Bastille just released a new dystopian music video called “Distorted Light Beam” that features some tech that looks very familiar to Black Mirror fans. In fact, the tech is so familiar that the new video almost seems like a Black Mirror episode all by itself.
This article has some spoilers for the “Black Mirror” anthology series.
The Temple Device from Black Mirror Is Featured in Bastille’s Video
Both Bastille and Black Mirror are known for their apocalyptic, dystopian-themed productions. Bastille’s Pompeii music video, for example, basically featured a world taken over by aliens. And Black Mirror has had quite a few apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic-themed episodes. Post Apocalyptic Media has written about some of these before, including an article about the best episodes post-apocalyptic fans would want to watch. And of course, who could forget this deep dive into how much Boston Dynamics’ robot dog resembles Black Mirror’s Metalhead.
Now Bastille is getting in on the fun, with a dystopian video that’s seriously channeling Black Mirror. You can watch the video below or at this link if the video doesn’t embed in your browser.
In Bastille’s video, the tech in question is made by Future Inc. and features a device that attaches to your temple and immediately transports you into a fantasy, digital world. The video makes it pretty clear that people became so addicted to the tech that they basically quit living in the real world. Here are a couple photos of the tech in the video. The photos don’t show that the device attaches to the temple and then connects to a slightly larger device that’s wrapped behind the ear.
But here’s the thing. This is REALLY similar to Black Mirror’s temple device that’s featured in multiple episodes. It looks kind of like it could be an earlier iteration of the device before it was slimmed down. The Black Mirror device only features a round disc attached to the temple. (The wiki calls it an Experiencer Disk.) You can see it in San Junipero, USS Callister, and Striking Vipers, for example. It’s manufactured by TCKR in the Netflix series. TCKR’s earlier predecessor might be TuckerSoft, featured in the Black Mirror Netflix movie, Bandersnatch.
In the Black Mirror series, TCKR learned to upload people, first in a low-fi version and then a higher-definition cookie version. (There was a question on whether San Junipero truly uploaded someone’s consciousness or if it was just a cookie version that was uploaded.)
Here’s a look at what the temple device looks like in Black Mirror. First, it was used to transfer people into a VR game called USS Callister.
And it was also used to transfer someone’s consciousness into San Junipero when they died.
It’s funny to me how similar Bastille’s video is to the device heavily featured in Black Mirror’s anthology series. (On a side note, it looks like Black Mirror won’t be back, but a spinoff is coming to Netflix based on USS Callister.)
Of course, this hearkens back to the age-old debate about whether a truly immersive technology would lead to a dystopian, end-of-mankind kind of world. Bastille’s video is certainly hinting that it could. Black Mirror presents both sides of the argument: that it could truly enhance life (and life after death) or it might turn things really dark. Then we have TV series like Star Trek and the holodeck, teaching us that mankind could flourish and be happy even with an immersive technology that leaves us incapable of distinguishing life from illusion.
Which side of the argument do you fall on? Do you think immersive tech like this would usher in an apocalypse or dystopian world, or would it be like any other gaming advance… Some people would get addicted, and others would simply enjoy it for the escapism that it offers?