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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

If you’re like some of us here at LRM Online, you probably dabbled in some good old-fashioned “choose your own adventure” novels in the past. Reading a more standard, typical novel is all well and good, but as a kid, having the abilityto actually affect the outcome of a story was empowering. Of course, if I didn’t like an ending I stumbled upon, I’d go back and make a different choice, and the real fun lied in seeing every potential plot point through.

The concept of choosing your own adventure has evolved over the years. You can see aspects of it in some of today’s more story-based video games (Telltale games like The Wolf Among Us or The Walking Dead), and even some YouTubers have dabbled in the concept. As far as the latter goes, at some point in the video you’ll get prompted to make a decision by clicking on an annotation, and those would tak you to another chapter of the ongoing “adventure.” It’s a cool concept, albeit a bit clunky and gimmicky. But what future does this idea have in other streaming services.

Allow us to direct our attention to the streaming king known as Netflix. Over the past few years, they’ve made their mark on the television industry in a big way. They’ve revolutionized how shows are consumed, and have consistently put out high quality, critically-acclaimed series. Now, they seem to be focusing their efforts on film next. With movies like Bright and Okja on the horizon, it’s very clear that they seem intent on taking over the world. 

Another area they seem intent on focusing on? Choose your own adventures. A source from Daily Mail stated that the streaming service was working on a way to allow viewers to “connect plot points in a variety of ways using their TV remotes.”:

“We’re doing work on branch narratives so you are actually making choices as you watch. All the content will be there, and then people will have to get through it in different ways. We’ll see how it plays out. It’s an experiment. We’ll see if it gets much success. For creators, it’s new territory.”

No doubt it’s a new territory, though we can see this being a very expensive endeavor. Can you imagine how much it would cost an already-expensive series like House of Cards to film every possible outcome of every decision? How much more content would that put onto Netflix? How would it all work? Of course, as mentioned above, this is hardly unexplored territory in print and in video games, but switching it over to big budget live-action properties would be quite the undertaking. 

It seems like a big, bold idea, and you’d be forgiven if you didn’t believe the rumors, but even  Netflix president Reed Hastings confirmed they were working on interactive shows. He went so far as to say that “Once you have got interactivity, you can try anything.”

If Netflix was really smart, they may look to the video game industry for guidance. Hire some of the writing and directing talent from other there and see where they can take this ambitious new idea.

What do you think of this news? Do you want to see Netflix take on choose your own adventures? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Daily Mail

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.