‘You came into this city with your dad. Because of your dad. But then you made a choice. And now you’re alone.’

After the sudden loss of your father leaves you adrift, you make a choice which you hope will be the last decision you ever make alone – you enter the technologically-advanced world of the City, and consent to have your every move tracked and guided by an AI called SAM. And as SAM gets to know you better, it also claims to be steering you towards your best life.

But an old friend from home is convinced that there’s a conspiracy to uncover, and that SAM is at the centre of a dark, secret system. Can you trust that the people trying to help you adjust to life in the City are really on your side? And can you get to the truth without putting yourself – and your best friend – in danger?

THE NEXT BEST THING is an interactive digital piece, with a branch-and-bottleneck, choice-based narrative, which explores how we make decisions, personal freedom, and the complicated costs of technology. 

Commissioned by Chronic Insanity for Puncture The Screen, July 2021

Directed by Joe Strickland
Illustrated by Ellen Schaffert


‘a uniquely personal experience…asks sizeable questions about social interaction, technology, consent, and ethics’ – The Reviews Hub