Black Mirror: Bandersnatch


Julianna Nichols


Black Mirror: Bandersnatch tells the story of a teenage boy, Stefan Butler, who creates a video game where the player makes the decisions in the game; the interesting twist of the story is the watcher of the show has the same ability to control Stefan’s actions. Each decision the viewer makes affects the rest of the show in some form. Decisions range from picking the cereal the character eats or the music he listens to, to choosing whether or not the character takes drugs or jumps off a balcony. Viewers hold the power to interact with the character and affect the way the show progresses based upon their own personal decisions and preferences.

When the viewer reaches a point when a choice is available, two options appear on the bottom of the screen, and the viewer must chose their answer within a certain amount of time. Regardless of how big or small the decision seems, every choice affects the rest of the story. For example, Butler shows a demo of the video game to a video game publisher, and the viewer makes the decision whether or not to accept the deal or decline the offer presented; deciding whether or not  to accept the deal affects the game’s success. Decisions the character makes determines the course of action which differ for most other people. Since few choose the same path, players have the opportunity to discuss different paths with friends.

Throughout the show, if the viewer feels they made the “wrong” decision, then they hold the opportunity make a different choice taking the story in a different path. What makes this show unique involves allowing viewers the option to and the option to change various outcomes. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch gives the viewer the opportunity to truly get involved within the story, allowing them to go down whichever path their decisions lead.