Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 2: Playtest (Spoiler Free) Review

So if you have seen the most recent season of Black Mirror on Netflix than you know, it is some other level stuff. Though this (formerly British and now Netflix produced) show has always been well ahead of the curve on the way it views technology and how much this tech is separating us from our actual humanity, the season has been just as good as the last two, which many fans were scared about. The idea of the Black Mirror is your own reflection in a computer monitor or phone screen. A “black” mirror that shows us the ugliest aspects of ourselves. And though I did a thorough review of the first episode of this spectacular new season, I also wanted to touch on the second episode, Playtest. As I am sure you can tell from the name of the episode, it was aimed directly at our demographic, which is why I am talking about it. By the way, if you have not seen the show, do not read this yet. It will be very light on spoilers but regardless, it is a much more engrossing experience if you go at it blind.

For those who have seen it or want to know a wee bit more, read on.

Playtest

Where is gaming going next? I have asked many people this exact question over the last three months and no one has been able to give me an answer. seriously, where is gaming going next!!? I personally think it hit its peak in the seventh generation (360, Ps3). From the way the games looked to the stories, it was the apex of good gaming. I will still stand Bioshock Infinite up against ANY 8th generation game and will win that argument. Same can be said for the amazing Last of Us. NOTHING in current systems touches either of those two games. That is why all they are making now for 8th gen consoles are all reboots and HD remakes OF THOSE VERY GAMES we loved from the last gen. So really, where is gaming going? Don’t even try to tell me VR because no one seems to be aware of how violently ill you get playing those games long term. It so SO BAD, in fact, the sickness has already been given an actual name:

VR sickness.

On top of that, the VR games that have dropped thus far have been underwhelming at best.┬áSo it makes sense that augmented reality will be something more and more developers and tech geniuses are going to try to play with. This third episode of season three of Black Mirror aptly named Playtest is about just that. A man signs up for a playtest at a very progressive game developer for a new horror game they are working on. The main difference here being that they use a sort of Matrix beck-of-the-neck implant to link you up with a system so you can actually experience the game (as in, no graphics but rather, a physical world you are inside of). Now judging solely on the popularity of games like Amnesia and Outlast, I think you can immediately understand why being placed into an actual horror game and not knowing the difference between the game and reality would be a wholly unnerving experience. but it is the way that Black Mirror pulls it off that is genius. I won’t give away any more info than that about Playtest, but I will tell you, if you are a gamer, a geek, fan of scifi, or a fan of horror (or really, all of the above) you NEED to watch episode 2 of Black Mirror season three.

Because if they are right and this is the direction gaming will inevitably go (which Sony hinted at in the commercial below) than I am smashing my consoles right now.