89/365 – Meditation Games #89 – Choices And Paths Taken

Developer Credits: Anonymous

Launcher Quote: “It’s a game set about facing your fears and making tough choices.”

Choose your own adventure is, I think, an underappreciated genre in games. You see it in some of the moral choice games that we’ve seen pop up in the last 5-10 years, certainly – but I sort of feel like choice is a difficult metric to measure as far as appreciation. Part of this may be the fact that you’re boxed in when it comes to making choices. Even in the biggest, most open world games that state that you have choice as a whole, you’re still in a linear box that does, at some point, limit you to the game’s borders.

But that doesn’t mean that the path to such choices can’t be laid out, looked at, and reflected on (whether in the game or in life), which is part of the point of today’s entry, I suspect. While you can click through choices and get different paths, you ultimately circle back around to the same choices made before, and have the opportunity to pick others. In this sense, it’s more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, where you get to review the same choices you made and make different ones, in the hopes of seeing something new and interesting. It’s a bit of a comparison to how some of the open choice games ultimately work out – you’re set to review what you did before, perhaps keep a few saves handy in order to not have to replay what you did previously, and then follow down different paths.

Part of the message, I suspect, is that real life obviously doesn’t work out this way. You’re not allowed to go back and choose something different, nor are you able to make different choices or have “save points” for what you had done before to follow down a different path. Such a way of heading down another path taken only exists in the realm of sci-fi, but it’s nice to be reminded of the fact that different choices are possible, and that choices are there to be had, even if they are permanent and unchangeable. It’s a sober, but realistic point that there are some things in life that don’t get reflected in the games you play.


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