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Black Mirror - Bandersnatch

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27 minutes ago, K said:

One really clever thing is 

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that after I opted to have Colin to jump off the balcony, he was then mysteriously absent from the rest of the episode. Dunno how often he shows up if you choose for Stefan to jump, but I thought that was a nice touch.

 

 

 

 


 

If you choose Stefan then he just dies, the game gets rush released and you have no option but to go back and pick Colin.

 

Like you, Colin disappeared for chunks in my game after he jumped to the point where his girlfriend was looking for him, but then at some point he kept turning up at the office and I eventually had the option to kill him in my bedroom.

 

Colin feels like the narrator of the meta aspect of the story but I can't really pin down why he's sometimes there after jumping, even conversing with the owner of the game company, and sometimes he is supposedly missing.

 
 

 

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The concept of this is more interesting than the actual content. I like what it does, but I also don't like what it does. If that makes any sense. 

 

Just when it was getting really good and really into the existential themes of multiple paths through a multiverse, it got stupid. Which is a shame. 

 

Either way, it was interesting.

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I really liked it.  I kind of get some of the points that people have made, like that it doesn’t really feel like it explores some of the themes it puts forward particularly well, but I think that its really well done in terms of how it delivers the experience.  It probably helps that I was bought up reading choose your own adventure books from the local library and my childhood gaming experience was pretty much the period this was set in - the style of games that we see are more or less what made up my early years.  This alone meant my nostalgia feelings were off the chart.

 

I didnt really know anything about the setting or time period before coming in, and from what I’d heard was expecting something a little like a full “film” experience with a number of paths leading to definite ends.  Basically that each viewing would be around feature length before it would end, so the format it actually gives was a bit jarring at first.  Then I realised it actually perfectly fits the theme of a choose your own adventure novel, and they do it in a way that actually doesn’t detract from it while making it so you can redo bits without it being tedious.  In fact, in a way it reminded me of how you’d sometimes keep your finger on the page when you made you a seeming choice in the CYOA books, just in case you made the wrong one so you could restart from there without reading everything again.

 

In terms of the actual story I found it engaging enough.  Its not amazing and wouldn’t work nearly as well without the gimmick.  I thought all of the paths I saw (I think I saw about 4 “full” endings) were at least interesting.  It still felt a bit restrained if anything though.  Like they were busy making sure it worked to really do anything too daring.  And I think in that respect its been a success.

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On 29/12/2018 at 01:39, Goose said:

I thought this was really clever - Will Poulter was excellent.

 

But come on, you're giving me a choice where one of the answers is

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Tangerine Dream?

I'm picking that every day and twice on a Sunday. Cobblers to the outcome!

 

I'm not about to try to devalue your opinion but I did not recognise either album. I chose Bermuda Triangle, by Tomita, it's fucking awesome.

 

Ok, I will have to try the alternative.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Thor said:

The concept of this is more interesting than the actual content. I like what it does, but I also don't like what it does. If that makes any sense. 

 

Just when it was getting really good and really into the existential themes of multiple paths through a multiverse, it got stupid. Which is a shame. 

 

Either way, it was interesting.

 

I'm interested to see what cleverer writers and programme makers might do with it. I'd love to see something like Comedy Bang Bang done with it.

 

1 hour ago, deerokus said:

Now I want someone to do a proper drama series or something about Imagine software and the 80s bedroom coders. It's one of those cultural things that we are losing to American cultural imperialism - people only ever hear about ET carts, the crash and the NES and think that was going on here too. 

 

As Commercial Breaks and Micro Men already exist, proooobably the only story from the early 80s UK era with enough interest would be the making of Elite. I expect something about the founding of Games Workshop will happen sooner or later.

 

It did occur to me that a show about Mirrorsoft in the late 80s/early 90s would let you cover the stories of bringing Tetris to the West, as well as the Bitmap Bros and Sensible Software.

 

But sadly I expect anything that doesn't have the Speccy at its heart (likewise the NES and/or Apple II in the US) would be seen as too niche by TV producers.

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Watched this through a second time to see a few more endings and ended up having more of an appreciation for how difficult it must have been to film. Even a few variations must have been a continuity nightmare so I think it's a lot more of an impressive achievement than it may first appear.

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I tihnk the first half of my watch through was excellent. Tons of ideas and layers to unpick. But then it definitely started to stall, and I guess that's kind of inevitable when your choices are determining which sections you see and which you don't. Some plot lines go nowhere, characters disappear

Spoiler

I never saw Colin again after he jumped, for example, which makes sense perhaps, but if he's dead, some actual resolution would've been good

The recap each time you reach a game over and have to go back also starts to get tiresome. There were still some good bits in there though

Spoiler

Like the way the PAC thing emerges and becomes bigger once he decides to put a conspiracy plot into the game

But then the ending I got almost seemed to anticipate my increasing boredom and the plot's lack of direction.

Spoiler

I did the whole Netflix thing, finishing with a fight with Dr Haynes and being dragged out of her office ranting. When Haynes asked why if this was a TV show it wasn't a more exciting story, it seemed like I'd been played all along. The idea that it just wasn't really going anywhere coherent, so fuck it, let's have a comedy ending, is arguably one of the better bits of meta commentary on the genre in the show.

 

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On 29/12/2018 at 23:50, MK-1601 said:

 

Mainly it just reminded me why nobody has done this idea since the mid-90s.

 

*Looks at David Cage*

*Looks at Telltale Games*

*Looks at Dontnod*

*Looks at Wales Interactive*

*Looks at Sam Barlow*

 

Yes, nobody.

 

Relatedly, I see they've used this "tech" to bring Minecraft: Story Mode to Netflix.

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Yeah, this really did remind me of Sam Barlow, in that it used the interactivity to tell a story that you couldn't do in another medium. There was a PS4 game, Late Shift, from last year that did a similar thing in a kind of Guy Ritchie milieu, which was kind of charming in its own way and had some genuinely tough choices, but was nowhere near as well-executed as Bandersnatch.

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Also the Zero Escape games. In particular Virtue's Last Reward. 

 

I loved this. Going to go through it again tomorrow I think with some different decisions to see how they play out. I've just been absent-mindedly thinking about this in the shower and realised... 

 

Spoiler

... when he took the game in on the submission date it didn't work because he made it more complicated with a secret agent route - which turned out to be the route we were going down with the PACS project.

 

I wonder if the conversation with the between the main dude and the office manager mirrored a conversation between the writers and Netflix. "It's already complicated enough - why do you want to add another ending!" 

 

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8 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

I tihnk the first half of my watch through was excellent. Tons of ideas and layers to unpick. But then it definitely started to stall, and I guess that's kind of inevitable when your choices are determining which sections you see and which you don't. Some plot lines go nowhere, characters disappear

  Reveal hidden contents

I never saw Colin again after he jumped, for example, which makes sense perhaps, but if he's dead, some actual resolution would've been good

The recap each time you reach a game over and have to go back also starts to get tiresome. There were still some good bits in there though

  Reveal hidden contents

Like the way the PAC thing emerges and becomes bigger once he decides to put a conspiracy plot into the game

But then the ending I got almost seemed to anticipate my increasing boredom and the plot's lack of direction.

  Reveal hidden contents

I did the whole Netflix thing, finishing with a fight with Dr Haynes and being dragged out of her office ranting. When Haynes asked why if this was a TV show it wasn't a more exciting story, it seemed like I'd been played all along. The idea that it just wasn't really going anywhere coherent, so fuck it, let's have a comedy ending, is arguably one of the better bits of meta commentary on the genre in the show.

 

 

I don't want to spoil it but I feel like unless you reach what I will call the train ending then you haven't really seen the 'proper' ending. And I think it's quite deliberate that some of the endings are not satisfying on their own merits because it's part of the critique of the interactive narrative that, as much as we claim to want choice and branching paths, in reality we all want the most satisfying, emotionally resonant ending even if we have to be poked and prodded into it with infinite restarts and do-overs from the crappy or crazy meta endings we reached.

 

The more I dwell on it the more I like how it's a piece about the battle for authorial control that occurs between creator and player in the interactive narrative medium. And in some ways it's very reminiscent of The Stanley Parable in its commentary on your choices. Eg

 

 

If you choose to kill Colin in your bedroom he says something like he understands that you have to see this path but you can restart from earlier on once you've killed him. Basically Brooker saying he knows you're just killing Colin to see what happens and that it will probably lead to a bad ending because you know you can go back and try to get the good ending later. But don't worry, it's human nature to want to see the terrible endings but still be able to enjoy the good endings later with no consequence (thus undermining the idea of living with your choices in these games anyway.)

 

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5 hours ago, Majora said:

 

I don't want to spoil it but I feel like unless you reach what I will call the train ending then you haven't really seen the 'proper' ending. And I think it's quite deliberate that some of the endings are not satisfying on their own merits because it's part of the critique of the interactive narrative that, as much as we claim to want choice and branching paths, in reality we all want the most satisfying, emotionally resonant ending even if we have to be poked and prodded into it with infinite restarts and do-overs from the crappy or crazy meta endings we reached.

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If you choose to kill Colin in your bedroom he says something like he understands that you have to see this path but you can restart from earlier on once you've killed him. Basically Brooker saying he knows you're just killing Colin to see what happens and that it will probably lead to a bad ending because you know you can go back and try to get the good ending later. But don't worry, it's human nature to want to see the terrible endings but still be able to enjoy the good endings later with no consequence (thus undermining the idea of living with your choices in these games anyway.)

 

I think it goes against the intention somewhat to think of any ending as 'proper' in these things. And I was quite happy with the one I got - it made sense in its own way and at that point any kind of coherent narrative resolution seemed unnecessary. It's interesting to read about the other endings, but there's something to be said for just stopping at whatever end point you reach and taking that as the story you've brought about through your choices.

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I loved the Jeff Minter cameo. This was definitely a film by gamers, about gamers, for gamers.  Also loved that after a rewind you could pick the same option, but then get a different outcome.

 

 


When choosing between the photo or the book, the same option had one path where when he touched the mirror it shattered, and the same option next time he went through the glass.
 

 

 

That was a real wow moment as it started me thinking just how many different branches there might be, or that there was some randomisation of the story too... But having read the comments here I think I've seen all the things discussed, so maybe it's just an illusion of choice, which as @Bacon Horsemeat pointed out, is very meta.

 

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On 29/12/2018 at 19:47, dumpster said:

I got a good ending.

 

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He goes with the mum and gets the earlier train.  No PAC or anything.
 

 

 

 

I think that was a bad ending too. It’s alluded that he dies as the next scene is in the therapist room as adult where he’s dead as an adult?

 

I was going to spoiler this post but then the whole thread should be spoiler tagged lol

 

I was really frustrated at this ending because I knew rhe 0845 train was going to end in both of them dying but strangely, I felt like this is what Stefan wanted and forced me to go along with it!

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jolly said:

Also the Zero Escape games. In particular Virtue's Last Reward. 

 

I loved this. Going to go through it again tomorrow I think with some different decisions to see how they play out. I've just been absent-mindedly thinking about this in the shower and realised... 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

... when he took the game in on the submission date it didn't work because he made it more complicated with a secret agent route - which turned out to be the route we were going down with the PACS project.

 

I wonder if the conversation with the between the main dude and the office manager mirrored a conversation between the writers and Netflix. "It's already complicated enough - why do you want to add another ending!" 

 

Yeah this owes more to VLR than anything else . In as much as you have to reach a conclusion to unlock another time line . 

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Haven't watched it yet, but her stuff is usually decent quality

 

 

edit: Having watched it, it seems like a last minute, rushed, bandwagon jump job to exploit the spike in youtube searches, watchable, but I'm sorry if that was your first exposure.

edit again: fucking hell, that sounds really snotty, it wasn't that bad :lol: The other stuff is better, put it that way.

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without spoilers - can you watch this more than once and choose different options? Or are you options "locked in" for rewatches once chosen?

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1 hour ago, Clipper said:

without spoilers - can you watch this more than once and choose different options? Or are you options "locked in" for rewatches once chosen?

 

The entire episode is built around choosing different options without even needing to restart it. It'll make sense once you start playing it.

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The bit where you have to put in a phone number ... My cursor wouldn't move and the only number I could enter was 00000... Meaning I got a "this number isn't valid" phone tone. Did everyone else get that?

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3 hours ago, Clipper said:

without spoilers - can you watch this more than once and choose different options? Or are you options "locked in" for rewatches once chosen?

 

Apparently all your choices are forgotten if you start it again. 

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20 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

The bit where you have to put in a phone number ... My cursor wouldn't move and the only number I could enter was 00000... Meaning I got a "this number isn't valid" phone tone. Did everyone else get that?

 

No, I could put the number in!

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