By now, you've most likely watched (or played) the new interactive film 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' by media overlords Netflix. If you haven't, you're about to be implored to. 'Bandersnatch' is a revolutionary film and is about to change the way we interact with traditional media forever. Check out the below article by Samantha Simmons where she perfectly sums up why you need to play this film.
"I feel like I just witnessed history change."
To oversimplify, its an interactive choose-your-own-adventure produced by the Netflix/Black Mirror team about a young boy who is developing a decision tree based video game inspired by the book “Bandersnatch”. Viewers are given 10 seconds to respond to a handful of options throughout the experience that will dictate what happens next. You essentially become not just the audience but a main character in the plot.
In an early part of the episode, you are asked to decide what cereal the main character eats for breakfast. Seems simple enough — until you realize later on that the cereal you chose is now showing up later in the episode. It’s a noticeable nod to advertising we see all the time in movies and television but this time it’s my fault that its there.
“They found the one thing that can keep an audience focused — being the star of the show.”
The concept of a decision tree in its simplest form is easy to understand, but what this particular episode has done has used the topic of mental health and the appearance of a simple choice between two options to start to make you question every single decision. Answers you made start to show up later on in other timelines and scenes and suddenly it feels like every answer is the wrong one (but in the most fun way imaginable).
This is my formal love letter and notice of encouragement for anyone reading this to go and watch “Bandersnatch”. It’s an experience unlike one we’ve had since children reading the Goosebumps series and one I’m not sure I’ll forget.