November 15, 2018
A ‘Black Mirror’ Board Game is Here Based on the Social Media-Skewering Episode ‘Nosedive’
The third season of Charlie Brooker‘s sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror began with an episode called “Nosedive.” In it, Bryce Dallas Howard played a character named Lacie who lived in a world in which things like purchasing power and class status were dictated by one’s “Social Score,” a personal rating influenced by each person you come in contact with over the course of each day. It’s the show’s most obvious condemnation of contemporary society’s obsession with social media, and now a Black Mirror board game will episode’s premise into a playable game.
Black Mirror season 3 debuted over two years ago, so here’s a quick refresher on the episode:
Black Mirror Board Game
Entertainment Weekly pointed us toward this new game from tabletop company Asmodee, which is based on that episode and called Nosedive: A Social Game. The goal is to collect Lifestyle cards and create a “perfect” life to achieve the highest Social Score. There’s also a digital element: players download a free app that has “over 1,000 in-game prompts” that allow you to “risk your reputation to impress your important friends.”
The game costs $19.99 and is available now.
“Nosedive” was written by Mike Schur (The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation). Black Mirror tends to deal with things that are just a bit out of reach, but this one hit closer to home than normal. Intentionally or not, it poked fun at a real app called Peeple that aimed to rate people (referred to as “Yelp for humans”) which launched in 2015 and was almost immediately shuttered because of intense backlash. And China is developing something called the Social Credit System that sounds remarkably similar to the app in this episode.
But hey, at least this board game isn’t based on “The National Anthem,” the episode in which the British Prime Minister is forced to decide whether or not to have sex with a pig on national television in order to save a member of the royal family. Or “Fifteen Million Merits,” which a guy falls in love with a female singer who’s basically goaded by the government into doing porn professionally. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Black Mirror is pretty messed up! This board game is about as tame as it gets for that show.
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