Play Passage

You owe it to yourself to play Passage.

Passage is an art game. Although I deplore the term, it is actually the most consistent term we have to describe this genre of game: there is no right or wrong way to play, no stated objective, and, ultimately, no way to win. The game lasts only 5 minutes and represents your character’s condensed lifetime.

The game is an interactive (another term I despise, ranking up there with “multimedia”) reflection on life, the tradeoffs between achievement and exploration, and death. Despite admitting its own purposelessness (the creator notes that even your score “looks pretty meaningless hovering there” in the end) the result of playing even one round is surprisingly powerful. But I won’t draw your conclusions for you…

So go ahead, try Passage. Even if you don’t like games, you have no excuse. It only will take 5 minutes, it runs on PCs and Macs, and takes up a svelte 5 MB. Read the creator’s statement before or afterwards: there are some interesting thoughts on the representation of death in video games as well as explanations of some of the game’s various metaphors.