Exhausting choices: Bandersnatch and the future of our entertainment platforms

Robbie Fordyce, Thomas H. Apperley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter interrogates the Netf lix ‘film’ Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018), written by Charlie Brooker and directed by David Slade, using a close reading approach informed by metaphorical and allegorical analysis of videogames (Begy, 2013; Bogost, 2006; Murray, 1997; Wark, 2007), and seeks to
draw out how the film explores the gamified choice-driven systems of the purchase screens of entertainment platforms. We argue that Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (Bandersnatch, hereafter) engages in a well-crafted reference to its conditions of distribution by finding similarities between the branching
nature of selection-based play in hypertext games and the selection-based mechanisms of contemporary streaming video services, such as Netf lix. In order to engage in this analysis, this study will examine both formalist ludological and visual themes within Bandersnatch and explore how these elements draw out themes of entertainment, exhaustion, and boredom in a
manner that approximates entertainment platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading »Black Mirror«
Subtitle of host publicationInsights into Technology and the Post-Media Condition
EditorsGerman A. Duarte, Justin Michael Battin
Place of PublicationBielefeld Germany
PublisherTranscript Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783839452325
ISBN (Print)9783837652321
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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