INSPIRED BY THE SHOW
Games that mirror Black Mirror
Imagine a world in which you’re able to scroll through a video feed of everything you ever experienced or talk to a deceased loved one via AI. Now imagine a world where all of that could be used against you. Welcome to Black Mirror.
Season four of Netflix’s brilliant yet unsettling series about the not-too-distant future debuts today, December 29, and with six new episodes now available to stream, its dystopian outlook is sure to unnerve you in new ways. Despite each episode tackling unique scenarios that show how modern technology can change the way we think, feel and act, some of them hit home too closely while others depict a future we’re afraid of running towards.
Black Mirror isn’t the only one to take an off-kilter, thought-proving approach, however. Like-minded mobile games can steep you in a similar experience. Here are three that resonate with the bleak, futuristic tales Black Mirror has spun.
The Black Mirror episode: “White Bear” (Season 2, Episode 2)
Stripped of her memory, Victoria wakes up in an unfamiliar home. She can’t remember who she is or anything about the out-of-whack world she finds herself in. When she asks for help, no one acknowledges her. They just mindlessly film whatever’s happening around them – no matter how horrific – with their smartphones.
The gaming experience: Device 6
The unsettling premise of this episode is brought to life in the superb text-based adventure Device 6. Like “White Bear,” the game tells a twisted tale about identity, the illusion of choice and, well, we don’t want to spoil anything. You’ll have to find out for yourself.
The Black Mirror episode: “Playtest” (Season 3, Episode 2)
Would you volunteer to have a device implanted in you to test a new augmented-reality horror game – one that learns about your deepest, darkest fears by analysing your thoughts? The story of Cooper in this Black Mirror episode may be brutal and difficult to watch, but it’s also profoundly haunting in the most satisfying way.
The gaming experience: dARk: Subject One
The short game dARk: Subject One delves into AR horror – without needing to be hard-wired into your brain. From a safe distance, you uncover a mystery experiment and relive terrifying encounters in a world that’s grafted onto the real one around you, just as Cooper did.
dARk: Subject One
Augmented reality horror story
The Black Mirror episode: “Shut Up and Dance” (Season 3, Episode 3)
A mysterious organisation hacks an adolescent’s computer and blackmails him into doing whatever they ask, from delivering a package to a hotel to snapping a photo to, well, worse. Thank you, location-based services and instant messaging.
The gaming experience: Beholder
This game’s vision of a totalitarian surveillance state may not be as extreme as Black Mirror’s, but it still leaves you with the dreadful feeling that privacy is no more. As a caretaker, you’re tasked with spying on your neighbours for your own interests or the state’s. Information is power, and the right information in the wrong hands can lead to mayhem.
A Game of Moral Choices
You can stream these episodes, as well as the rest of the four seasons of Black Mirror on Netflix now. The stand-alone episodes can be viewed in any order, so dive right in. Whether you start with the new season or the earlier ones, prepare yourself for a delightfully disorienting ride.