[[quoteright:160:[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Pokemon_Red_201.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:160:Professor Oak conveniently "[[HelloInsertNameHere forgets]]" his own grandson's name.]]

If I ask you, "what color is the dragon in my garage?" and your reply becomes true no matter what color you give, you just answered Schrödinger's Question.

This is a [[RolePlayingGame role-playing]] trope where you determine reality by answering a question whose answer you don't know. It reverses causality: instead of your reply being based on the correct answer, the correct answer is based on your reply. It's a way of letting players in on [[WorldBuilding building the universe]] and, as such, is a subtle form of BreakingTheFourthWall.

A mild version of this trope appears when an RPG asks you to [[HelloInsertNameHere name a party recruit]]. You may never have met her before but once you give her name, even her family refers to her so. Note that there ''are'' occasions where naming a character doesn't fit this trope: nicknaming a freshly caught Franchise/{{Pokemon}} has a good in-game explanation, but naming your rival does not.

More {{egregious}} examples can be found below.

Related to [[SchrodingersGun Schrödinger's Gun]], where the game or GameMaster changes reality but the player is not complicit.

Named after [[UsefulNotes/SchrodingersCat Schrödinger's Cat]].


[[folder:Video Games]]

[[folder: Action Adventure ]]

* {{Hand Wave}}d in ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia'' due to the psychic powers of the hero, Will. When he is asked to pick a card near the game's beginning, he finds the right one no matter which he chooses.


[[folder: Eastern RPG ]]

* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' allows the player to name party recruits. It makes sense with some characters (Crono, the SilentProtagonist, or his childhood friend Lucca), less sense with other characters (Marle, whom you've never met before she appears), or no sense at all ([[spoiler:Magus]], who's mentioned by his default name numerous times before he joins your party). Furthermore, if you change your name mid-game, all the {{NPC}}s change their dialogue, which means you actually changed the way they remember you. Note that Robo does not fit this trope because Marle literally names him.
** Marle's a interesting case [[spoiler:because it's a nickname she gave herself on the spot. The royal court will still refer to her by her actual name of "Nadia". However, you are free to actually name her Nadia if you knew this beforehand, and watch as all the situations where her real name and her nickname come into conflict, despite it being the exact same.]]
*** In the original Japanese, the potential conflict with Marle's name does not occur. [[spoiler:Marle's real name is simply her nickname plus a "dia" suffix. So if you name her Marle, it's Marledia. If you try to name her Nadia, she becomes Nadiadia, et cetera,]] so it's impossible for her nickname and real name to conflict.
** In the case of Magus, that was the name he was given by the Mystics who took him in (his real name is [[spoiler:Janus]]), so it is giving you the chance to refer to him by his real name from that point onward. Still a bit strange if you decide to give him a totally different name instead, though.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' lets you rename the characters, but one, who's given a fake name to start with, is referred to as "Nanaki" later on by those who actually know him, no matter what other name you give him (potentially leading to the wonderful line "Nanaki, who is 'Nanaki'?" on subsequent playthroughs). A better example would be in the reunion scene after the player has [[spoiler:escaped from Midgar]]. Cloud recounts the details of events 5 years prior and at various points he will be interrupted by another character asking him if he did something or went somewhere and the player is given the option to decide yes or no, despite that the events hypothetically already have happened. This, however makes sense considering the fact that [[spoiler:Cloud is not telling the truth about what happened.]]
* A funny example in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' occurs when Zidane, in attempt to be serious, calls Dagger by her real name. If you name her Garnet from the get go, it comes out as "Garnet. No... Princess Garnet."
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** In most versions, the professor who delivers the opening monologue allows you to name your rival as he "forgets" the name of his own grandson, son, or daughter. [[http://www.vgcats.com/super/?strip_id=1 Parodied here.]]
** In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal]]'', you run into a trainer who just stole his Pokémon from Professor Elm. When you return to the lab, the police ask you his name. Up to this point, the trainer was identified only as "???", even in his ''own dialogue'' where he says [[MyNameIsQuestionMarks "My name's ???."]] The UpdatedRerelease ([=HeartGold/SoulSilver=]) works around it by calling him "Passerby Boy" in the meantime, and when he drops his trainer ID card while walking away, he reprimands your character for reading it, noting that "you saw my name" without revealing what his name is supposed to be.
** In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Emerald]]'', you can choose whether Latias or Latios appears by telling your mom what color Pokémon you saw on TV flying over Hoenn.
** In the ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'' games, you get to determine what kind of Pokémon your partner will be, along with their name. Despite the fact that they, unlike you, existed ''before'' you entered the picture. [[spoiler:They hadn't existed for long in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon Super]]'', though.]]
* In ''VideoGame/StarOcean First Departure'', there's a PA where Roddick has to guess which of Ilia and Ashlay will win a drinking contest. [[spoiler:Whoever you pick loses, and their alcohol costs 10% of your current Fol.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', Emil is asked to guess which of Lloyd's companions joined him at the end of ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''. Since it was based on RelationshipValues there, ''any'' answer could be a correct one, and, indeed, no matter what Emil (that is, the player) guesses, Lloyd admits that he guessed correctly. Later scenes have Lloyd confide in that character in particular (with romantic leanings if the character chosen was female.)
* In ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'', you need to figure out the various mysteries yourself by answering questions relating to the clues you've collected. However, there is one subplot (Nickel's) where answering the conclusion questions differently will still produce a correct answer but cause the nature of the mystery to change: it is possible for Nickel to be either [[spoiler:gambling]] or [[spoiler:investing]] depending on what you think [[spoiler:the number slips]] mean.
** Subverted in another conclusion. When Florentine confronts [[spoiler:Aunty]] about [[spoiler:the nature of FOIL]], she will say something different depending on the personality traits you picked in the initial questionnaire. [[spoiler:Aunty]] will confirm either, but [[spoiler:they're all lies, and the true purpose of FOIL remains constant regardless of Florentine's assertion]].
* In ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'', the player can decide to make an effort to negotiate with [[AbsoluteXenophobe Alex]] on behalf of [[AllLovingHero Eliza]], the former having possibly murdered a few innocent people and plans on doing nothing short of genocide in NLA. This decision affects the ending of the related mission chain; if the player does go the full mile with negotiation, Alex dies whimpering that he and Eliza used to see eye to eye, indicating that he wasn't always that evil before. If the player shows absolutely no mercy to Alex during negotiations, Alex spews out one more HannibalLecture before getting shot in the back (long story), implying that he's always been a xenophobic monster.


[[folder: Interactive Fiction ]]

* {{Inverted|Trope}} in ''Amnesia'' - To test how badly you have amnesia, you give yourself a test, and state what hair and eye colour you think you have... Then you look in a mirror, and find you couldn't have been more wrong, whatever you enter.
* In the Creator/{{Infocom}} mystery game ''Moonmist'', you are asked your favorite color at the beginning of the game. Your response determines the identity of the "ghost." (Adaptive puzzles are a common feature of IF games.)
* PlayedWith in Douglas Adams' ''{{Bureaucracy}}'', where you'll be asked a number of questions at the beginning of the game. The program will then delight in having characters call you the wrong name, refer to you as the wrong gender, have wonderful objects appear in your least favorite color, and generally use the info you give to screw with you as much as possible.
* Played with in ''[[http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=f55km4uutt2cqwwz Brain Guzzlers from Beyond!]]'': the magazine quiz you take at the start of the game determines your hair color and the inventory item you're carrying (that can be used to bypass a specific puzzle) but some of its questions are obviously just meant to be silly, like the one that asks which ice cream flavor is your favorite with "Death-by-chocolate triple fudge" as one of the options, and have zero impact on gameplay.


[[folder: Western RPG ]]

* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'':
** Naming your dog in the Human Noble Origin. In every other origin, you first meet and adopt the dog during the course of the game, so giving him a name on the spot makes perfect sense. In the Human Noble origin, however, you've had your dog for most of your life, but are still asked to give him a name in the same manner.
** If you go with the Mage Origin and play an elf, fellow elven mage Eadric will ask where you're from. You can choose the Denerim alienage, Lothering, or say you don't even remember your life pre-Circle.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series:
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' generates a background for the PlayerCharacter based on your answers to a series of questions during character creation. These questions affect your starting skills, equipment, and reputation. Answering them in certain ways (you'll likely [[GuideDangIt need to consult a guide]]) can make you a [[MinMaxing Min-Maxed]] powerhouse) and can hand you a DiscOneNuke starting weapon. You can also choose to skip the questions, which has the game answer the questions at random. ([[VideoGameDelegationPenalty This can be quite detrimental]], however, as the game is likely to saddle you with buffs to skills you don't intend to use and can give you poor starting equipment.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'':
*** During character creation, you will be asked to select your race. Once you've chosen, the camera angle will immediately jump from "average" height to match the height of your new race. This can be quite the shift up (for an Altmer or Orc) or down (for a Bosmer) depending on your choice.
*** Shortly after picking your race, you will choose your class and birthsign. Whatever you choose, even if you create a custom class from scratch and name it, will show up on the official documents you receive immediately after. The birthsign in particular is notable because part of the main quest's plot-driving prophecy requires that [[TheChosenOne the Nerevarine]] be born "on a certain day". Presumably, that "certain day" falls under whatever birth sign you chose.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' also plays this one straight with the soon-to-be-assassinated emperor (voiced by Patrick we-could-only-afford-him-for-one-afternoon Stewart) quizzing your character on his or her star sign.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' has a downplayed example when, after you have chosen your race during character creation, the Imperial soldier recording your information will offer an explanation for why a person of your race may have been crossing the border into Skyrim. Downplayed because it has no real in-game effects (though your race may help you in a few cases, such as an Orc PlayerCharacter being allowed straight into Orc strongholds while a character of another race must first complete a quest to prove his/her worthiness to enter).
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', a doctor asks you a series of questions to evaluate your personality and memory. Which is fair, seeing as he just nursed you back to health from a bad case of [[TisOnlyABulletInTheBrain 'Got-Shot-In-Headitis.']]
** Doc comments that he got the 'important bits' of your reconstructive surgery right, no matter how much you change your character from the default. [[FridgeLogic Presumably 'important bits' just meant things like 'number of eyeballs' and 'amount of skull.']] He also always says, when you give him your name, "It's not what I would've picked for you, but if that's your name, that's your name.", leading some players to question just what kind of name he would have picked.
* The canceled game ''VideoGame/FalloutVanBuren'' would have started with your character in a jail cell, and one of your first character-defining choices would have been if you were or were not guilty of the crime you were locked up for.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'', an early conversation has the player determine their version of what happened at the end of the previous game, as well as the gender of its player character. A slightly later but still early conversation decides the color and type of your old lightsaber. At the end of the game, [[spoiler:Atris was originally supposed to fight the player with their old lightsaber.]]
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights: Shadows of Undrentide'', your character engages in a pointless discussion with an evil spirit, who attempts to find out about your past. How you decide to answer the spirit makes no difference to the outcome; the only discernible purpose to the exchange is so that the player can give him/herself a cool backstory.
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask Of The Betrayer'' has conversations with [[spoiler:Bishop's spirit]] and [[spoiler:Ammon Jerro]] that determine what happened to your party members from the previous campaign.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/UltimaVII''; the leader of the ChurchOfHappyology will ask you questions for a personality test. No matter what answers you choose, he will always interpret them as the "worst" choices, diagnosing you with a screwed up psyche badly in need of his cult's guidance.
* In ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', [[spoiler: the proper answer to the question [[ArcWords "What can change the nature of a man?"]] is the one you choose.]]
* Occurs at the end of a Zombie Slayer run in ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing''; you've spent the entire game thus far trying to fix the ZombieApocalypse as [[MonsterLord an intelligent zombie with your own personal horde]], and now that you've been cured (or realized it was AllJustADream, if you dropped the path mid-run) you need to "remember" which one of the six normal classes you "were".
* Tremendously common in ''VideoGame/FallenLondon''. There's plentiful quests where you grind a quality, be it progress in a hunt, duel training, progress in breeding a creature, how close you are to your destination on a sea voyage, how much you've cased a place to rob, among others. Only at the end of it all do you actually pick ''what'' you hunt/duel/breed/arrive to/burglarize/etc.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse: VideoGame/SaveTheLight'', Steven sees one of the Crystal Gems on the beach from a distance. He's then asked which Gem he saw. The player can pick Garnet, Amethyst, or Pearl, and whichever one picked will be the one that's actually there and the first to join the party.


[[folder: Real Time Strategy ]]

* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' does this in the Hanson missions. If you choose to assist the protoss by clearing an infestation in the final mission, the infestated areas cover large sections of the map. If you fight off the protoss, trusting the colony's main scientist to find a cure, only a few infested people are seen in a quarantine area.


[[folder: Simulation Game ]]

* In the ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' games, the PlayerCharacter's face and starting outfit are determined by your answers to Rover's (in the original, ''City Folk'', and ''New Leaf'')/Kapp'n's (in ''Wild World'') questions at the very beginning of the game. The name of the town and in ''New Leaf'', its layout, is also determined by Rover[=/=]Kappn asking where you're headed.
* In ''Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer'', the player character is about to arrive at Nook's Homes for the first day on the job, and Tom Nook has lost the hiring forms. He asks Lottie for the new hire's name, and [[HelloInsertNameHere her answer is determined by the player]]. Nook then has to remember if the new hire is a boy or a girl, as well as what they look like. His mental image is again determined by the player, and it becomes the player character's actual appearance.


[[folder: Survival Horror ]]

* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'': the answers the player gives during Dr. Kauffman's therapy sessions not only help to determine Harry's past, but some features of the actual town as well.


[[folder: Third Person Shooter ]]

* The identity of the [[spoiler:human Council member]] is made by the player about an hour into ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. While the decision was made at the end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', there is no autosave after it, necessitating that it be put into the game. It works rather well: [[spoiler:Miranda is trying to assess how good your memory is after you're brought back to life. It's one of three questions you're asked.]] But only if you [[OldSaveBonus imported a save from the first game]]. If you start with a new character, [[spoiler:Udina will always be the councilor.]]


[[folder: Visual Novel ]]

* In the common route of ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', after completing Refrain and gaining access to the Ecstasy heroine routes, a new choice is added that asks whether or not Riki sees Kanata as hostile or friendly. Her behavior towards the rest of the cast will reflect whatever choice is made, and picking hostile locks the player out of her route.


[[folder: Other ]]

* On two separate occasions in ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'', at the start of a mission one of your wingmen asks you for your opinion on "that song", with your yes or no answer determining which of two possibilities your next mission or two will be. The thing is, in-universe, the choice is actually determined by a coin-flip, but the results of it depend on your answer to that question - which is {{foreshadow|ing}}ed by the possible names of the song. Say you liked it and it's "Face of the Coin"; say you didn't and it's "Back of the Coin".

[[folder:Non Video Game Examples]]
* Commonly inverted in {{tabletop RPG}}s where players ask {{Game Master}}s leading questions in hope of changing reality to suit their characters' needs. It's actually an explicit part of the rules in a number of games, including ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', ''TabletopGame/FengShui'', ''{{Adventure}}'', and the ''{{FATE}}'' System. For instance:
-->'''Player:''' Is there a chandelier hanging from the ceiling?\\
'''GM:''' Sure.
* Actually encouraged in some types of (sometimes called 'narrativist') tabletop [=RPGs=], such as [[http://www.onesevendesign.com/ladyblackbird/ Lady Blackbird]], where the Game Master sends questions back to player characters, letting them [[WorldBuilding build the world themselves]] as they speak:
-->'''Player:''' What does the imperial guard look like?\\
'''GM:''' Well, you've been working as an imperial guard yourself five years ago. So tell me, what does the guard look like?
* Just before the end of the play ''Shear Madness'', the action is paused, the house lights come up, and audience members are allowed to question all the suspects and vote on the identity of the murderer. The audience is always "correct" - That is, the play has multiple endings and whoever the audience chooses always turns out to have been the killer.