Choose Your Own Adventure is formerly hugely popular a series of children’s gamebooks which sold more than 250 million copies between 1979 and 1998. Each story was written from a second-person point of view, the reader taking on the role of the story’s protagonist. At multiple points in each story the protagonist is faced with a choice, a decision as how to act given a certain circumstance. The reader, as protagonist, chooses one of several potential options presented in the book, jumps to the page number corresponding to that choice, and the story continues from there until the next decision point is reached. In effect, the reader determines the main character’s actions and thereby the outcome of the story.
Now, thanks to the Truman National Security Project, you can Choose Your Own Trumpventure. Donald Trump’s proposed policies have been described as ridiculous and unrealistic. A potential Donald Trump presidency has been described as dangerous to national security, a danger internationally and danger to American democracy. But the actual outcomes of Trump’s policies and his presidency are unknown. Thanks to this new game you can help determine the result of implementing these policies and the success of President Trump. As described by the creators of the game:
“It’s a basic lesson that we all learn as children: the things that you say and do now affect what happens to you in the future. There are many serious ways we inculcate this fundamental idea throughout childhood, adolescence, and well into adulthood. Indeed, some of us never stop learning this lesson.
“One of the more fanciful ways to understand this basic cause-and-effect fact of life was through choose your own ending-style books. As the player character, you could weave your way through a narrative picking and choosing how the stories evolved. Your choices mattered—and often against the backdrop of fantastical situations.
“And in 2016, we’ve found ourselves in a pretty fantastical situation. Now more than ever, our choices as voters—as citizens of the republic—matter.
“That’s why we designed Choose Your Own Trumpventure.
“The scenarios we’ve envisioned place you, the player character, in a wide variety of roles and working on a range of different issues tangent to President Trump’s White House. Still, the underlying point is the same throughout: If we take candidate Donald Trump at his word, the choices he would attempt to make as President would have very serious consequences for the United States and the world.
“We don’t claim to be able to predict the future. These are best guesses about how things might turn out, and while we’d be the first to admit they can skew towards the dramatic, we’ve tried to ground every cause and effect in plausible reality. While the choose your own ending-syle format is meant to be fun (and we certainly had a few laughs writing Trumpian dialogue), the substance here is serious.
“Nor are we even saying we can guess what is going on inside Trump’s head—indeed, that may be even more boisterous than claiming powers of foresight. Trump’s presidency could be a weak and impotent thing, permanently handicapped by his failure to understand governance or policy. But again, if we take him at his word—which each of these stories have tried to do—we’re headed for serious consequences.
“So without further ado, step into the shoes of someone close to the Trump White House and see just what the consequences of your (and more pointedly, his) choices might be.”