Michael Hicks' indie video game that explores the psychology behind bullying, Path of Motus, is expected to release July 17 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
In the game, a village of goblins has been trapped inside a mysterious forest; anyone who attempts to leave returns hopeless and defeated. Determined to break new ground, a young goblin named Motus plans to build a series of bridges through the forest. However, his perseverance will soon be tested, as he meets bullies that use their own words to stop him.
"Playing as Motus requires you to have resilience, and lets players explore the deeper reasons for why people resort to aggression," explains game designer Michael Hicks.
Hicks says his own lifetime experiences contributed towards the game's creations.
"When I was younger, I was interested in what made bullies act so aggressive," he confesses. "As time went on I began to befriend some of them, and learned they had either been bullied themselves earlier in life, had really bad family lives, or were just simply jealous of other people; I kept all of this in mind as I designed the game. As Motus gradually grows from a child to an adult, you'll get to explore the motivations of the characters you meet, and I expect you'll have some surprising moments in the process. I feel the discussion around this topic often ignores the root causes of bullying, so hopefully this game lets us see how our own actions potentially contribute to this issue."
The ESRB does not list an age rating for this game.