Netflix’s interactive movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is at once something old and something new. The idea of “choose your own adventure” stories goes back decades — there are plenty of books, movies, and video games designed to let the audience control a story’s outcome — but Bandersnatch feels like a leap forward for the form, one where interactivity is built into the design from the first moments of the story. It is not like the 1985 theatrical release of Clue, where different movie theaters received one of three possible endings, nor is it like many video games (Bethesda games like Fallout 3, CD Projekt’s The Witcher series) where the bulk of a story stays the same while a few major decisions eliminate some narrative branches along the way. Bandersnatch is compulsively interactive, with decision points never more than a few minutes apart from one another, ranging in significance from the superficial (what brand of cereal to eat?) to the life-altering (should your protagonist jump to his death?). The story Bandersnatch tells is about a young video-game designer named Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead). Stefan’s life goal is to adapt his favorite choose-your-own-adventure book — also called Bandersnatch, of course — and as he… Read full this story
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