According to a recent report by Variety, the video streaming service juggernaut Netflix will soon be releasing a number of interactive programming titles which will allow viewers to make choices that will affect the ongoing plot of the series he or she is viewing.
Netflix's new project bares alot of similarity to other interactive forms of entertainment such as "choose your own adventure" books and classic point and click games like those that appeared on several Disney and Dreamworks DVDs in the early 2000s.
Cheif among these upcoming titles is an interactive children's series, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, which will star popular DreamWorks character Puss in Boots as he travels through a number of classic fairy tales in an attempt to return to his own. Exactly how he does this, in what order and by what means, is entirely up to the viewer, who chooses from a set number of options each unfolding different plot tangents.
In addition to the children's program Puss in Book, Netflix will also be launching the interactive show Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile on July 14. The series will feature a truck-racing dog and his pet ferret who perform comically dangerous stunts selected by the viewer. Netflix also has plans for a third interactive series, Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout, which will likely see the popular muscle-bound Hasbro toy, Stretch Armstrong, in the main character slot.
Undoubtedly, Netflix will be banking these programs' success on the popularity of similar pseudo-interactive shows such as Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, and Go Diego Go, which frequently turned to their youthful audiences for advice, before eventually continuing the preset plot.
“I have a six-year-old daughter who talks to these shows all the time,” Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, Netflix director of product innovation, told Variety before referring to the aforementioned shows as “a faux two-way conversation.”
With these programs, Fisher and Netflix hope to again revolutionize television viewing. “We are putting viewers in the driver’s seat,” Fisher concluded.