Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pro Choices

So I recently applied to a couple of Universities for business and history studies (What DON’T they have in common!?)at York and Trent. York got back to me about two weeks ago to let me know I had been accepted and all was well because, by dangit, I was going to York.

Today Trent sent me an E-mail to let me know they, also, wanted me to join their ranks as a soldier of academia. Well crap, now what was I going to do? I mean I knew exactly which one I wanted to attend when it was only York yearning for the honour of my presence, but now the Trent faction has made a tempting offer. What’s a man to do?

What is it about being forced to decide something that changes everything about it? A Choose Your Own Adventure story is totally different than a Hardy Boys book. Sure, either way it’s a couple of prepubescent kids uncovering an underground crime ring but whether or not they succeed is now in your hands. That is stressful stuff.

If there are two things prepubescent kids are good at it's
solving mysteries and piloting giant robots

The same holds true in a video game, many gamers have spoken about how they love a good storyline in an RPG yet become paralyzed when playing Grand Theft Auto. All of a sudden there are just too many options, Do I walk over there? Stay here? Get in that car? Buy a Hotdog? Shoot a hooker? Frick if I know.

Video games have had an increasing amount of decision making thrown into the mix. Montreal based Bioware, best known for the Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect games, has focused on it as a primary gaming device, forcing you to make difficult moral decisions that will inevitably lead you to the light or dark side of the force or force analog. In ages past the Fallout games combined the Sandbox style of gameplay with the option to make decisions that change the world itself. The same goes for Peter Molyneux’s Fable series. All of these games have multiple endings and encourage multiple play-throughs to see them all. Don’t even get me start on Star Ocean : The Second Story's 88 different endings.

If you save just before this you can go back and not push him off the roof.
Alternatively you can go back and push him again.

Choices are scary. Well, maybe you’re good at them but I buckle under the pressure. Which movie do I want to see? Well the best one of course. Hopefully somebody else knows which one that is. Which sandwich do I want to eat? The one that looks best of course. And, of course, you can’t keep your finger on the last page or save your game just before you decide which University you’re going to attend, you have to suck it up and hope you’re making the right choice. Unfortunately I haven’t made a choice that I wouldn't discover the outcome of for 4 years, but I imagine I’m making the right decision, I mean it looks better, so how could I go wrong?

Until next time, I sure hope we solve this mystery!



  1. Bioware is from Edmonton. :/

  2. Right you are sir, I was confusing it with Ubisoft Montreal