The Choice Ep. 1: Debriefing
May 31, 2013
3 minute read

To the programmers

It’s too easy! Where’s the documentation for the API? I found an injection vulnerability! Global functions from ‘window’ leak! I tried to attack your server then realized nginx was ignoring me!

Keep struggling, my pretties. The game is not meant for you, but you are good guinea pigs nonetheless. Just because the game involved programming, you found yourself so, so terribly wrong about one thing: that you understood at all what was happening.

Just because you have access to the source does not mean you understand the logic behind it. And even if you did understand the intricacies of the question system, of the various technical components that make the actual run, what knowledge does that give you of the actual game world?

The Choice as you have been graciously allowed to experiment it, is the first Episode of an adventure game you know very little about. It is not a tutorial. It is not an interactive programming course. Your path in this adventure depends less on how quickly you can code than on who you actually are.

Tell me, if you are so smart - who is EEM? What happened to the numans? You felt compelled to cheat, either by weakness of mind, or impatience - do you not realize the irony of this? Do you not understand that anything you give to the government is ultimately against your own interest?

You know nothing of The Choice. If you thought it was about entering the right door, then you, my friend, are sorely mistaken.

To the rest of you

I applaud your performance. Getting into such a game is not easy. It takes humility to bow down before such a heartless government and try to overrule tyranny with your own knowledge.

The process was not easy, though. You were belittled, humiliated. What kept you going? Was it the fear of ending up like a bunch of numans, piled up on a four-digit space station?

Or was it the will to fight back against what you consider unjust? While this enterprise may seem noble at first, who are you to judge? Perhaps your rightful place is in a silicon mine after all?

Do not get ahead of yourselves. Even if you do eventually acquire some semblance of programming skills, a lot more will be required of you before you can have the tiniest bit of influence over the course of the universe or its politics.

In the meantime, you are a tool under scrutiny, nothing more. You are one fuck-up away from joining the numan ranks. And when you eventually get there - because you will - what will save you? Conditionals? I don’t think so.

If you want to be of any utility to the resistance efforts, you better get some solid rest in the next few weeks. You, my friend, are going to need it.

What is this?

Yesterday I released The Choice - described by some as “The Portal of programming”. I disagree. I don’t think it’s easy to qualify the game, especially since this is only the start.

By far the most alive place for The Choice feedback was on the Hacker News submission. It’s an interesting crowd because even though I really, really can’t take anymore of the whole start-up scene and illuminastrivia, there are mostly two categories on HN: those who pretend to be programmers, and the others.

This is not a post-mortem - The Choice is alive and well, thank you very much. It is merely just a word of warning to the players, about what they can expect in the next installments…