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Netflix would like your kids to choose their own adventures

Netflix has unveiled a new interactive storytelling program that lets users direct the story, kind of like a virtual Choose Your Own Adventure book. The company is starting with children’s entertainment, with Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale (available today), Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile (coming July 14), and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout (next year). 

The way the so-called “branching narratives” work is that at predetermined points in the story, Netflix pauses the tale and offers viewers a choice. When Puss in Boots meets the Three Bears, should he friend them or fight them? It’s up to the viewer to decide, and that choice dictates the rest of the story, and there are a lot of possible permutations to keep kiddos engaged. According to Wired, viewers have 13 choices to make in Puss in Book leading to two possible endings in as little as 18 minutes, or as long as 39. 

While you may not be able to change the ending of Bloodline, convince Jessica Jones to go get some therapy, or make The OA, you know, good with the interactive storytelling, it’s still pretty cool, ambitious, and engaging. 

And if you’re angling for success, check out this map of Choose Your Own Adventure, which reveals the hidden structure of each book and could help you make better choices.

ML