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Isshak Ferdjani's blog

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Isshak Ferdjani avatar 3:27 PM on 04.04.2012  (server time)
Dreaming: Choice, Destiny, and Alternate Realities

Each time I have to make a choice, I freeze. I start thinking about all the repercussions it will have, but also what would happen if I had picked a different option. We are shaped by our choices, and I'll be damned if I end up being defined by wrong ones. A small part of me believes in destiny, not in the sense that all I do was meant to happen, no. I do believe in freedom of choice, still I like to think that in the greater scheme of things, our choices lead us to our destiny. It may sound contradictory, but it makes sense in my mind.

Each time I have to make a choice nowadays, I flip a coin or roll a dice. Why? Because I create universes. In one of those alternate worlds, I chose the other option, I walked on a different path, I went the other way. By rolling a dice or flipping a coin, I essentially guarantee to choose everything while experiencing one thing. So what I failed in this version of myself? Out there exists another me, or multiple other mes, and one of them at least succeeded. Even if it was not me, it was still me. I may not have seen it, but it happened somewhere.

The concept of choice creating new worlds is something I find very interesting. More than that, the concept of exploring multiple retelling of the same story through multiple eyes, or living the same story with one different choice that engages us in a different narrative, are both things I wish we would see more of in video games. It's more than an a choice in Mass Effect that comes back two games later. That's not enough for me. I want a choice that changes the game.

Imagine this: you are part of a group of people sent on a planet to uncover an alien artifact. Pretty standard stuff. You find it, and realize it controls time and space. Everyone on your team has baggage, has a dark past that they wish they could change, so you use the artifact to go back in time and change one thing per team mate's life that they wish they could change, and explore the consequences. Or you could decide to go back to before you got the mission and try to learn why they sent you to get this. You could also go to the future and see how things changed after you brought it back. The catch is you can only make one choice per playthrough. A new playthrough would mean a new choice, and each team mate's life could be a very different genre too. The badass soldier's could be an FPS, the weird scientist's could be a puzzle game, the young assistant's could be an RPG, the main character's could be a horror game, and the old cook's could be a racing game from his past glory days. So many possibilities.

There are so many ways that one could use the concept of destiny, time travel and choice to produce brand new experiences. All we need are developers ready to do it, and publishers willing to take risks. That or Kickstarter.

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