Video games' stories have become great at giving us the deception of unrestrained choice. Be that as it may, much of the time, the decisions we're given don't generally make a difference. For instance, in inFamous Second Son, it is not important if we behave well or badly,  the effect to the title's story is negligible. Or, in another game called Fable III, the only thing your behaviours affect is the color of your wings!

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Fable III wings will be white or red depending on whether you are good or evil

A definitive figment

It shouldn't be astonishing that video games' stories are often built linearly since that's just how games work. Reactions and activities have already been designed in definite ways. In other words, we are destined for a final fate.

Some special cases still exist, however. They usually are the missions which drive the whole story. For example, there is a task in Fallout 3 in which you are given 2 choices: to save everyone in a town by preventing a nuclear weapon from exploding or to let things be just for money. GTA 5, another excellent game, has a total of 3 different fates for the characters.

Check out all endings of blockbuster GTA 5 below!

Moreover, there are games like Until Dawn, in which even the way you treat animals will somehow affect your character's life in the later part of the storyline. For instance, if you choose to harm or kill any of the wild creatures, nature will finally bite back and the suffering is inevitable.
However, these cases are not something that every game has.
The problems which really irritate us is hard to explain.  Some games have such great stories that make us want to keep playing them forever. Titles such as The Last of Us have officially demonstrated that games can affect us inwardly – the relationship of 2 protagonists is massively great, so much so that it possibly made some of us burst into tears.

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Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us

That being said, the extremely disappointing point is that a few titles offer us the deception of through and through freedom just to distract us when we attempt to control our own path in the game. In some games, the "bad" decisions won't make you suffer after that as results of butterfly effect, but rather force you to play the game again until you do it the "right", or the programmed way.

The eventual fate of freedom in games

There are titles that seem to give us more control. In Fallout 76, you can decide to be a lovely one who wishes to cooperate with others to prevent enemies from getting the nuclear codes from your hands or be a selfish, unreasonable maniac who kills everyone to keep the codes for yourself.

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In Fallout 76 you can even find a way to launch the nuclear weapon.

Red Dead Redemption 2 already has some gameplay walkthrough/demo videos, base on which we can predict that it would let us choose to become the deadliest outlaw or become the icon of redemption. Bear in mind that in a crazy West World, it's really hard to keep track of the path we want our character to follow. However, whether those choices really give some drastic differences or just are deceptions to confuse us is unclear (we should find out soon and it is exciting to wait).

It's almost certain that developers are by and large more aspiring with regards to offering freedom. The makers of Detroit: Become Human have said that their game can conclude in over 1,000 distinct ways. Ultimately, however, the ways are still linear. Building a whole game world inhabited by AI characters who can learn and adapt to shape the story is an attractive prospect, but it's also really complicated.

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Detroit: Become Human's creators claimed that it has over 1,000 endings

The AI's actions are fairly unpredictable. Since they don't comprehend the "common sense" of humans, they can react terribly. This may lead to a result: some curious, die-hard gamers will desire to commit extremenely terrible actions only to find out what would happen.

The problem with freedom

Giving people a chance to run wild in online game worlds inhabited by other real humans doesn't appear to lessen such dangers. Several online communities have some twisted players, sometimes to the point of being distrubing. For example, there are cases where players in DayZ force a new player to take off their clothes to commit humiliation, a form of "virtual rape".

It's anything but difficult to make the argument that players who partake in disgusting trolling acts like DayZ's virtual harrassment shouldn't be permitted to play freely among AI NPC or normal people. However that opens up a whole new problem about censorship, and what actions are morally acceptable.

Think of Westworld, a show about an amusement park that is created (apparently) exclusively for visitors to slaughter or potentially engage in sexual relations with mechanical AI. According to an important figure of this show, this is a place to satisfy people's deepest desire. It successfully satisfies your darkest self and thus exposes who you truly are, the most insane part that humans tend to hide away from the world.

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DayZ players' acts can be really disturbing

If that is true of human communication with computerized/AI partners, it implies that we're simply touching the most superficial layer of what video games can show us about ourselves.

Dolores, along with different characters in Westworld, regularly say that “these violent delights have violent ends". Perhaps they're correct – we may have had Mario bounce off Yoshi's back and forsake him to his death, or fast-saved before slaughtering a whole town in Skyrim, but in the future we might see games more as a way to express ourselves than simply a tool to temporarily escape from reality.

In any case, it won't be long until a game designer is daring enough to offer us the power to decide, and present us with 'genuine' through and through freedom.