This post only applies to interactive fiction that (1) has or provides the opportunity for theme* and message, in the sense that good literature has themes and may tell us a message about those themes; and (2) takes the reader seriously as a co-author of the piece.
In such a case, a problem arises: who should have the last word about the message of the piece? If the player is constantly addressing the theme of the story by making thematically significant choices, but is denied the opportunity to decide the final message of the piece, she will feel disgruntled.** On the other hand, by giving the player the last word, there is the risk of suppressing the author's view, which may be undesirable as well.
There are two basic strategies to overcome this problem, which I will call the parallel and the tangential strategy. In the parallel strategy, both the author and the player state their point of view, without one dominating the other. "I believe this," the author says, "and what do you think?" In the tangential strategy, the author and the player state their point of view concerning a different theme. For instance, the player might be at liberty to comment on the relative importance of happiness and greatness, while the author is commenting on gender roles.
Are there any examples of games that incorporate one or both of these strategies? And how do they carry over to roleplaying games?
* Those among my audience who are used to the RPG-theoretic terminology of The Forge should read 'premise' where I say 'theme', and 'theme' where I say 'message'. I consider my terminology to be more closely aligned with common usage. (A premise, for instance, is the logical basis of an argument, but not what the argument is about.) This is not something I want to discuss here.
** I wonder how the verb "to gruntle" got to have both the meaning "to complain, to grumble" and "to cause to be more favourably inclined". If any word does not sound like its meaning, it is gruntle in the second meaning. Aha, interesting information can be found here.