The PCG Q&A
Find all previous editions of the PCG Q&A here. Some highlights:
Interactive television isn't a new idea but thanks to streaming it's one whose time has come. No need to limit ourselves to new shows, however, or ones that are available on Netflix. Let's have interactive Seinfeld where you can press a button to have Kramer slide in at any moment, interactive Buffy where any episode of your choice can become a musical, or perhaps a sensible suggestion that would actually be possible. It's up to you! What TV show would you make interactive?
Jarred Walton: Downton Abbey
Just think of the possibilities! But seriously, I hardly ever watch TV so I’m no help. Still, I have to wonder what might happen if the viewers had more control over the story. Downton Abbey fanfic I guess. I haven’t watched Black Mirror or Man vs. Wild either, if you can’t tell. Why am I here again?
Christopher Livingston: Stranger Things
Well since we're talking about Netflix and 1980s adventure games, Stranger Things might be a good fit. I've only seen the first season, but I would have enjoyed making some choices for those kids, such as 'stop yelling at each other' and 'figure out why some of you don't seem to have parents wondering where the hell you are all day' and 'eat something healthier than waffles' and 'seriously, stop yelling, you're not The Goonies.' Spooky sci-fi and monsters and kids in danger seems like it could make for some good your-own-adventure-choosing, and at least once per episode you could make a choice about whether David Harbour should punch someone, and that choice should always be yes. And at the end of the show it would naturally be fun to go back and see what happens in all the choices you didn't make.
Samuel Roberts: True Detective
I loved season 3 of True Detective, which seems to have gone unloved, despite having a winning cast and surpassing its first run in characterisation. I actually think a detective show would suit an interactive format more than most—and True Detective would work because you could decide what happens to its overwrought, troubled characters. Do they resolve their demons and get a happy ending? Or do they follow their worst instincts into hell, and crack the case at a terrible price? These are choices that the protagonists have faced in each season—I'd love to see that replicated successfully by a game.
Malindy Hetfeld: Star Trek Discovery
Let's be honest, it's tempting to just answer with any of your favourite TV series to live the Mary Sue dream—except Man vs. Wild, the thing that actually exists, because there is nothing less immersive than having Bear Grylls look at a camera to his upper right and say "what do you think I should do?" That's Bear acknowledging the Big Brother audience voting on his death, not a friend climbing with him. Before I get any more carried away, my answer is Star Trek Discovery, because I'd take any and all chances to walk around on a spaceship, squint into lens flare and potentially be nice to aliens. I just wanna, you know, discover planets, and I get very space-sick in Star Trek: Bridge Crew.
Wesley Fenlon: Veronica Mars
Part of me hates this idea, turning one of my all-time favorite TV shows into a no-doubt campy choose-your-own-adventure. But I think it could actually be a good fit. As Sam says, detective shows make sense for this kind of interactivity. Everyone loves solving a good mystery. And Veronica Mars' voiceover structure would be perfect for commenting on the decisions you're making. She's sassy enough to break the fourth wall and make it work. I can already hear her commenting on my idiotic choice to search the suspect's locker instead of putting a tracking device in his backpack. What was I thinking?
Joanna Nelius: This is Us
For many reasons, I would never actually want to see this show turn into anything resembling You vs. Wild—but it's a highly emotional, character-driven show akin to the Life is Strange series, so I can see it working with a player-choice element. I'd have to stock up on tissues though, because I would not be able to handle it if I caused anyone to die or get a divorce. That show has some of the best characters, writing, and acting in the history of all shows. For real.
Shaun Prescott: Peep Show
When Jez pissed himself in the chapel, I'd have liked to have the option for him not to piss himself in the chapel.