On October 2, 2015, Swiss pubcaster SRF released the ten-part web series “Roiber und Poli” on its website and official YouTube channel. The series, whose episodes are each about seven minutes in length, centers on a seemingly normal family struggling with financial difficulties and therefore deciding to become thieves. What makes the web series unique is the interactive ending which allows viewers to get a conclusion to the story that matches their taste and opinion on subjects such as morality and crime.
The Zbinden family consists of father Urs, an unsuccessful game developer, mother Sybille, who works in a museum, and the eight-year-old daughter Gwendolin, who acts as a commentator and narrator of the absurd family situation for the viewers. The parents’ criminal career starts out with father Urs stealing a leg of ham in a butcher’s shop and, after they begin to take pleasure in their criminal lifestyle, soon extends to expensive furniture, instruments, clothing and even paintings from the museum.
The neighbor, a retired policeman who still likes to solve crimes in his free time and takes care of daughter Gwendolin while the parents are out stealing, presents a potential difficulty for the family’s criminal activities.
After having watched the first eight episode of the series on either srf.ch or the pubcaster’s YouTube channel, viewers themselves can decide on how the series should end. For that purpose, SRF created a personality test that is available on the website and asks viewers questions such as ‘Are thieves sexy?’ or ‘Do some children belong in prison?’.
After having answered all the questions, the viewers are presented with the result and the video of the ending of the web series (either the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ one) that best matches their personality.
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