Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone with The Netflix Game
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
The Netflix Game
The Netflix Game nudges you to step outside your genre box. It fertilizes your imagination, which is life’s most enduring toy.
Mix up your movie watch list. Spend half an hour organizing your queue with wildly juxtaposed genres. Why only half an hour? Let’s not overthink it. Play with gut instinct, instead. After a couple of weeks you won’t remember what movie is next on the list until it downloads in your streaming queue or lands in the mailbox.
When the movie arrives, it might not be the action-packed Western or Sci-Fi you were hoping for and that’s exactly the point. Watch that documentary, chick flick or foreign film you wouldn’t ordinarily view and see what happens. Don’t cheat (skip over the film and watch one you’d typically prefer). Don’t resist. Here’s a genre mashup from my queue:
Documentary (on a topic that typically I wouldn’t watch – one was about a horse-riding competition and the other, baseball).
Dutch film (love these).
American independent film (love these, too).
Stand-up comedy (I chose a comic new to me).
Experimental (If I read the movie description and thought, “What the –?” then I added it to the queue).
Animation (not a favorite, which is why I added it).
Sentimental favorite (time for a break from the frontier of my comfort zone; guaranteed satisfaction from a film I’ve seen before – Midnight Run, Working Girl).
Asian Action Fantasy (no interest in this genre whatsoever; I chose White Snake).
Romance (not a huge fan of these, especially if the endings are too happily ever after, but the right one can land well on my heart and psyche).
Wait! There’s More!
Another version of the Netflix Game is to walk into a theater and watch a film you’ve never heard of. Or if you have, other than the title, know nothing about. I did that with the movie, Hurt Locker. I happened to be downtown near the local “art” theater (specializing in foreign and American independent films). I loved the poster and the crisp title though I didn’t understand its meaning. The poster offered scant clues. Had I known it was a war film, I would have skipped it. And missed a well-made film. I performed the same downtown art house maneuver for the movies, An Education, The Ghost Writer and the documentary Herb and Dorothy.
You will likely enjoy some experiments more than others. Whether or not you enjoy the film isn’t the point. Rather, The Netflix Game is a playful practice of detachment – no expectations. Remain open to surprise and flow with what’s right in front of you. What you learn about yourself through this departure from the familiar becomes a stepping stone toward the opportunities that matter most.