Interactive television is not something new. For years, television executives have done their best to get the audience involved at a more meaningful level. From voting for a character to live or die, to the more accepted ‘American Idol,’ interactive systems. Now, Netflix wants to take hit series Black Mirror into the interactive zone and create a whole new era of audience engagement.
Black Mirror is one of those series that creates conversations. In the first season, the audience was greeted with grim and chilling future under the complete control of technology. As the series matured, more optimistic happier endings were introduced, and this also saw increased viewership. But, there was a significant portion of the viewing population who wasn’t happy and took to social media to say so, and this gave Netflix an idea. If Black Mirror is so divisive due to the potential decisions of the cast or plot twists in the script, give the audience more control of those two things.
Apparently, this won’t be vote based. Netflix will not introduce some sort of weird polling system and the decision with the most votes gets what they want. Instead, viewers will be able to make an instant choice, just like ‘choose your own adventure books’ from the 90’s, where children would be given a bunch of scenarios and would have to pick one.
The timing for this is unclear, but it has been speculated – based on Netflix scheduling – that the next season of Black Mirror should be released this year. That means that over the next few months, the way we view and interact with television could change forever. After all, it can’t be long until the method of interaction, in the form of artificial intelligence, evolves also and we have what is finally a completely immersive experience.