In his short Emmy acceptance speech last night, executive producer and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker thanked not only Netflix, but “everyone on the tech side in Los Gatos, who pulled off a magic trick.”
This short shout-out from Brooker should be fulfilling for any tech savvy storyteller or narrative designers who’s been working (toiling?) in the interactive fiction space for many, many years.
Yes, perhaps it’s a bit tough to see Netflix come along and take credit for moving the medium forward when the format of Bandersnatch is hardly bleeding edge in the space, but at least he’s acknowledged that pulling its magic trick off required skills that live outside the usual filmmaking tool kit of Hollywood.
For some context, last night Netflix’s Black Mirror took home the Emmy for “Outstanding Television Movie” for the Bandersnatch episode of its most recent season.
This is notable for the fact that it’s the first time an interactive episode of anything has won the category, and certainly it marks a pivotal moment where IF might just get over the finish line of becoming a mainstream medium, adding more fuel on to the fire that is already simmering as it were.
As we’ve covered here before, Netflix has talked about accelerating its production of interactive content and their Emmy win will only validate their efforts.
The bad news, as we see it, is that we will probably get an inevitable glut of copycat products and quickly produced choose-your-own-adventures that may not put the genre in the best light.
If this happens and audiences don’t get truly innovative experiences that enhance what TV is already doing, then the fad will quickly die and we’ll be back to square one.
But, who knows, perhaps that’s all for the best.
Our sci-fi text adventure The Pulse is out now.