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Netflix is using interactive TV to allow users to change the storyline in an episode of the dystopian sci-fi show Black Mirror, according to Bloomberg. The “choose-your-own-adventure” special effects will be added to the show’s fifth season, coming this December.
It’s not the first time Netflix is using interactive technology to engage its viewers. In the first couple of episodes of the show, Puss in Book, the viewer has to decide whether the cat will fight a god or a tree. These interactive models have been used mostly for kid shows, including Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout.
Shows with the viewer-involved option have a small video game controller icon marked on the thumbnail to differentiate from non-interactive shows.
Netflix doesn’t know if adding multiple scenarios to a Black Mirror episode will increase its demand or not. One thing for sure is that this will add extra production time and money to create a special episode. More variations in an episode mean longer scripts and high production costs.
Not everyone on Twitter is stoked on the idea.
Am I alone in categorically not wanting this? I want someone to give me a story. And if I've watched this, I'd have to watch it again until I'd seen the other outcomes. In which case make several versions and just let me watch them. https://t.co/oSJA3rNJQF— Curious Iguana (@curiousiguana) October 1, 2018
But others see it as a natural step for a show that deals with dystopian technology.
Then at the end of the episode you realise that you are in fact the episode! pic.twitter.com/fkcP7Dgnax— Damien Wood Esq ☕ (@JayDamienX) October 1, 2018
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Sunny Kim studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in the Daily Texan and Popular Mechanics.