Choose Your Own Adventure

Ed Grabianowski over at [io9][] has a nice memoir about his encounter with a particular Choose Your Own Adventure book, _ Inside UFO 54-40_. The story itself has “you” picked up by aliens in search of a paradisiacal planet called Ultima. The book itself lets you roam the space craft, usually ending with “your” death in various ways, some quite confounding. But no Ultima:

> Because there was no way to reach Ultima. It’s there in the book. It’s on page 101. But no choices will get you there. You can only reach it by thumbing through the book and finding it. It even acknowledges that you had to cheat to get there.
> Which means that even if you do find it, it’s still frustrating. That’s a whole lot of ambivalence and ambiguity to lay on an 8-year-old. I can only win by cheating? There are no correct answers in life? Or is it some kind of Zen koan about achieving happiness? I spent a couple sleepless nights staring at the ceiling trying to understand what UFO 54-40 was telling me.

This would be an interesting story to graph as a network (because CYOA narratives are visualizable as such). You’d have that one node hanging out there. *The* node.

*I didn’t encounter these books when I was a kid, so I order a bunch, ostensibly for my daughter. I can’t wait for them to arrive.*


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