Games: a series of interesting – moral - choices
There are many types of games available for people to play and enjoy. One of the most familiar and heartwarming ones are narrative driven games. These are games where the player is the protagonist. They represent a singular avatar and experience the world and explore paths in the story together.
If you’ve ever read the “Choose your own adventure” type of books then you know what I’m talking about. As the character, you interact with and make decisions as you move through the world. When reading the book your turn to page XX in order to see what happens.
The Black Mirror movie: Banderstanch is a modern day application of this idea and the concept of branching narratives. Those branching narratives represent the directions that players can go in once they make a decision. The results (or consequences) of those decisions then inform the player what will happen next.
This type of interaction, this creativity, is critical for games. Making those decisions (no matter how small) are what give players agency so that they can continue to engage and play. Designers have been using this formula for years in creating interesting situations and scenarios for players.
However, there are some limitations to this format and structure. What if you don’t want to make a decision at this point? Or: what if you don’t like ANY of the decisions offered. Can you pass? Can you make a non-decision? Sometimes the answer is yet. But most of the time the answer is no. You MUST make a decision to continue to follow the narrative and find out wherever your decision leads.