The hit British show reminds us that VR is as awesome as it is dangerous.
Black Mirror is arguably the most thought-provoking show on television right now. The sci-fi horror anthology series features a new cast and setting each episode, all centered around one main theme: the terrible possibilities of near-future technology. The show is so genuinely scary because instead of telling outlandish stories about crazed serial killers out for murder, it gives you totally realistic scenarios from the not-too-distant-future that could easily happen to someone like, oh I don’t know, you maybe? Think of it like a modern-day Twilight Zone. The show has touched on some very sensitive topics and gone to some seriously dark places, but somehow BM (I’ll never use that acronym again, I promise) still plans on upping the ante even further in their third season which releases on Netflix TODAY. The new episodes hit all the major tech of the year such as social media, hackers, military technology and of course, virtual reality.
One episode from the new season, entitled Playtest, follows an American backpacker (played by Wyatt Russell) traveling through Europe who stumbles across an online ad to test a new virtual reality game for a popular game studio. The test seems fairly standard at first, but things quickly get sinister as our protagonist learns there’s more to this VR experience than he was lead to believe.
According to QZ, “‘Playtest’ blurs the line between what is “real” and what is “virtual,” and asks whether or not there’s a line at all. The episode is equal parts techno-thriller and haunted house romp.”
While of course this is all just theoretical science-fiction, Black Mirror brings up the very-real effects virtual reality could potentially have on the human psyche. While current VR tech is still primitive and distinguishable from real-life, it’s important to keep these possibilities in mind as it continues to grow into a more immersive experience. With younger generations already fully engaged in cellphones, tablets and video games, virtual reality is a shoe-in to become the biggest obsession of the next generation.
So if this didn’t make you a depressed sad sack yet go check out Season 3 of Black Mirror out on Netflix now! You won’t regret it. Well, you might regret it…