▶ Gamified films for cinema and smart TV are on the rise. In April 2018, 20th Century Fox (Disney) announced that they would start producing interactive cinema films. The first production is going be the cinema adaptation of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. The cinema audience will jointly decide on the plot in real time and determine the conclusion themselves. The main attraction of the new technology is that the film continues while the viewers input their decisions. Software for changing videos in real time were already presented in 2009 during the CeBIT trade fair. With the current developments, the viewing experience now becomes an altogether seamless full-motion video.
Interactive films, however, are not all that new. In 2016, the app-controlled film “Late Shift” was shown in selected cinemas. Viewers were able to vote in up to 180 decisions. Using their smartphones, they could even change the camera perspective during the screening. Also in 2016, German public broadcasters experimented with interactive programmes. During the non-linear TV film “Terror – Ihr Urteil” (Terror – Your Verdict) approx. 600 000 viewers voted about two possible conclusion scenarios.
In December 2018, VOD provider Netflix published its own production “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” as a multi-strand narrative. In-depth viewer interactions such as chatting with the main character raised the film experience to a new level. The production was an international ratings hit. In March 2019, the streaming giant announced that they were going to further strengthen their commitment to interactive productions. The trend is set to become mainstream soon. ❙❙