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Sat 25
Mimicking Black Mirror, Brazilian uses internet polls to make decisions

Mimicking Black Mirror, Brazilian uses internet polls to make decisions

Screenwriter Eduardo Albuquerque created the social experiment on Instagram to show the importance of democracy

Raquel Derevecki

Ever thought about transforming your life, using polls with people voting every day on what they want you to eat, dress, or do? 34-year-old Rio de Janeiro screenwriter Eduardo Albuquerque decided to live that experience. Since January 2, he has been posting questions on his Instagram, and lets his followers decide on his behalf. The unusual activity has already interfered in details of his daily life, such as the time he wakes up, his haircut, and even encouraged him to spend a whole day following a vegetarian diet, and shaving his chest.

According to him, this social experiment aims at showing users the power of their decisions, and the consequences they bring about. “I place my individuality at stake so they can realize how interesting it is to have a voice and choose things, especially at a time like this, when many are attacking democracy,” he says.

In order to do that, the screenwriter lets users who follow him on Instagram – called “masters” by him – control his life through the polls available at his social network stories.

“It is as if it was a videogame. And I decided to call this game Polling Life,” he explains.

Voting on the polls posted daily is not enough, however. According to Albuquerque, his followers should make sure he is fulfilling what he promised to do on any given day. If no “master” demands the realization of the tasks, everyone loses a life, and the game may end. “It is a mirror of real life, showing the responsibilities that come along with the vote, just like when we choose our rulers, because we must hold them accountable,” he points out.

Also according to him, masters begin with three lives in the game, and, until Monday (3) morning, they had two. “They lost one on January 22, when I posted a lot of decisions, one after the other, and, at the end of the day, no one had questioned me whether I had done all that. They just kept voting.” For Albuquerque, this situation represents the current political reality.

“Our authorities through a bunch of information on a daily basis to control us, preventing us from mobilizing for important things. So, my idea was to show in the game the importance of making sure these promises were put in practice,” he stresses.

As well as using polls, the young man is also preparing a weekly enigma for his followers to solve. The objective is to locate loose words in his stories, and set up sentences that describe the experiment. “I call it Polling Life manifesto, a text I wrote about democracy, and the way in which we have been using social networks with no critical thinking. An explanation of the objective behind the game,” he says.

The beginning

According to him, the idea of Polling Life came about after he watched Bandersnatch, a new movie of the Black Mirror series which gives viewers the chance to choose the character’s next steps. The chance to change the end of the plot is possible through interactivity tools available on Smart TVs, some video games, and cell phones with the latest version of the Netflix app.

“I was at home with some friends, watching this movie, and said that I could do the same using Instagram. If I wanted to, I could take decisions of my life using polls posted in my stories. Everything is done interactively,” says the Rio de Janeiro native.

His friends were amused by the idea, and encouraged him to begin the experiment, which has already 3,500 masters. According to Albuquerque, the polls address several aspects of his life, and even encouraged social actions. “I could have been made to sit naked on an ice bucket, but, thanks to the vote of the masters, I pained the wall of a public school in Miami. Something which was very cool!”, says him, who did that activity on January 21.

Who is Eduardo?

Screenwriter and moviemaker Eduardo Albuquerque was born in Rio de Janeiro, is 34 years old, and moved to the United States in 2016 to write a movie script about Orlando, Florida. “I had to research, so we came here to spend some time.”

The young man lives with his wife, Luisa Acosta, and was able to get a job writing scripts in the region, before he began his social experiment. According to him, the polls control most of his daily life, but not all 24 hours. “It may not seem so, but I live a normal life, and do other things with my life. Besides, my wife has much more control of my days than my masters,” he jokes.

 

READ IT IN PORTUGUESE:

À la Black Mirror, brasileiro usa enquetes na internet para tomar decisões

O roteirista Eduardo Albuquerque criou o experimento social no Instagram para mostrar a importância da democracia