Bander, Vander Sach, Keno Auto Motte discussed on Stuff To Blow Your Mind


Do you have any fond memories of to show an adventure books? Absolutely I was obsessed with them. I loved them when I was in elementary school and I would love them. Despite the fact that you die in most of the endings like it imposes a kind of Horrible paranoid fatalism on a child. I think where you know. This is a book about exploring the Arctic. But almost no matter what you do you get eaten by a polar bear fall beneath the ice. And you can't get out I guess my young brain was drawn to that kind of thing though you know like Morbid Obsession with payroll and in danger and death and all that but also I'm curious what is so appealing about the choose your own adventure books because one thing we should say that. This is not the first interactive film. Vander Sach not. A previous attempts at interactive films have generally been very unpopular I think a lot of times people don't actually enjoy the experience of choosing the outcome of a film and I think there are reasons for that I mean for one thing. It's just like hard to make a story where like multiple like so many different options of how the story could go with all be equally satisfying mean. There's a reason that an author writes a story a certain way right. Like for instance One Phil we've talked about on the show before William Castle's Mr. Sardonicus from nineteen sixty one was presented was marketed as having an interactive element. In that at the end of this you got to choose the fate for the villain. Would it be you know justice or mercy and the thing is a audiences never chose mercy for this horrible Villain of course they always chose Justice and so there were even accusations that they never even showed the alternate version. Like the the idea that who is interactive was just You know the the the pitch was just the marketing but there was no actual interactive element William Castle. I think claimed otherwise saying yes. They did shoot the sequence. I do not know personally if if that's true or not if this footage has ever materialized but what I did I did read. Was that generally people point to nineteen sixty seven's Keno Auto Motte as the first truly interactive film. But even that I think there are only like four choices that could be made in. This film was also I think largely comedic okay Well I mean I would think there many reasons why this format doesn't always work for some reason it worked for me as a kid with the choose your own adventure books. I loved those but I mean one problem I think is that it. It's hard to make all the narrative branches as good as each other but another one is just that like for instance. Sweeney finish it. There's I don't think there was ever a sense where I'm like. Okay that's the ending. I got no I want the good ending. I want to the robust ending. You go back and do it again. It's more like a video game. The ending where I randomly die like the story of the Super. Mario is not that he's killed by a a mutant turtle Three minutes into the game. You know that's that's not a an epic tale so in some ways. I think the. Choose your own adventure. Books are sometimes better thought of is like a puzzle to solve than as a narrative to be experienced in another big difference. I will say is that one of the great pleasures of watching a movie or reading a book or you know engaging in any kind of narrative with a an author storyteller and you as the passive audience is a surrendering of responsibility for what is about to happen in your own mind you give up that responsibility and suddenly you know when when bad things continue to happen in the story when characters make disastrous decisions that unfold and increase the payroll and heightened the drama. You're not responsible for what's happening. Your just witnessing it and that that witnessing very fund is peaking through a hole in the wall and what's happening to somebody else when they make you make decisions it introduces this horrible tension between what you want to see versus what you think you should do. A you know like Th that I think there's this tension whenever a great example would be in bander snatch. I often felt in a bizarre way morally compelled to make the Tamer safer options. Yes where at the same time. I felt more interested in seeing the more dangerous disastrous options. Play out yeah this was. This was definitely my experience with my first. Viewing bander snatch. Is that when when the decision start hitting you later on? They become like this horrible. Choisir this horrible choice and becomes harder to play this game but earlier on there are moments where you're like. Are you going to do the sensible thing or the more rebellious thing or even the more dangerous think and I found myself choosing the safer thing Like like minor spoiler here but he is. He's offered the choice between producing his dream game with this company at their offices with their support or or saying no to them. And so the responsible part of me is like yes. Say Yes to this is employment. This is going to be good for you clearly. You're you're stuck in a weird situation at home you need to get out of the house. Protagonist and and so. That's the way I went but it's ultimately not the best choice and it. Kinda Dead Ends. If you take that choice we yeah the it almost kind of gives you a little slap on the wrist for making that choice so he so. I don't want to spoil anything but yeah There's there's like a slight shaming of the viewer for choosing the safe option and this is very early on so we're not really spoiling anything. Think Nature. But but yeah. I would do that a lot I would. I would make safe choices. And in fact it it ultimately ended up reminding me a little bit of the spacing guild in Dune who of course used the spice to see into the future to figure out how to navigate the dangers of space which is helpful. You're advocating the dangers of space but into late in life in in politics and all these other choices it. It's this road to stagnation for the spacing guild because they always make the the safe choice and when we look at the narratives that we love generally they're not about people making the safe choice after safe choice after safe choice. They're about people flying off. The handles are making huge mistakes and having to deal with those and so there is. I think there's a learning curve there with banner snatch and so my second viewing of it. I tried to do more of that. I tried to make choices that I felt. Were interesting or or more dramatic and that seemed to work really well and I and I feel like the The the product rewards you for doing that. Yeah so I think that tension is definitely there with the movies. I wonder if it's more the case in a movie than a book just because a movie is more sense orally Visceral the fact that you know that it's actually visually presented to you in video and audio makes it harder to pursue you know. You're sort of lust for drama. And and and weirdness and whatever it is you WANNA see As OPPOSED TO MAKING THE SAFER CHOICES. I don't recall feeling compelled to make the safer choice the same way with. Choose your own adventure books. Yeah that could just be because of like the lower sensory salience of books compared to movies. I don't know maybe so I finally re fondly remember the junior adventure books as well in part because they had them at the library and I could check them out. Yeah that also another series that I finally remember the lone wolf series. We familiar with these now. So these their their series of these the first one is by Joe Deaver and Gary Chalk and this is a. they're like choose your own adventure series very much fantasy dungeons and dragons style high fantasy. But there's more of a role playing element to it. So for instance. When you open the book it has not only a map of the adventuring world. You're taking a part of but there's also an action chart and a combat record Because you'RE GONNA end up having to pencil in your stats as you go through the story. picking spells and so forth It's more like a one player. Dnd Module. Yeah exactly. It's like imagine it's like a choose your own adventure book and a one player Dnd module come together into this one. Little Thome so I finally remembered those and I might be missing remembering here but I think I did get turned off later on when I I reached a a an artificial dead end in one of them might. There was something broken and I couldn't go back. Oh no yeah but again. I'm my memory may not be perfect on that. If you're at all interested in this format I'd do highly recommend picking up one of these old fabulous us copies of the lone wolf series and I think they've republish them again with new artwork. But I don't know the classic. Our work is exactly the kind of thing. I love the chooser adventure book that I brought in today for for you to look at Robert is called you are a shark by Edward Packard. It has a kid turning into a shark. He's like mid anamour sequence so man but he also looks like he's slipping and sliding as he turns into a shark. Good that's pretty brilliant too like channeling something that children and especially of that time would have been familiar would have likely done and giving this fantastic spin on it. But it's the story is essentially The fingle toppling seen from overdrawn at the Memory Bank just gets transformed into various. Different animals. Do you you know you get turned into an elephant or a seagull. Or of course a shark. I think I recall one death where you get turned into a squid and you're being chased by something. Maybe it is a shark and you run out of ink to to disguise yourself with and you're doomed all right well Coming back to bander snatch. We mentioned the video game aspect. Nineteen eighty-four choose your own adventure books other number of other elements in Asia's in there as well. It deals with mental illness. It deals with Lsd THEIR ALLUSIONS TO PHILIP K. Dick there There's mention of alternate timelines. And of course. It spends a lot of time contemplating this idea of a free will and the potential illusion of choice. Yeah I think that's the main theme of it is is interrogating the idea of what it means to be in control of one's own actions. Yeah.

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