Why Do We Love ‘Choose-Your-Own-Adventure’ Stories?

From the I Ching to an Upcoming Netflix Romcom, Interactive Fiction Dares Us to Decide What Happens Next

The new Netflix original horror movie Choose or Die turns on an interactive computer game called “CURS>R,” which resembles a classic ’80s adventure program in which a user inputs text to move the story forward. Naturally, there’s a twist—the protagonist discovers that every choice in the game, no matter how small, will determine whether she and the people around her stay alive.

While the movie itself isn’t interactive (something that could have helped rehabilitate the plot), the release reflects Netflix’s growing interest in choose-your-own-adventure-style programming. Since the debut of Black Mirror: …

The Outrageous California Hustlers of King Richard and Licorice Pizza | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Outrageous California Hustlers of King Richard and Licorice Pizza

Two Best Picture Nominees Suggest You Have to Be Both Crazy and Ambitious to Make It in This State

Do you have to be crazy to make it in California?

This question ties together two excellent films—King Richard and Licorice Pizza—that are nominees for best picture at this month’s Academy …

Will the Real Lucille Ball Please Stand Up? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will the Real Lucille Ball Please Stand Up?

I Love Lucy Is Having a Moment, But We’re Still Not Ready to See Its Star and Creator Clearly

“Scary Lucy,” the much-maligned statue of comedy legend Lucille Ball in her hometown of Celoron, New York, was just a brief blip on the cultural radar when a fan campaign …

How Does Culture Immigrate? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Does Culture Immigrate?

Artists and Scholars Explore the Ways Their Work Helps Them Understand Homeland

Home can be physical or imagined—a point of departure and return but also a memory or feeling. When migrants and immigrants move across borders, they bring along the places they …

Is Euphoria a TV Show or an Aesthetic?

From the HBO Series to Cottagecore, the Blending of Surface and Serious May Serve Modern Life

In the comment section of a one-hour loop of the Labrinth song “Forever” that’s already hit upward of a million views on YouTube, one person wrote: “This song makes me …

Is Black Veganism the Future of Soul Food?

What Animates the Cuisine Isn't the Chicken or the Hog—It's the Spirit of Preservation and Promotion of Black Identity

Soul food is famously revered for pork and barbecue, for savory side dishes cooked in lard. I am a Black man who grew up loving my mother’s cornbread dressing and …