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A lot was said about the newest Black Mirror episode (film?), "Bandersnatch", and now I got a chance to see it. Or should I say, play it? As everyone probably knows by now, it's an episode where you can make decisions for the main character and choose between two options multiple times through the story. In the beginning, you choose between two boxes of cereal or two music bands to listen to, but it escalates quickly and before you know, you choose between life and death. Or do you?

It's unbelievable how engaging it is. I watched it with my sister and soon we were talking to each other, reacting to impossible choices we got, feeling responsible for what's happened and discussing what we should do when we get a chance to go back and choose differently (there are few places in the story where you can do it). At the same time, it's clear you don't have as much to say as you may think you have. The episode  gives you options to choose from, but it actually leads you, suggests, ignores your choices and surprises you with the concequences. Different paths bring various twists to the story, almost all of them could happen on television, and to add more confusion, some characters can remember your previous choices and feel something is wrong, like they didn't "have control over their own lives". Two hours pass and you're still trying to get the best possible ending, judged by the outcome of the computer game the main character creates. Or should you stop worrying about the game and start thinking about the poor character? I don't want to spoil the episode to anyone so I won't say more about the choices and where the story goes. But that game-episode is perfect. It gives you an illusion of choice and makes you play as the creators want. Five stars out of five. And I'm not making any more decisions today.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 23rd, 2019 05:49 pm (UTC)
Wait, so if it's interactive, that means it's an (episode of) TV show for comps only and not TVs?
Apr. 23rd, 2019 06:05 pm (UTC)
Black Mirror is on Netflix and you can watch it on a computer or on tv. But no, it couldn't be released on traditional television.
Apr. 23rd, 2019 08:48 pm (UTC)
Comp show! A historical moment of a new genre! :D
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )