I'm breaking out this discussion from this thread
I said: "Railroading is a technique" - and some more, claiming that railroading is a tool that may be used effectively to help immersion and engagement in a game. ...
I've never met a tabletop gamer who would have stood for that, or at least not one who mentioned it to me in passing.
I agree with Tomas. I'm always telling my players if I'm railroading or not. I don't see the point trying to hide it. That's why I think "illusionism" is a pretty strange term.
The thing is, even if I'm open with railroading my players, I can still give the illusion if player choice. Things that happens in the first scene may have importance in future scenes. Is it still illusionism? I define railroading as I got place A, B, C and D and the PCs have to get to those places in order (in looser rails: in any order). But when they are there, they may do whatever they want, probably creating consequences in future scenes. Is it still railroading? Illusionism?
Is railroading bad? No, it's a technique that can be used for several purposes. I usually use it for cool twists, like in The Usual Suspects, Stay or The Sixth Sense, but I can also use it as a scenario structure. In Feng Shui, I got a combat in the beginning to start things off and a combat at the end. What happens in between is up to the players. It's their duty to find a path to the end scene.