Netflix’s new Interactive Storytelling feature puts you in the director’s chair

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There’s no shortage of movies and shows for you to binge on Netflix, but sometimes, even in the midst of all these options, boredom pervades. After all, you can almost always predict the endings of entertainment these days, and sometimes, plots are so similar you feel like you’ve seen everything already. But now, Netflix may have a solution for you. It’s called Interactive Storytelling, and it’s Netflix’s way of letting you choose your own adventure.

On Tuesday, the streaming platform announced its first “interactive ‘branching’ narrative episodes Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile, where Netflix members are in control of how the stories unfold.” Heralded as the melding of Netflix engineers’ technical prowess and Hollywood creatives’ imaginative direction, this new kind of content promises a “new world of storytelling possibilities.”

Noting that content creators often wish to tell nonlinear stories, Netflix hopes that its new Interactive Stories will allow creatives to “roam, try new things, and do their best work.” And of course, please a few viewers along the way, too.

“We’ve done extensive research and talked to lots of kids and parents, collecting qualitative data to better understand if this is something viewers will like,” Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, director of product innovation at Netflix, wrote in a blog post.

“While we’ve gotten positive feedback (for example, parents like the fact their child has the ability to make decisions and take a seat in the director’s chair, if you will), we’re eager to learn how our members will engage with the experience.” Netflix still wants to determine what choices or stories will prove the most popular, and whether viewers will be interested in rewatching content with different endings (or if they’re only in for the ending they choose).

“Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale launches globally today, Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile is coming soon on July 14, and our third branching narrative Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout is in the works, coming to Netflix next year,” Fisher noted. “At launch, these titles will be available on most TV experiences as well as iOS devices.”

So if you’ve been feeling less than inspired by what’s on TV these days, become your own content creator and write your own endings.

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