Gut-wrenching video game explores the harsh reality of modern day poverty

The recently released independent video game Little Red Lie wants players to get real about their money problems. 

And while the vision is bleak, it’s an important one that couldn’t have more relevance to those wading through the ever-increasing financial inequality that’s eating away at our middle classes. The game interweaves the narratives of two characters that never meet, but experience opposite ends of the economic spectrum. 

One of the protagonists, Sarah Stone, is a middle-aged office administrator living with her family under the looming threat of financial ruin. Meanwhile, you’ll also play as Arthur Fox, who is the spitting image of a man on top of the world as a public character renowned for his wealth and charisma.

Creator Will O’Neill is no stranger to tackling heavy subjects. His previous game, the critically acclaimed Actual Sunlight, told the autobiographical story of his own struggle with depression. 

Somehow, his new game presents an even starker and more difficult truth.”It’s an exploration of a rock-bottom social and political reality that you wake up in every day,” said O’Neill in an online conversation. It’s a reality, he believes, that we all have to summon the courage to face.

While Actual Sunlight was an introspective look at depression, Little Red Lie is about the larger systems perpetuating and heightening the feeling of hopelessness. 

It highlights this modern day reality millennials face by contrasting it with the world baby boomers grew up in. Quite literally, it brings these issues home by following Sarah’s experience as she faces the reality of living with her parents.

Little Red Lie

As a millennial on the older side of the spectrum, both Will and Sarah are being forced to contend with the higher housing and living costs, stagnant wages, and insecure employment that leads to a work culture of part-time work or contract gigs.

“All she ever wanted to do was finish school, get a job, and climb the ladder she’d been told would be…

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