Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch Brings New Horizons For Interactive Storytelling
January 4th, 2019
Tugging at the boundaries of passive viewing, popular sci-fi series Black Mirror last week released an interactive “Choose your own adventure” style episode using Netflix to make it available to audiences worldwide.
By giving viewers first-hand power to alter the course of the narrative and change the ending, the television show saw unprecedented engagement levels, with some hooked for over 4 hours.
Standing by the overarching tone of the series, each decision brings with it unsettling consequences and leaves the viewer battling with their own morals to define the outcome for both the main character and those around him. Alongside the primary endings, the episode is also packed with hidden easter eggs waiting to be discovered.
“Bandersnatch is a wonderfully well thought out and creative experience. The storytelling revolves around the interactivity which not only leads to some joyful meta moments but helps resonate the idea of choice in the viewers head as they navigate the story.
This certainly feels like a massive step forward in Interactive Storytelling. What will be most interesting is to see how Netflix and other media services might expand on this. How would an interactive series of a show like Stranger Things work? It’s an exciting time to see how interactive storytelling will develop. “
Poxy, Creative Brand Director, WIREWAX
Needless to say, within the first few days of going live, the episode has already earned an almost cult following.
With record-level prolonged interaction and a surge in social media engagement it begs the question: Are we experiencing a major turning point in enhanced interactive viewing with Bandersnatch? And with this setting the tone for 2019, what else can we expect throughout the year?
“In TV land; storytellers and technologists generally live in very different places. Frankly, technology-driven storytelling has been largely the domain of niche art installations and it takes real pioneers to make net new approaches to an entrenched [and let’s be honest, chaotic] industry.
We’ve seen users like the BBC step out in this world and gain huge engagement for doing so (for example, with the hit series The Secret Life Of Boys) and now seeing our friends at Netflix take the plunge with their biggest satirical show has brought new audiences who’d not even thought about the possibilities of interactive storytelling.”
Dan Garraway, Co-founder, WIREWAX