Black Mirror could become even more self-referential in the near future, as Netflix seeks to broaden its scope into various domains, including video games. It’s likely that the Charlie Brooker series will be one of the selected franchises to explore storytelling in a different format. Launched in 2011, Black Mirror has risen to prominence as one of the most acclaimed offerings on the streaming platform, sparking intense discussions on social media. The series delves into themes concerning the darker aspects of technology and communication, presenting scenarios that appear futuristic yet resonate with the contemporary world.
Moreover, Black Mirror has been instrumental in enabling Netflix to venture into innovative storytelling techniques, including the development of interactive content. Today, such narratives have become a standard offering on the platform, with projects like “Choose Love,” “You vs. Wild,” and the special edition of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” However, it was Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch” that pioneered this format. The series continues to exemplify that its narratives and characters possess limitless potential for creative exploration.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Netflix is actively working on expanding its video game offerings. This expansion includes the development of games inspired by its most successful productions, such as Black Mirror, Wednesday, Extraction, and Squid Game. Netflix is also exploring the possibility of obtaining the license for Grand Theft Auto, which is arguably one of the most popular video game franchises in history.
The streaming platform currently features a variety of games in its lineup, including some that are already tied to well-known shows like “The Queen’s Gambit,” the limited series from 2020 featuring Anya Taylor-Joy.
Black Mirror Has Explored the World of Video Games Many Times Before
Video games are not a novel theme for the Charlie Brooker series. Numerous episodes of the show have delved into the shadowy aspects associated with this form of entertainment. Some episodes concentrate on the virtual realm, while others delve deep into the psyche of the players.
In “Playtest,” the second installment of the show’s third season, Wyatt Russell portrays a tourist who volunteers for experimental trials of an advanced virtual reality video game that interfaces with his brain. The game delves into his fears, materializing them within the game’s environment to create a highly personalized and immersive experience.
One of the standout episodes from the fourth season, featuring Jesse Plemons, primarily unfolds within the context of a video game. “USS Callister” revolves around a programmer who co-created a widely popular online game but feels unappreciated and overlooked by most of his colleagues at the office. In response to his frustration, he crafts a game with a scenario closely resembling Star Trek, where he assumes the role of the ship’s Captain, and the rest of the crew comprises his coworkers. Within this alternate reality, they must feign adoration and respect for him.
In “Bandersnatch,” the initial Black Mirror movie, viewers have the opportunity to make choices for Stefan Butler, a young programmer striving to adapt a fantasy game book into a video game in the 1980s. The fifth season of the series elevates this concept with “Striking Vipers,” a tale centered on two friends, portrayed by Anthony Mackie and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who maintain regular lives in the real world but initiate an unexpected romance within a video game, embodied by their in-game characters. Naturally, complications arise when their virtual emotions transcend into reality.