Lifestyle

Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch: A Discussion

Read this article or not, it’s your decision 😉

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If you’re into watching movies and TV shows about science fiction, chances are you’ve already heard of or seen the show Black Mirror and its latest episode/movie/game called Bandersnatch. It’s available to stream on Netflix and watching it gives the audience a unique experience in a way that doesn’t follow a linear way of storytelling.

Instead, it gives you the power to choose (using your TV’s remote control, laptop, or smartphone) and decide what happens next in the story. In short, there are many directions the narrative can branch out to and every choice affects what will happen later on.

It’s not the first time a story has been told in this approach, but the implementation in an online streaming service and how the events unfold throughout the episode goes beyond the norm in so many levels. If you’ve seen Bandersnatch, we’re sure there’s a lot you want to talk about. And so do we! This article is a discussion on what we liked and didn’t like.

Of course, there will be spoilers throughout. If you haven’t seen the episode, you may stop reading and watch it first. Or you can just continue on and join in on the fun. All up to you. It’s not like someone from the future is controlling your decisions, right?

Were there any expectations before watching Black Mirror‘s Bandersnatch?

Dan: I have to admit that I was hyped for Bandersnatch. It became sort of a tradition for me to binge watch a new season Black Mirror during the holidays. So, when the news broke about an interactive Black Mirror film, I had high expectations. I expected it to be more complex, but I think it was just enough.

Rodneil: When I played the first three hours of the PlayStation 4 exclusive Detroit: Become Human,my initial thought was that it felt like binging a Netflix series with more involvement from you as the audience. In that regard, I expected Bandersnatch to feel like a game, and it did.

Kevin: I expected it to be a dark, heavy episode since it’s what Black Mirror excels at. As for the interactive experience, I’ve recently tried out Netflix’s Minecraft Story Mode and had a taste of how the system works so I already had an idea of how things will go.

What was your first ending?

Dan: I took the initial offer immediately… It wasn’t done in good judgment. 👀

Rodneil: Same with Dan, haha. My gut said to not take the offer but logically, it felt like a reasonable option. After choosing this “wrong path,” I followed my gut the rest of the way.

Kevin: I took the prescription pills prescribed by my shrink (I’d like to think I’m obedient that way) instead of flushing them down the toilet which resulted in getting a 2/5 stars rating of my game. I went for a different timeline, of course, and corrected that.

Did you make good decisions throughout the story?

Dan: Not really. Instead of thoroughly thinking about which option I choose, I always had the thought that I can repeat and amend a mistake. Also, I thought of it as a video game wherein I have to make sure I explore everything before jumping to the next level.

Kevin: I didn’t want to “shout at dad” let alone “kill dad.” So those decisions led me to a dead end. Then I remembered this is Black Mirror and it probably wanted me to go for a darker path. It did, haha!

Rodneil: I’m not sure about good but I did go with what I thought was the smarter or weirder option.

Do you think your decisions reflect your personality?

Dan: It should. Although, I think I wasn’t properly watching it the first time, so my first choices should not be counted.

Rodneil: For the second ending I got, I would say it did. My usual approach in choose-your-adventure games is to not think too much about my choices and just go with my gut.

Kevin: It did. And as I said earlier, some of those choices led me to a dead end. Others made things more interesting like taking on the therapist Street Fighter style. That was fun to watch.

What was your favorite part from the episode?

Dan: I’d say my favorite part was one of the proper endings where the young Stefan went with her Mommy and they got into the train accident. It was just a flashback, but it affected the current timeline of adult Stefan and he died while sitting on a chair inside his doctor’s office. Being part of the Black Mirror franchise, I find this ending to be the best as it embraces the series’ suspenseful and dark atmosphere.

Kevin: There were actually a lot for me. The conspiracy theories Colin delivered while they were tripping on LSD was so convincing thanks to his acting.

The path where you choose to explain Netflix to Stefan, for me, was just so surreal since I could imagine myself telling someone from the 80s that I’m controlling a fictional character on a TV show. I bet hearing that from someone from the future would totally sound insane — and for us living in the present, it is the reality.

Also, that part when Stefan says something about making the audience think they have free will to choose but in reality, it’s still Stefan giving the scenarios and where they’re heading. It pretty much applies to us, too, thinking we have control over the entire episode when there’s actually a flowchart of things that dictate what we can and cannot do.

Lastly, I’d say I was blown away by how meta the episode can become. One ending goes to follow Colin’s daughter who is now adapting Bandersnatch for Netflix. We see her planning the choices for the actual episode and we’re given one last time to dictate what she does next. Eventually, she destroys her computer which then makes the show nonexistent. Brilliant.

Rodneil: Man, I agree with everything Kevin listed. I enjoyed Colin’s entire “free will” monologue and how meta it was when you’re asked to explain Netflix to Stefan.

Is there anything that you didn’t like about the story or experience?

Dan: As I have mentioned earlier, I was expecting a more in-depth viewer involvement. There were decisions made by the protagonist that I wished I was given the chance to choose. Also, it was not the strongest Black Mirror story. But, overall, Bandersnatch is a showcase of online entertainment. It may not be the most original, but the concept was put to good use.

Rodneil: Nothing in particular. I wasn’t expecting much coming into it. In fact, I didn’t expect the story to be good at all, but after watching, I thought it was a perfect first offering for this kind of format.

Kevin: Dan and I share the same sentiments on the episode not having the strongest story. I mentioned that I expected something heavy before watching it and though some of the endings were indeed dark, it’s not Black-Mirror-Season-One-Episode-One dark that will leave you dumbfounded by the end. I understand that they concentrated more on the interactive part and they did a fantastic job in its entirety.

Will this interactive technology change or affect how we watch movies and TV series in the future?

Dan: A big yes. Like with interactive books, however, it’s not for everyone and it’s not applicable to all titles. I’d love to see a couple of interactive films on Netflix every now and then, especially on the big screen. The genre of Black Mirror is perfect for interactive content, and maybe some other horror or suspense stories. Stretching this out to a series will take a lot of resources, but it’ll be grand.

Rodneil: It will change in that I think other streaming channels and even platforms like YouTube and Facebook will try to integrate this feature. It might be one way to curb piracy. I imagine it will be extremely hard to duplicate this experience. If more good titles make use of this interactive kind of viewing then more people might be enticed to actually pay for streaming services. We’re a long way away from that but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Kevin: Of course. It has that element that you’re responsible for what happens to the character — whether something good happens to them or you get them killed. It has a different, more personal impact. Also, what Dan and Rodneil said.

Lifestyle

The Pirate Bay just launched its own streaming service

Yes, it’s free

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Image source: Disney

Without a doubt, the streaming wars have begun. Especially after the introduction of Disney Plus, audiences are now struggling to find the perfect mix of price and content. Which streaming services should you sign up for, so you maximize all entertainment options while minimizing price?

However, as entertainment companies come up with more streaming services, prices are inevitably going up. That said, a former entertainment king is getting a lot more tempting again — piracy.

Before Netflix’s current dominance, audiences already resorted to torrenting and bootleg streaming. Now, rising prices will likely push audiences back to the entertainment model.

Case in point, infamous torrenting website The Pirate Bay has launched a streaming prototype — called BayStream — on its own site. Currently, users can access the service when they search for torrents. In the below search on The Mandalorian, for example, some torrents have a green play button. Clicking on the play button will direct users to a YouTube-like website where they can play the respective torrent without downloading it.

 

Unfortunately, the service doesn’t come with an instruction manual. However, upon further testing, the button automatically appears whenever a torrent has a hundred or more seeds, regardless of age. Sadly, the file’s availability on BayStream is an unknown. Some, despite having more than 100 seeds, are absent from the service. If anything, the top-seeded torrents are likelier to play on the site.

Additionally, users can also upload their own files on the service (up to 20GB). Presumably, uploading users can share their own files with others using the service.

The Pirate Bay has not officially announced the service. However, some reports say that the service is still in beta testing. Regardless, BayStream is an interesting addition to today’s overcrowded streaming market.

SEE ALSO: Netflix might limit password sharing between users

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Gaming

League of Legends launches an apparel line with Louis Vuitton

Costs up to US$ 5,650

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Image source: Louis Vuitton

How far will you go for League of Legends loot? Most gamers usually settle for in-game loot — cosmetic goodies to outfit your favorite characters. Some, however, buy into real-world merch — shirts, hoodies, stickers. Of course, both types of merchandise are legitimate ways to support the game. Regardless, there is always a way to go overboard.

Here’s your new way to splurge on the latest League of Legends merch! The iconic MOBA game has recently partnered up with luxury lifestyle brand Louis Vuitton. The newfound partnership has spawned a small line of League of Legends-themed apparel. As you might expect, the Louis Vuitton x League of Legends collection costs an arm and a leg.

For starters, the collection offers a minimalist black shirt with League of Legends character Qiyana. This particular item will cost you US$ 670. Again, this is just for starters. A similar t-shirt dress with the same character will cost you US$ 2,010.

Going towards the opposite side of the affordability spectrum, the collection also offers a hooded parka with blue and white accents for US$ 4,450. The most expensive item in the collection, a shimmering leather biker jacket, will cost US$ 5,650.

Outside of clothes, the partnership also has a set of accessories for sale. A Qiyana keychain/bag charm will cost US$ 515. A gold and white bucket hat will cost US$ 730. Finally, Louis Vuitton is offering a similarly designed Tambour Horizon smartwatch for US$ 3,050.

Before this extravagant partnership, both League of Legends and Louis Vuitton have partnered with complementary brands in the past. For one, Riot Games has recently partnered with OPPO for gaming content. Likewise, the luxury brand recently melded technology and lifestyle through AMOLED-paneled bags.

SEE ALSO: AMD announces faster 12-core Ryzen chips

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Features

How to incorporate “Classic Blue” in your daily life

It doesn’t have to look sad and boring

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Pantone has just announced Classic Blue as the Color of the Year 2020. After two bold colors (Ultra Violet and Living Coral) from the past two years, Pantone is starting a new decade with a color we’re all familiar with.

My initial reaction was disgust; this color reminded me of the boring days I spent working within office cubicles. Moreover, it’s a depressing color to look at, hence the reason why we use the idiom “feeling blue” to express our sadness. But Classic Blue isn’t all bad since it’s a color that represents trust, security, and stability — something we badly need in the year to come.

To fully embrace the new color of the year, here are ways to incorporate Classic Blue in your everyday life.

Go for an all-blue ensemble

Debenhams Royal Blue Diamond Straight Fit Trousers, Burberry BE4286F Sunglasses, Mango Man Slim Fit Cotton Chambray Shirt, adidas performance Runfalcon Shoes, OnePlus 7T Glacier Blue, Mango Pleated Ruffle Dress, Kimberley Faux Stone Drop Earring, Swarovski Impulsep: Bracelet Slake Mont/Oth M, Agnes B Classique Logo Crossbody Bag, NOSE Print Platform Sandals

Just because it’s “Classic Blue,” it doesn’t mean you only have to stick with one hue. I’m sure there are a lot of blue pieces in your wardrobe. Now’s the time to pull out that navy or washed-out denim jacket and/or jeans. If you don’t have any blue pieces, it’s time to re-evaluate your life. Shop pieces of clothing, footwear, and other accessories in different shades of blue. There are blue smartphones, too, so don’t forget to use them. For instance, Try using a OnePlus 7T in Glacier Blue to rock your Classic Blue #OOTD.

Cover the neutrals in classic blue

Uniq Lino AirPods Case, 40mm Delft Blue Sport Band for Apple Watch, Mujjo Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 11 Pro in Monaco Blue

If you’re a basic person who enjoys using Apple’s minimalist products, try sprucing it up with blue accessories. Dress your AirPods case, change your watch strap, and use a leather wallet case — all in this beautiful, classic blue.

Dress all your essentials in blue

American Tourister Ellen Spinner Luggage, DAVIDOFF Cool Water Intense Man Eau de Parfum 125ml, ASUS VivoBook S15 in Cobalt Blue, Sony WH-X900BN, Maserati GT Eco Solar Drive Chronograph Watch, Mossimo Men’s Wallets, Samsonite Red Crotel Backpack, Cortefiel Geometric Print Socks, Hydro Flask 32 oz. Tumbler

Don’t just stop at wearing and dressing up your accessories in blue. Make all your life essentials and everyday items come in this color! I know, I know. It’s overwhelming to use the same color in everything. To prevent yourself from looking like a sad person, pair these blue essentials with complementary colors such as earth tones ranging from brown and khaki to warmer colors like a vibrant red and orange.

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