Chose Your Own… PSA
In the U.K., public service announcements are getting a bit more lively than “Just Say No.” The Metropolitan Police Service and leading visual effects company The Mill have joined forces for an innovative choose-your-own-adventure-style online PSA called “A Different Ending.” In this departure from the usual Youtube fare, the Mill studio provides 23 seamlessly cut versions of a story based on viewers’ choices, such as whether to pick up a knife, enter a fight and stab a rival in the chest (or not!) all shot from the point of view of the protagonist.
Those accustomed to first-person shooter games may not appreciate the project’s moralistic conclusions, but “A Different Ending” is entertaining enough to draw in viewers and get its message across: “Picking up a gun or a knife always makes a situation worse, never better.” If that sounds no better than your average PSA, take the video trip. Choosing to pick up a knife inevitabley leads to a final chapter featuring a dejected mother bearing a look of utter disappointment. It’s enough to make even the most hardened young gangsta think twice about committing violence.