So that gets us into a "tree falling in the woods" kind of situation: If a gamer is only ever going to play something once, does the other path even "exist"?
I think that, as along as the player is aware that branching according to their choices is occurring, then the existence of the branch is meaningful to the player even if they don't replay the game. I care more about what is going on if I know that what I'm doing affects what is going on. I suppose that for a no-replaying gamer, a game with branches is equivalent to a game that tricks you into thinking there are branches, at least until the gamer talks to someone else who has played the game.
Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.