So, I guess I’m not done harping about the thought experiment. I just feel like it’s confirming some obvious things, while at the same time opening me to new perspectives on this thing of ours we call “solo roleplaying”.
One obvious thing that it has driven home in a way that feels final is the fact that if you try to solo roleplay outside of the CYOA or the most basic random dungeon/hexcrawling experience(or with games that don’t require much content creation as you’re taking on a player role), you’ll have no choice but to assume the GM mantle. There is no such thing as truly emulating a GM. Each time you ask a question, and each time you interpret a pair of keywords, you are in fact assuming GM duties. The only thing the dice mechanic we call an “emulator” is doing is ratifying or denying the output that you came up with when you assumed the creative duties of the GM as you were imagining possible states of the imaginary world outside of controlling your PC.
This is pretty obvious, and many of us have touched upon it before. I still insisted in looking for ways to actually have an experience that was less like assuming those GM duties.