The future is here: Viewers can now control the fate of characters in a television show. Netflix has begun an interactive project that will allow viewers to decide the outcome of the original series Black Mirror’s fifth season. Netflix is planning on multiple voting platforms that allows the viewers to control the storyline as it progresses through the season.
The new extension to the streaming service will debut in December. Although it is not the first time Netflix has tried interactive television shows, this is one of the few it has tried with popular, adult-oriented shows. Interactive shows were first introduced within the children's genre in early June, combining games that were part of the story.
Currently, Netflix is the only company testing interactive television. Other companies have experimented with it on apps in the past, but not across multiple platforms. The production costs associated with an interactive narrative are higher rather than a normal film production. With that expansion of their technology, it may encourage viewer engagement. We have yet to draw conclusions as to whether or not adult viewers want interactive media as part of the viewing experience. Some may think it is inclusive, and others think it leads to spoilers. The Imagineers can’t wait to experiment with this concept, the future of interactive media has so much to hold.
Story by: Kelsey Currie