New Trends for Kids in Interactive Content

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Netflix have now released 9 interactive specials including most famously their Emmy award-winning interactive film Bandersnatch last year.  Most of these have been made for children from existing brands and studios. From Captain Underpants and Minecraft : Story Mode to Bear Grylls : You versus Wild, a series in which families got to choose how Bear should survive in extreme adventures.  

 Now other platforms and broadcasters are looking to do this too because the lean-forward experience of streaming VOD is ideally suited to stories which involve the viewer more directly. Whether extending brands, re-versioning archive or creating new content, interactive stories allow viewers to make choices, see different perspectives, watch and replay.  In this short film, we interview producers to find out how they are embracing these new ways of storytelling – to re-engage a generation of children who are turning to YouTube because it allows them more ‘choice and control’.  We also get a perspective on the creative and learning potential of the form from gaming industry legend Ian Livingstone CBE who co-created the branching narrative with a games system attached genre with his Fighting Fantasy gamebook series.