The path ahead is dark. A tree canopy seals off the sky, each leaf rendered so vividly it almost looks real. Gravel crunches underfoot. Your pursuers cannot be far behind. In front, the path splits in two. To the left, a starlit lake gleams in the distance, a single rowboat bobbing invitingly by the shore. On your right is a dead end, a wall rising abruptly from the undergrowth. Which way do you go? Any seasoned video gamer would turn right. If one path is obviously designed to take you onward in the game’s narrative, you take the other: It’s where the treasure is hidden. No matter how counterintuitive it feels, you learn to go the wrong way first. Since most games are designed with linear narratives—a single route leading to a single ending—the wrong path is actually just the scenic route. So take a detour and investigate the forest. You’ll still end This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Five Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 42 Anna Wiener Anna Wiener was on the path to Silicon Valley success. Then she pivoted. Allyssia Alleyne charts the making of a tech-skeptic. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Influencers Anonymous Instagram content creators answer a short survey about the influencer industry. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Crazy Busy There’s no rest for the aspirational. Arts & Culture Issue 42 The Goal Keepers Not your therapist, not your friend: What accounts for the remarkable rise of the life coach? Arts & Culture Issue 42 Torrey Peters The Detransition, Baby author is living her best life. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Trash Talk On wish-cycling and wishful thinking.