Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure line of children's books from the '80s and '90s?
You take on the role of the book's protagonist. During certain key plot beats, you are offered a choice of actions to take, which determine how the story unfolds.
Those books were very popular because of the sense of interactivity they fostered in readers.
Well, this concept has been brought forward into the 21st century by the imaginative sci fi web series Residenz.
Residenz is set years after an unspecified apocalypse has caused humanity to move below ground. Life above ground has been forgotten.
Humans now dwell in a mysterious, advanced mega-city known as the Anthill. Within this dystopian metropolis, all the citizenry are connected to a powerful artificial intelligence known as Sequence 1.
Sequence 1 controls all the vital systems of the Anthill including data storage/retrieval, communications, and life support. Many people now spend most of their time immersed in sophisticated, virtual reality games.
As the series opens, a perplexing wave of system malfunctions and black outs indicate something is going wrong with Sequence 1.
Residenz is an ambitious project by Red Harvest Pictures, a Vancouver Canada production company. The first episode was released late in Apri 2013, and shows much promise.
Having viewed the premiere installment, I can say the production values are exceptional.
The visual effects for Sequence 1 and its virtual interfaces are dazzling, very reminiscent of the effects in the 2002 Steven Spielberg scifi thriller Minority Report.
As for the interactive nature of the series, the producers apparently have filmed numerous alternate scenes which determine the flow of the narrative.
At the end of each episode, you are given a choice of options for the cast to take.
Each action will have a corresponding video. You decide which video to watch to continue the story.
It will be very interesting to see how viewers respond to this experiment in interactive viewing. If the interactive component is executed well, Residenz could become a pioneer in a new form of online entertainment.
As of this writing, only the premiere episode has been "unlocked." You may view it below:
Residenz is off to an impressive start. I think it will be journey worth taking to see how this innovative series develops.
For more information on the series, please visit its official web site: Residenz.Tv
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