San Diego CityBeat has given its annual Summer Guide a creative twist this year by designing an interactive “Choose Your Own Summer Adventure” issue for readers:
CityBeat’s editorial team was having trouble deciding what to do with this year’s Summer Guide. Do we just play it plain and promote whatever random stuff arrives in our inbox? Do we pick a theme and hope it isn’t too limiting? What do our readers really want to do with their vacation days? Then it struck us: Our readers want to decide for themselves.
Our indecision became a blessing. We’ve taken a few pages from the Choose Your Own Adventure books that inspired us as kids and present our stab at interactive fiction. Here’s how it works: Start reading and whenever you’re presented with a choice, jump to the section with the corresponding number.
The guide starts early in the morning and gives readers three options: pack up the car and head out of town, satisfy a craving for pancakes, or hit the snooze button and go back to bed. Each option leads to a description of a local attraction and then gives the reader another set of choices.
“It’s easy to get down on special issues,” said arts editor Kinsee Morlan. “But it’s fun to actually take advantage of them and flex some of those creative juices.”