Here is the first extended clip from BitTorrent's experiment with pay-for-play content. The file-sharing software company has partnered with Rapid Eye Studios to create a series called Children of the Machine. Our first look left us uncomfortable but intrigued.
Aimed at the post-Millennial generation, the series chronicles the lives of youth living in a dystopian future of environmental collapse. People who have gotten smart "implants" like the ones described in this clip are rebelling against authority, and getting high by "jolting," allowing their implants to stoke their hormone levels to stimulate emotional reactions. "It's not a drug," our 14-year-old narrator Winona explains in this clip. "It feels better than anything else."
We watch as Winona shows us her chip scar, strokes her bare legs, then slurs her way through a strange monologue about how her chip lets her "be social" and "feel things." She warns that if her parents knew what she could do with it, they'd take it away. And then she wanders around the beach, trailing her fingers in the air, looking basically like an underage model in an American Apparel ad.
There's something unintentionally creepy about this teaser, which feels like a science fiction version of the controversial film Kids, which walked the line between exposé and exploitation. You'll feel vaguely gross ogling this young woman, drinking in her drugged-out descriptions of having what amount to techno-orgasms delivered via implant.
Disappointingly, we get almost no sense of what the world is like around her — nor what the technology is that she and her friends are so obsessed with. Why is it causing so many problems? "It's augmented reality," she explains, sounding like a startup's vision statement rather than a teenager.
Still, I'm interested to see where Children of the Machine goes — if people are willing to pony up a flat rate of $9.95, the series will continue. Learn more on the series' Facebook page.