The Thought That Counts
This interactive offering from the mind of Joshua Kernich is a tremendous ten minutes of surprising, thought-provoking fun. You gather with a handful of others around a large TV screen and a pixelated character walks through a familiar landscape from a platform video game of the 1990s.
Your hero meets other characters and food, pausing at each discovery to offer you their thoughts and three choices. Large buttons to the side of the screen tempt you to choose the red, yellow, or green options – ideally, your choice is discussed amongst the small group, so best to keep your overactive children/adult friends out of arm’s reach of the buttons!
It’s a simple enough ‘choose-your-own’ adventure, starting out as pure fun, but it’s not long before the questions are more contemplative, pushing your brain to deal with issues, such as ‘why is this guy mean?’ to ‘is this really okay to eat?’
Together with a family of four (led by the two children, tempered by the parents), the life we chose led us somewhere darker than expected, but there are lessons in the outcome that reward participants of all ages. It is remarkable how much meaning is crammed into a few minutes of story-telling whilst keeping it enjoyable.
This is perfect brain fodder while you’re waiting for another show at Black Box Theatres, and I’m keen to return and find out where other choices will take me.