Remember choose your own adventure books? You know, the ones that make you the star (and if you screw up you just backpedal a few pages)? Well, the popularity of the style may be lost to all but nostalgia and Goosebumps collectors. But why wouldn’t the concept work now? Ok, let me restate that; why wouldn’t it work with social media?
This is exactly what MTV is thinking about with it’s modern day take on Romeo & Juliet which is currently titled Pedro and Maria. It’s going to be an interactive, bilingual show that viewers can vote online what they think should happen to the characters next. Although not much has been detailed on the project, and I’ve only heard whispers of it, I think it’s a really great concept. How they’re going to pull it off, I’m not sure.
What really draws me to this is it’s a new take on customization, something we focus in on in the Wave of Deity Complex™; the ability to personalize and select your own options, beyond the simple idea of “yes I want cheese on that.” Sure, not everyone is going to end up with what they want to happen, but the fact that you can have a hand in deciding the fate of a character is pretty interesting and fairly unexplored outside of the singing competition popularity contest of American Idol.
We’ve seen everything from the customizable soda machine to the paint by number dress, and I think this may rank up there in the top of unique ideas, granted there’s not much information out on the project. Because eventually, customization gets boring, when you can customize and personalize everything, nothing really feels compelling when people ask how you want it. But throw it into a mass audience all pushing for different outcomes, then maybe we’ve got a new champion. Think of it as crowd sourcing television, a concept that is being used in Japan right now for snack foods.
You gather the popular opinion, and build the product around it, instead of around what a creative team decides. However, if they’re planning this to be a weekly show, then the writing staff’s and production crew is going to have their work cut out for them. But then again, what the people want the people get.