The History of the Choose Your Own Adventure Book Series

Back in the day, entertainment was simple: you start at the beginning and follow each exact step until you reach the pre-determined end. Even the early days of adventure video games sent every player down the same path, resulting in the same end. But the Choose Your Own Adventure book series changed everything! Suddenly, our minds expanded. What do you mean we can all read the same book but end up with different outcomes?! And you’re telling me that the reader gets to make key plot decisions?! The whole idea blew our minds.

For those of you who weren’t around back then, I get it. We now play video games with a million decisions to make, and no two players choose the same path (I’m looking at you, newer Zelda games!) We get to watch streaming series where it doesn’t matter what episode you start with and can watch in any order (Kaleidoscope) or movies that have adopted the Choose Your Own Adventure method (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch). But back then, unless you were part of the smaller contingent that indulged in role-playing games with your friends, the idea of choosing your own fantastical path through existing stories seemed so innovative.

No matter how the Choose Your Own Adventure style structure is used today, there’s no denying it all started with the classic, mind-blowing book series in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Watch the fascinating history of the book series below:

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