, we have “theater”. In Ruby’s case, the “theater” could represent the world, the society and she, the victim of pain, an actress.

 

3.5 Carmen: Agon – Alea

 

When it comes to “chances”, Little Red Carmen takes them all. As I see it, Agon and Alea, are a perfect match for our girl. I will further on focus on the scene when Carmen meets her wolf at the camp site. This imagery reflects best the idea of Agon as much as Alea. Agon, unlike in the cases of her other sisters, does not represent an equal possibility of success, as her target does not have the same aim as she does. What I mean to say, is that she is the “player” and he is the “played”.

Although, as I mentioned in an earlier case, Caillois based his “attitudes” on physical or mental real life games, the “chess” game in Carmen’s situation is a very representative one. The “chess” game played by our heroine is a psychological one, as all her moves are very tactical. She moves the “queen” until she brings the king in “check!” The situation changes when Alea takes the place of Agon.

Alea is the finishing touch of Carmen’s prelude. She becomes the player who “cannot exert control over outcomes”, in other words, the fact that “alcohol” is present in the scenario, leads to the idea that cannot control any further actions, at least not from a psychological point of view. Her inner will of receiving unlimited attention is overcome by the substance in her body system and goes beyond the limits. If I were to be extremely blunt, I believe that she is not necessarily the victim in this picture but more of a “played player”. If at first she was the one who “played” with the woodcutter, the situation turned around, and the woodcutter “played” with her.

Whether we talk about vanity’s play on an “innocent” girl such as Carmen, or naivety in the case of the woodcutter, Agon and Alea pictures only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to playing a role in today’s society, where pretty young women like to “play” with older men, and get caught in a twisted game of “chance” and “outcomes”.

 

3.6 Scarlet: Alea – Mimicry

 

In a “world governed by chaos” (Harvey A. & Samyn M., 2009) one can barely live as she/he pleases. This is how our, last but not least, Scarlet sees the world. Even though Caillois’ pair of “attitudes” is Alea and Mimicry, I would like to begin with Mimicry. The idea of “pretending to be someone else” reflects in the role switch. What I intend to say is that Scarlet, more or less fills the shoes of a protective mother for her five little sisters, rather than a bigger sister. Whether Scarlet wants to or not, she does not seem to have any choice, nevertheless we can still see this as a type of Mimicry.

I would also like to connect Mimicry to Scarlet’s “manners”. She thinks highly of herself, she sees herself as a lady from the upper-class, underestimating, most of the time, others around her. We could also dig up an excuse for her highly bitter perspective over things – that of being stripped of her desires, dreams. Being the eldest, it is only natural that she would be the more calculate, tidy and caring. Although she might as well love her sisters, this is more of a burden for her.

 

 

Fig. 6

 

Mimicry brings us once again closer to the idea of “theater”. Contrary to Ruby’s “virtual” theater, Scarlet’s is an authentic one. On its stage, Scarlet finds a very representative element, such as the “mask” (Fig. 6). According to Caillois’ table, this mask is another significant item in the Mimicry field, as a “mask” can represent a childish play of “hide and seek” or in our Little Red’s case, a way of hiding who she is, thus leading to the concept of “pretending to be someone else”. She encounters her wolf on a theater stage, whilst playing the piano. We can observe that “play” in her case takes a more artistic allure, contrary to her other sisters. Playing an instrument – if we go back in time and think about the 17th century, when only nobility could play an instrument – takes Scarlet closer to the upper-class and far away from the “miserable society” she lives in.

Little Red Scarlet’s Alea consists of her desperate desire of finding an intelligent, talented man. At an age of 19, without very much experience in men, our Little Red protagonist is very much prone to “lose control over outcomes”. She is lured in the “role play” of “teacher” and “student”, by her charming wolf, which does not, at least, seem frightening or awkward in any way. I would also like to associate the Alea’s example of “counting out rhymes” with Scarlet’s little hobby of counting the society’s flaws, or better yet, those of humans.

I firmly believe that people, who think they are flawless, often have more flaws than the ones they judge, or criticize. In this situation, whether we talk about an inner frustration of a young lady who is deprived of her personal life, or a girl who thinks highly of herself, the idea of hypocrisy or dual-personality is perfectly reflected.

 

Throughout this chapter we have established the basics of Roger Caillois’ concepts “Paida” as well as “Ludus”, adding their four categories of play such as Agon, Mimicry, Alea and Ilinx, which the author paired up in six possible variants (Agon – Alea, Agon – Mimicry, Agon – Ilinx, Alea – Mimicry, Alea – Ilinx and Mimicry – Ilinx). Further on, I transformed the physical, real-life play objectives into symbolic forms of play and I associated them with the six Little Red Riding Hoods from the PC game The Path.

During this process of associating, comparing and analyzing the six avatars, the concept of “play” reached out and touched different meanings of the word “play”, from the innocent childish play of Robin, the discovery of self-play Rose, the acceptance play of Ruby, the “played player” Carmen, to the artistic, cultural play as a “wanna be” aristocrat Scarlet.

 

 

4. Towards a Code of Personal Behavior

 

 

In this last chapter of my paper, I would like, before anything else, to make a brief comparison between the 17th century etiquette (the French word “etiquette” as defined by a 17th-century dictionary is “a small sign of labels of instruction”. These small signs or etiquette mandated the behavior of the people who read them) and the 21st century one. I will give an example for both periods, an example which is more appropriate to our Little Red Riding Hood subject. A very important, common characteristic would be “making friends”. Whether we talk about a prior more “simplistic” period or a more “complex” one such as the 21st century, we encounter, in both, the need of socializing.

Monica Patrick (2011), eHow Contributor, talks about etiquette in the 17th century, saying that “during this time period, it was customary that introductions were made between two strangers by a third party. Both parties had to give permission to meet each other before formal introductions.” Whilst in our times there is no need for a third party or the “permission to meet each other”, things just happen, unconditionally. This would be only one of the many etiquette differences stretching between the two time periods.

The reason I have touched this topic was to bring you closer to the understanding of the following subchapters, as I will tackle the concept of “don’ts” and “do’s” in a world where etiquette is more important than free personal development. What I intend to say is that, one way or another, a person’s personal development is influenced by the “good manner’s rules” of society. As in the former chapters, I will correlate these analyses to the six Little Reds from the game and to Perrault’s classic Little Red.

 

4.1 Don’ts

 

Even though I may be crossing the line, with the following topic I intend to approach, I strongly believe that some of our today’s “don’ts” have their roots in the communist period. Whether we talk about a communist view or the matter of ethics, we find ourselves in front of some unwritten set of rules, starting from a frail age.

Robin (age 9), would be the first to perform a “don’t”. As a child, she is expected to be obedient towards her mother, to follow the path as she is instructed and help her sick grandmother. The perfect pattern of an indoctrinate society. But, just like her sisters, she decides to break the rule of the “path”. Moreover, children should not go near strangers or wolves, even less play with one, but paradoxically Robin is attracted to them.

Another “don’t” in her case would be the moment when she jumps into the sales cart and starts rocking with it. We are all aware that this is a society’s big “DON’T”. It is strictly forbidden by the markets’ policy to jump in a cart, to race with it through the isles and so on and so forth.

Rose (age 11), the “discoverer”. Her “don’ts” are two. First of all, the taboo topic, that of discovering her body, and second, the hidden desire for a man. The “don’t” in her case, in my opinion, is very wrongly used, as society implements the idea that the natural cycle of life is something bad, thus, creating an unfounded fear in the minds of children, who, besides the fact that they are not taught of their upcoming life experiences and body changes, are scolded if they are caught in the act.

As for the second variant, I think we all agree that children should not fantasize about grown-up men, yet, the “don’t” in this case can only exist in moral theory, due to the fact that she does not confess her desires, fantasies or lusts, and that there is no paternal figure in the picture. Another typical “don’t” would be the moment when she gets in the boat on the side of the lake. Unsupervised children should not wander off, let alone take a boat and explore a possible dangerous lake.

Ginger (age 13) can be seen as a rebellious type of child, whether we talk about the desire to do what she desires, or the attempt to “trick” life’s natural course. According to our society’s etiquette, children, as well as adults on the other hand, should not walk/run bare-footed, this being a sign of primitively behavior, which of course is Ginger’s first “don’t”. This concept is mostly adopted by parents, who are strongly misguided. “Most parents would balk at the idea of toddlers in high heels, but what about sandals or trainers? Some experts now believe that shoes are best avoided in childhood.” (Sam Murphy, 2010).

 

“Tracy Byrne, a podiatrist specialising in podopaediatrics, believes that wearing shoes at too young an age can hamper a child’s walking and cerebral development. “Toddlers keep their heads up more when they are walking barefoot,” she says. “The feedback they get from the ground means there is less need to look down, which is what puts them off balance and causes them to fall down.” Walking barefoot, she continues, develops the muscles and ligaments of the foot, increases the strength of the foot’s arch, improves proprioception (our awareness of where we are in relation to the space around us) and contributes to good posture.” (Sam Murphy, 2010)

 

Thus, in Ginger’s case, the “code of personal behavior” has its flaws. Looking back at what I said in a former chapter, the “don’ts” which would be meant for a correct personal forming, is but another type of “hypercorrection”.

Ruby (age 15) the core, the “don’t” of all “don’ts”. This Little Red is everything but a perfect example for our society, and for the code of manners. Her biggest “don’t” would be her look (Fig. 7).

 

Fig. 7

 

This brings me to the belief that we are living in a world of preconceptions. Our society, whether we talk about the 21st century or the 17th century, embraces the idea of stereotyping. Ruby would be the perfect example for this.

 

“Stereotyping is a personality trait in people which creates an impression in the mind of a person just by looking at that person or just by knowing about their religion, ethnic background, educational qualifications etc. People usually consider themselves as ‘normal’ and any other person who deviates from their ‘normal’ behavior, comes prominently in their eye. And they stereotype that person’s nature and personality from their perspective.

However, stereotyping is something is doesn’t normally benefit people. Usually people make a judgment of a person by their first impression. If a person is well dressed he or she appears to be sophisticated, educated and well-mannered. On the other hand, a shabbily dressed person leaves a bad impression. However, just judging these people merely by their clothes is stereotyping, without knowing about their attitude, personality, nature, qualification etc.” (Anonymous, 2012)

These being said, Ruby is automatically tagged as an emo-goth girl, due to her aggressive makeup, her hairstyle, her clothes. This, in my opinion, would be a society’s “don’t”, what I mean to say is that society, in this case, should stop the idea of stereotyping people. Yet, we are concentrating on Ruby’s flaws and “don’ts” as a teenager.

Her first “don’t” would be the graffiti on an abandoned shack, which is considered as an act of delinquency, but in my opinion, it is also a way of expressing ones self. In a paradox world, paradoxically art is considered vandalism. Thus, the subliminal “don’t” of society would be stopping youths from expressing themselves in any way.

Another important “don’t” would be “talking to strangers”, a principle which is encountered in all of our six cases, including Perrault’s Little Red, although in Ruby’s case her “talking to a stranger” has a macabre, even dangerous side, as her “stranger”, the “wolf”, is dragging a carpet-wrapped body through the woods. Regardless her mother’s warnings, and the big “don’t” signs, being a “fearless” teenager, she walks straight in her wolf’s trap.

Last but not least, we have the everlasting issue of “smoking and teenagers”, two words which should not occur in the same sentence. Even though Ruby is aware that smoking is a big “don’t” for her, not only because she is underage but also because it could affect her growth and development, she needs to keep the pace with the rest of the world, so that she can be accepted.

Carmen (age 17), the typical Lolita. With this Little Red we have a very simple, moral-ended “don’t”. I would put it as follows: “Don’t play around, don’t drink your mind, because in the end you will be the one that’s played”. More or less, this would be Carmen’s “don’t” on the one hand, on the other, we could say that she shows off more of her body than is actually needed, reflecting almost the pure image of Nabokov’s Lolita.

 

“In the popular mind, the name Lolita has come to signify the cynical sophistication and sexual precocity, bordering on lewdness, of American – and Americanized – youth. Marie Winn, a social critic concerned with the fate of contemporary children, thus says:

Once upon a time a fictional twelve-year-old from New England named Lolita Haze slept with a middle-aged European intellectual named Humbert Humbert and profoundly shocked American sensibilities. It was not so much the idea of an adult having sexual designs on a child that was appalling. It was Lolita herself, unvirginal long before Humbert came upon the scene, so knowing, so jaded, so unchildlike, who seemd to violate something America held sacred.” (Ellen Pifer, 2003: 84)

 

Even though our Carmen is 17 and not 12, as Nabokov’s protagonist, the scenery described in the author’s book resembles very much with the imagery from the game. As Marie Winn said, “it was not so much the idea of an adult having sexual designs on a child” (Marie Winn, 1981), but in our case, Carmen “herself, unvirginal long before” the woodcutter “came upon the scene”. (Marie Winn, 1981).

Scarlet (age 19), the imprisoned artistic spirit. In my opinion she is the “don’t” of society. What I mean to say by this is that she represents the perfect citizen, tidy, well-mannered, disciplined, obedient and for the description to be complete, she is without a personal life. The only “don’t” I could find for this lost Little Red would be the fact that, although, she respects the rules, she is thinking of what could happen if she did not.

Trapped in an obedient, well-mannered and just type of society, which of course, as in the case of her younger sister Ruby, belittles art of any kind or shape, present and, why not, even her future are very well symbolized in an imagery from the grandmother’s house, which shows us most of the furniture in the house covered by sheets, symbolizing the lack of art in Scarlet’s life, as well as the idea of a plain, dull life, lying ahead of her.(Fig. 8)

Fig. 8

 

We all know that every tree has its good and bad apples – I keep associating the girls with a tree or its fruit, the apple in this case, because “throughout human history, trees have been powerful symbols. Trees, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the tree of life, the Ygdrassil tree in Norse mythology are often seen as noble or awesome. Trees symbolize life, growth, reaching down to the ground and up to the sky at the same time.” (Tree Symbolysm, 2011), and especially with the apple tree, because it symbolizes: magic, youth, beauty and happiness – just like every “don’t” has its “do’s”.

 

4.2 Do’s

 

Following the same pattern as in the previous subchapter, I will now bring out the “do’s” in each of the game’s Little Reds. It seems almost hallucinating if we think about the fact that the girls’ “do’s” are fewer than their “don’ts”, but I guess this is the consequence one has to suffer when “breaking the rules”.

For Robin, the youngest, we have but two scenes when she “do’s” what is right in concordance with society’s ethics, principals etc. First, when she finds the syringe on the ground she thinks of her ill grandmother, and correlates it with the idea of a cure. Second, when coming upon a knife she knows that it would be dangerous to run having it on her, thus she complies with the idea of being “the right thing to do”.

Also, if we take into consideration that she is always playing, with anything she finds lying around, then we have the perfect example of an ideal “society’s child”, not only because a child’s “duty” is to play, at the age of 9, but also to explore, as to enlarge his/hers perspective over things.

Roes, on the other hand, seems to want to leave behind her child”hood”, and step into the world of grownups. This would definitely be a “don’t”, but if we better analyze the matter, we can see that she, even though she does something “bad”, is aware that her actions are not compatible with society’s rules, thus by hiding, more or less, what she is doing in the privacy of her bathroom, she fills the standards of etiquette and moral.

The fact that she is an animal lover, is another good message that she sends out in the world, that of “children need to be good to animals, children love animals.” So, in her case, Rose is like a big “banner”, even if extremely said, with a good, positive message for others her age, a hypocrite one, in my opinion, due to the fact that she is seen as a “good” kid even if it is the case or not.

“Rebellious” was never a good word for the eyes and ears of society. Ginger’s “do’s” in this case can only consist of the fact that she refuses to grow up, thus holding tight of her childhood. The other “do”, even if not in the manner terms, would be the fact that she walks/runs almost all of the time barefoot, which, from a specialist’s opinion, is the right thing to do, if one desires to grow “correctly”.

When it comes to Ruby, her “do’s” seem almost inexistent in a world full of preconceptions. The only “do”, which I consider as being an asset in her personal development, better yet in her character development, would be the fact that she exteriorizes her personality through clothing, hairstyle, heavy make-up, even through the way she walks. In my opinion, this at an age when almost everything is forbidden, teenagers have only one thing left, expressing themselves in different, maybe not always accepted, ways.

Following Ruby, is 17-year-old Carmen, a young lady who is supposed to act according to her age, but the traps of vanity and desire seem to be stronger than her. I am not sure if Carmen has any moral “do’s”, but at least she has etiquette ones, or so I like to believe. She maintains a ladylike posture all of the time, she seems to be “polite” and also gives hints that she is still “playful”.

Last but not least, we reach the “mother-sister” Little Red, who, unlike her sisters, as I have mentioned in the former subchapter, has all the “do’s” in the world. If the society expects from a 19-year-old girl to be educated, responsible and self-reliant, it can be sure it has made a “prodigy”.

All in all, if we search deep enough in every type of girl, in our case, by her age, lifestyle or desires, we can always find a “do”. The matter I want to tackle in the last subchapter of my paper would be the concept of “fighting fire with fire”, more precise, how can one deal with the issues raised by the girls’ actions and what kind of solutions we could find for them.

 

4.3 Fighting Fire with Fire

 

Before anything else I would like to give a brief explanation of the phrase “fight fire with fire” to better understand the concept we are approaching.

 

“The Phrase ‘Fight fire with fire’ means to respond to an attack with the same strategy or with the same weapon which the attacker used to attack on you. In simple way fight fire with fire means to use the same method or weapon for your opponent which he uses for you. We use this phrase when we want to describe a person, who makes some strategy to beat in a contest or in conflict and we use the same strategy to beat him.” (Amar, 2011)

 

In this subchapter I will target only some of the PC game’s Little Reds, only to better accentuate the idea of “fighting fire with fire”. For this short analysis I have chosen: Rose, Ruby, Carmen and Scarlet, due to the fact that these four Little Red Hoods, can represent a threat to society as well a society represents a threat for them. Once again we have here the “game of mutuality”.

In Rose’s case the issue is obvious, sexual maturation at a frail age. If Rose has discovered the pleasures of exploring her body, who is to say she could not tell other girls of her age about of this experience? Thus, society loses control over a strict process of development, this representing a serious threat to society. Turning the tables, society is a real threat for Rose’s mental development. What I mean to say is that she is growing up with the idea that she is doing something shameful and bad, thus building up an unfounded fear, which later on can also become a trauma.

The ideal solution for this situation would be if society created programs for adults, rather than for children, where they can instruct them that masturbation is a normal process of development and that they should make their children understand this process and how to deal with it, rather than scolding them.

Ruby on the other hand could be seen as the world’s “anarchy” or “chaos”. She is a threat just by the fact that she chooses to be different. “Different” nowadays is frightening and also the possibility that she could change others too makes her even more of a problem. Besides vandalizing, the extreme look, hanging with bad company and doing something as illegal as smoking at the age of 15, Ruby is only trying to express herself.

Society is maybe the worst enemy to a free spirit teenager. It categorizes, it censors, and it tries to change the way how a teenager thinks, acts and dresses. This battle, in my opinion, is one without an end. The only solution would be if both parts could come to a compromise. What I mean is that society could be more comprehensive towards teenagers’ personality and their desire to express themselves through graffiti, let us say, by offering them organized spaces to exert their imagination, whilst teenagers could stop vandalizing without sense structures or any other public facilities.

Carmen is the Lolita no one wants to see. She could easily set a bad example for other girls with the same age and features as hers, such as getting drunk or going out with older men. If we look at it the other way around, society’s threat for her consists of a misjudgment of her actions and getting a false tag, such as man “escort”. One, and maybe the only, possible solution would be that she, if thinking of continuing with this type of activities, would do her personal matters in privacy, hidden from the eyes of the world.

Last but not least, Scarlet who at a first glance is the perfect example, does not threaten society, but on the other hand, society threatens her with its depraved and mediocre inhabitants. In her case, there are two possible solutions, she could try and change the current society or just sit back and ignore the phenomenon around her.

Whether we talk about a sexual discovery, a wish for expressing oneself, a misjudged act or a repugnancy towards human’s ignorance, in the end every situation has its own moral, just like Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood fairytale, on which the six Little Reds were based.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Conceived as a code of growing up, the present paper “Little Red Hoods for Enlightening Confused Spirits in a Virtual World” has been an attempt at designing the “ropes” for any adolescent facing the labyrinth of our tricky world. Starting from Caillois’ definitions of “Paida” and “Ludus”, I have tried to apply the two concepts to the anthological scheme of a fairy-tale such as “Little Red Riding Hood” due to its ever-new interpretations, criticisms or re-writings that have occurred since the 17th century to the present times.

The passing of almost five centuries since the initial account raised my interest of discovering both the springs and developments of an initially moral story that has acquired Jungian and Freudian interpretations along the years. Yet, only after having read and played on “The Path”, have I understood the treasure of ideas I have been faced with as the more I have been playing and interpreting the variants offered, the more I have been tricked with the multiple-layered labyrinth of the PC game.

First, I have been lured into Charles Perrault’s 17th century world of a “Little Red Riding Hood” full of confused spirits driven by the sinister and the “macabre” within a Puritan world. Paradoxically enough, such a variant would be closest to our present times.

Second, the 19th century sample of the Grimm Brothers’ world transfers our “Little Red” within the limits of Protestant Ethics bearing the restrictions of a religious censorship. Yet, surprisingly, this variant creates a niche for both gender representation as well as respect for young children’s world of imagination.

Third, while completing my work on “intertextuality” (Michel Riffatterrey, 1979), I have reached the dimensions of the “hypertext” (Ted Nelson, 1992), a 4D polymorphic approach not only to endless varieties of “Little Reds”, but also to semiotic interpretations of the key symbol of this fairy-tale “the hood”. As such, “the hood” worn by the anthological “Little Red” of Charles Perrault and the Grimm Brothers, bears the connotation of “mystery”, “magic powers”, becoming “invisible” whenever in trouble (Dundes 1989) but, above all, a “puberty ritual” (Tatar 2002: 2), as the threshold between childhood and adolescence have become extremely illustrative.

The six representations of our “Little Reds” according to “The Path”, i.e. Robin (age 9), Rose (age 11), Ginger (age 13), Ruby (age 15), Carmen (age 17) and Scarlet (age 19) bear within their core character the symbolical figure 9 involving ritualistic values from the 9 months of pregnancy, 9 stages in creative accomplishments along human development, up to the symbol of multiplicity and “cosmic solidarity and redemption” (Chavalier and Gheerbrant, 2009).

The “hypertext” of “The Path” brings forth the six possible open-ended varieties of “Little Reds” from a frail Robin enjoying herself on the playground, to a “floating” Rose submerging in a bathtub, a “breaking the rules” Ginger while passing under the fence, a virtual “Eve” – “a victim of pain” represented by Ruby, a “flirting” Carmen within the pattern of Nabokov’s Lolita, only to end with the 19 year-old Scarlet caught in the “cobweb” of adulthood. Yet, all along these six variations of “Little Reds”, the sexual connotation remains open, whilst the hues of the “red hood” enlarge from fresh red (Robin) to dark red (Scarlet), thus completing the itinerary of initiation.

Moreover, I have interpreted all the meanders of our “Little Red” within the moral Code of behavior by underlying the possible tricks, traps, and evils of a cannibalistic world whilst turning from a child into a young adult – being aware of the fact that any kind of “hypertext” is in fact an “opera aperta” (Umberto Eco, 1983), the Code itself leaves interstices for further possible developments.

Last but not least, the “enlightenment” I aim at is a new Homeric journey of initiation where the player of the PC game, “The Path”, is subjected by the hypertext into endless variations and embodiments of vanishing samples of “Little Reds”. Yet, along the process of playing according to the rules of Caillois, “Paida” and “Ludus”, the player himself/herself becomes an extratextual constancy, being the product of his/her own decisions of working on the hypertext within a “game of mutuality”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

1. Alan Dundes, “Interpreting Little Red Riding Hood Psychoanalytically”, p 27-8, James M. McGlathery, ed, The Brothers Grimm and Folktale, 1989

2. Alexander Prasol, Modern Japan: Origins of the Mind: Japanese Traditions and Approaches in Contemporary Life, World Scientific, 2010

3. Brothers Grimm, Children’s and Household Tales, 1812

4. Bruno Battleheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, Knopf, New York, 1976

5. Charles Perrault, Les Contes de ma mère l’Oye, 1697

6. Chevalier, J., Gheerbrant A., Dictionar de simboluri, Editura Polirom, 2009

7. Gèrard Genette, Introduction à l’Architexte, Paris, 1979

8. Harvey A. and Samyn M., Tale of Tales, 2009

9. Heather Chaplin, “Heather Chaplin gets fully immersed into The Path.,” Filmmaker Magazine, Summer 2010

10. Henry Jenkins, Games, the New Lively Art, 2000

11. John Clute and John Grant, The Encyclopedia of Fairytales, St. Martin’s Press, 1997

12. Julia Kriteva, Problemele Structurării textului, București, Editura Univers, 1980

13. Jung, C.G., Psychologie und Alchemie, Zurich, 1944

14. Maria Tatar, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, 2002

15. Mathew J. Wise, Understanding Meaningfulness in Videogames, 2004

16. Michael Riffaterre, La Syllepse intertextualle, Poètique, Revue du Thèorie et d’Analyse Littèraire, Novembre, 1979

17. Roger Caillois, Man, Play and Games, University of Illinois Press, 2001

18. Roland Barthes, Analyse testuelle d’un Conte d’Edgar Poe, în Cristina H., Textul ca intertextualitate, București, Editura Eminescu, 1981

19. Terri Windling, Les Contes des Fèes: The Literary Fairy Tales of France, 2000

20. Thompson, Stith. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology & Legend, 1972 

21. Umberto Èco, Opera Aperta, 1983

22. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, 1955

23. Zipes, Jack, The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge, 1993

24. http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forconte.html – Les Contes des Fées: The Literary Fairy Tales of France, by Terri Windling (22.05.2012)

25. http://motherboard.vice.com/2011/2/16/a-brief-history-of-video-game-art—2 (14.04.2012)

26. http://tale-of-tales.com/ThePath/index.html (05.04.2012)

27. http://clanofdanu.tripod.com/trees.html (28.06.2012)

28. [+ http://hiss.in/687/fight-fire-with-fire-phrase-meaning-source-and-usage/+] (11.05.2012)

29. [+ http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/09/barefoot-best-for-children+] (04.06.2012)

30. http://tale-of-tales.com/blog/the-path-post-mortem/ (23.04.2012)

 

 


Little Red's Path

Many of you may be familiar with the almost “cliché” fairytale of our childhood, Little Red Riding Hood. Nevertheless, within this book I will further try to break the barrier and look beyond the Grimm Brothers’ innocent version of this anthological story, emphasizing on Charles Perrault’s earlier variant and approaching a new, more modern field, such as the PC gaming area. Although Little Red has always been presented as an innocent account for children, having a strong moral touch, such as to warn the little creatures of the mean – not to be trusted – strangers, in its essence, it has always had a sexual approach. This last important aspect led me to connect the two – the classic fairytale and the modern PC game The Path – as they both have a sexual connotation. As for the psychological and interpersonal journey, the author of this paper is inviting the reader to join; I will start first and foremost with defining the terminology I have made use of in my paper. As such, the first key phrase involved is the “fairytale” as defined by Thompson (1972) with the main meaning of a “short story that typically features fantasy characters”.

  • Author: Sandra Coroian
  • Published: 2016-07-08 13:46:24
  • Words: 21516
Little Red's Path Little Red's Path