I see choices everywhere right now. Did you ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure book? I used to borrow them from the library in grade school. My mother was the town librarian but I didn’t dare admit my secret affection for them.
They looked like a regular paperback novel in size and shape and each one had a familiar font and graphics on the front and a title you wouldn’t think was misplaced on a Hardy Boys book. Shit like “SPACE AND BEYOND” “JOURNEY UNDER THE SEA”.
Each followed a similar pattern of introducing your character and the scene and then giving you a choice as to what direction the story went it. It usually started fairly simply, with no dire consequences to your choices.
If you want the sea captain to pull up the anchor and shove off, turn to page 11
If you think the captain should wait 5 more minutes for Peter, turn to page 14.
Anyway, each book had about 5-6 different endings, at least one including your untimely death and a plethora of ways to get there.
I’m at the part of my story that has the most choices so far.
There were always folded corners and bookmarks left in Choose Your Own adventures so that you could go back if you’d made a particularly bad decision.
Occasionally some smartass kid (sometimes me) would write the conclusions beside the answers:
To pull the handle, go to page 147
(Do NOT pull the handle or a giant boulder falls on you and you DIE!!!!)
To turn around a run, go to page 133 (You live another day but you girlfriend leaves you!)
To push the pirate into the sea, go to page 89 (You get 2 more choices then DEAD AGAIN!)
To make an excuse and go back to your room, go to page 111 (WINNER WINNER!)
If you laid a well-used Choose Your Own Adventure book on its side, it was usually quite apparent where the major turning points in the story lines were by the fact that it would spring open a bit on pages where there were major multiple choices.
The kids who read CYOA books in an attempt to trick a teacher into thinking they had read an actual novel tended to try and find the quickest route to their demise as possible.
I was always aiming to read the longest, most complicated story line in the book.