The Future Of Entertainment

Make a choice: Do you want to engage with your media passively or actively?

[Source Photos: THE POST- RILEE LOCKHART- example of the choice.]

Interactive storytelling is a form of digital entertainment in which the story line is not predetermined. The author creates the setting, characters, and situation which the narrative must address, but the user experiences a unique story based on their interactions with the story world.This allows us to build complex narratives that include loops, guiding viewers back to the main story when they strayed too far, giving them a chance of a do-over.

NETFLIX BRANCHES OUT

The December 2018 premiere of Netflix’s Black Mirror Bandersnatch offered consumers a new way to experience the entertainment they’re watching. What viewers might see as a simple choice, such as which breakfast cereal a character begins the day with, could affect the whole show’s story line. There are other choices to make as well, some of which change the plot, and some of which may not.

Viewers aren’t watching these interactive films just once. Rather, they are watching them over and over again to find each ending and post maps of the plot lines. I think I sat on my couch for nearly three hours straight trying to find all of Bandersnatch’s choices as it followed a programmer and designer through the process of game development.

[Source Photos: ETSY- dice used in DnD to play an interactive storytelling game.]

CONTROLLING YOUR OWN DESTINY

Dungeons & Dragons provides a way to understand and expand what Bandersnatch explores. Role-playing games let players pick characters with multiple traits, such as strength, health and special skills, and work together to achieve story-driven goals.

Role-playing games started with players gathered around a table, keeping notes on paper and rolling dice to incorporate the role of chance and probability into the adventure. A human game master coordinated everything, keeping track of what was happening and working with players to advance their stories and the overall plot of the adventure.

ILLUSION OF CHOICE

With Bandersnatch, Netflix used software to process viewers’ choices and deliver the appropriate video. When watching and “playing,” I wondered if there were too few choices. The show offered only two choices of breakfast cereal, and the viewer couldn’t choose to skip breakfast, make eggs, or open the freezer to grab some ice cream. But maybe there’s a very good reason for these constraints.

FUTURE OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA

There will be more interactive movies. Netflix has built its own software for Bandersnatch, which it can use for other stories too. There are already several addictive interactive kids’ shows, including Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck.

Gamers are already familiar with this style of film, interactivity, and branching narrative. Cinematic video games, like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain, let players make choices in dialog and other cinematic aspects, all of which alter the endings. 

As technology continues to grow and expand, so do movies. Choosing your own ending adds a twist and excitement to entertainment today and will be the future of Media. 

2 thoughts on “The Future Of Entertainment

  1. It would be a shame for Telltale games not to be mentioned. They took the traditional adventure game and drew in many new players to the genre of game. So much so, people often refer to this genre of games as “Telltale Adventure Game.”

    When Telltale made their Walking Dead game, they serialized the game into several episodes, and then into 4 ‘seasons.’ Not only did they have engaging writing and difficult decisions, but consequences carried over past the end of the game and into the later episodes and potentially into the later seasons. In Telltales the Walking Dead some choices often meant which characters either loved you, hated you or straight up ended up dead. When two people play through 4 seasons of content like this, their experiences within the game will likely end up being totally different between them.

    If you are looking to get into these types of games I would recommend this game. If you are looking for something more light-hearted TellTales Minecraft: Story Mode is also a good step into telltale games.

  2. Hey Daylyn, Interesting article! I really do love interactive content! Its partly why Im in this program.
    Some things i would like to see on your content improve are;

    – Picture content, search for images that better represent the article, perhaps some screenshots from the Netflix films, or a picture of a dungeons and dragons game.

    – More external links and sources. For example; I would like to learn more about the game dungeons and dragons and its rules if you could direct me to a credible website that would be superb!

    Overall very interesting thought and prediction, although i doubt majority of the movies will go down the “interactive” path, as i think from personal experience and from asking around friends that most people like to just “relax and enjoy the movie” and not worry about making decisions especially if they have to re watch the very similar film to find out a different ending. That being said there is an up rise in the “interactive film” trend so perhaps there is a niche there. Again awesome post, great food for thought!

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