Netflix released the anticipated Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. The newest installment contains interactive features which allow viewers to choose their own path within the episode. There are five definitive endings according to Netflix, but each ending has multiple variations; it is a unique experience for every viewer.
Set in the 1980’s, the episode follows a young programmer, Stefan, as he attempts to turn a choose your own adventure book, Bandersnatch, into an interactive video game. Viewers are first prompted to decide which breakfast cereal Stefan eats: Frosties or Sugar Puffs. From here you are taken through Stefan’s life, dictating the path he takes.
Some choices seem to elicit the same result, however, the further along you get the more unique your path becomes. You will notice quickly that Stefan starts to feel as if he is not in control of his own decisions, growing more paranoid with each choice.
The darkest part of the episode is that even though we are the ones making the decisions, we are just as unsure of the future as Stefan. This further highlights the dangers of technology and its unpredictability.
Black Mirror is said to parallel the dark side of technology and portrays normal people and their relationships as they endure the consequences of our reliance on technology. The series consistently poses a cynical perspective on humanity and never fails to make it feel all too real. Though each episode is different, they all articulate the same criticism.
Bandersnatch is an innovative take on the influence of technology, even in its earliest forms.