Mechanics of Choice
July 7, 2017 5:35 AM   Subscribe

In Atlas Obscura, author Jay Leibold explains how he mapped the plots of his Choose Your Own Adventure Books.
posted by Miko (4 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry, Miko. It's a double.
posted by hippybear at 5:46 AM on July 7, 2017

Thanks hippybear. I should have included this in the FPP, but it's really a followup to the post you linked. The author had seen the post featuring the ChooseCo maps, and decided to send in his own original map to show how he had hand-plotted the stories. Really, they make more sense when read together.
posted by Miko at 6:02 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Those two articles go well together. I was prompted to go back and read the first article about the mapping, and all the nostalgia came flooding in. I have such vivid memories of these books first coming out in the library. I can still see the cover of The Cave of Time clearly in my mind when I first saw it on the spinning book rack. I had quite a few weekends of just filling my backpack with all the books I could get away with, and taking them over to my grandmother's house for a sleepover, staying up late at night reading them. Who knew at the time they would have such enduring appeal?

It probably didn't hurt at the time that text adventures on computers were becoming popular, and much of the appeal was that they were types of novels in which you had agency to try different paths as you navigated to get to the end. I've always wondered if those earliest games (late 1970s) were part of the motivation for trying to capture it in print. That fundamental value of readerly freedom also seems like a flowerbed from which we come to value the present day's "sandbox experience" in video games as a high-mark in design. There is a strong appeal towards virtual and storytelling experiences that allow us agency and participation.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:57 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by zamboni at 9:10 AM on July 7, 2017 [18 favorites]

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