Subway Syndrome: The Drawbacks of Choice

Explore a phenomenon I’ve dubbed "Subway Syndrome" (Yes, like the sandwich), as it relates to the choice-heavy model for gaming.

Subway, Chipotle, and choose-your-own-ingredients restaurants give you so many options that you’re bound to make a mistake. Add jalapeƱos and mustard to your tuna? Sure! Sounds great! Throw some ranch and honey on your tortilla soup. Eventually modification leads you to mistake and regret. "Why did I choose this? I should have gotten the BBQ. Why did I add this? I shouldn’t have put so many weird flavors here."

How does the potential for regret affect the multi-choice gaming model? In what ways does modification and the opportunity to customize your experience create drawbacks or detract from what could be a solid core/well-crafted story/canon/writing? How does it impact your experience as a user?

Much has been said (even by me) of the benefits of choose-your-own adventure games. Can someone play Devil’s Advocate?

    Want to write about Games or other art forms?

    Create writer account