Tuckersoft is the gaming company that plays a central role in the Bandersnatch plot and Stefan’s future. But it also may play a central role in Black Mirror’s future, including the creation of San Junipero. We’ve been given quite a few clues both within the show and outside the show (and in other Black Mirror episodes) to help us understand the potential importance of Tuckersoft. From Bandersnatch, we know that Tuckersoft is a video game company within the Black Mirror universe. But could this same company somehow be related to TCKR, the company that many years later creates the immersive simulated environments that we see in San Junipero, White Bear, and other episodes? Read on to find out more.
Tuckersoft Is a Gaming Company in the 80s in Black Mirror’s Universe
This article will have major spoilers for Bandersnatch, the newest Black Mirror movie.
Tuckersoft is the company that hires Stefan because of his brilliant idea for a Bandersnatch game. Here’s just one example of Tuckersoft in the 80s within the Black Mirror universe:
If you look up Tuckersoft on Instagram, you’ll come across this recent post.
This post has caused some viewers to wonder if many episodes of Black Mirror were actually just immersive video games created by Tuckersoft. For example, you can see references to Metalhead and Nosedive in this post. Valdack’s Revenge is also seen, which refers to a character in USS Callister last season. Does this mean those episodes could actually have been immersive reality games within the Black Mirror universe? Or did the games simply inspire later experiences, such as the creation of the Metalhead “dogs”?
‘Tuckersoft’ Visited Reddit & Left Clues Before the Bandersnatch Premiere
But wait…there’s more. A person visited Reddit just a week or so before Bandersnatch’s release, using the name Tuckersoft. Redditor u/tuckersoft posted a number of links referring to the Bandersnatch episode in advance, and also posted some nostalgic posts about the 80s. For example, u/tuckersoft posted the following poster under the headline “My latest one. Trying something new tomorrow.” This poster shows up in the Bandersnatch trailer and in the film itself.
They did the same with Nosedive, which you can see below:
Under a post called “Bring Back the original Sugar Puffs” (which they submitted) they wrote, “The government probably poisoned the stuff, but the commercials were good, eh?” The cereal ends up being one of the first choices that viewers are given in the Bandersnatch film.
In a discussion about Black Mirror, in answer to the question “What line or scene f***ed you up the most?,” u/tuckersoft wrote:
my favourite quote: ‘They just appeared on every TV, every computer, anything with a screen. They did something to people. Like, almost everybody just became onlookers, started watching, filming stuff, like spectators who don’t give a sh** about what happens.’
The quote is from White Bear. And considering how many times the White Bear symbol appears in Bandersnatch, the use of the quote definitely points to the symbol having a deeper meaning within the context of the Bandersnatch movie.
The user also started a Shower Thoughts thread and wrote:
We are all living in Pac Man’s world. You know what Pac stands for? PAC. Program and Control. He’s Program and Control Man. The whole thing’s a metaphor. All he can do is consume. He’s pursued by demons that are probably just in his own head. And even if he does manage to escape by slipping out one side of the maze, what happens? He comes right back in the other side. People think it’s a happy game. It’s not a happy game. It’s a f***ing nightmare world. And the worst thing is? It’s real and we live in it.
Interestingly, this is what Colin says to Stefan during the film.
As a fun side note, if you visited TuckerSoft.net before the film premiered on Netflix, you saw this older version of a 404. Clicking on “Search” took you to an old Excite search page.
After the movie premiered, the site became a working site with a very old-timey feel. It just says it’s under construction, and the jobs and opportunities link takes you to the same poster we shared earlier in this story. The website has a couple other fun Easter eggs too.
Tuckersoft Is Likely Related to TCKR, Which Runs San Junipero & Is Mentioned in Black Museum
This part of the post has major spoilers for previous seasons of Black Mirror. You’ve been warned.
It can’t be a coincidence that Tuckersoft uses the last name of the man who created the company, and TCKR is also the same last name, but without the vowels. This points to one of three possibilities:
- Tuckersoft survived Stefan’s downfall (any ending where Tuckersoft survives is “real” in Bandersnatch) and it later grew and changed its name to TCKR Systems.
- Tuckersoft shut down, but Tucker later created TCKR Systems.
- TCKR Systems has no real connection to Tuckersoft but was named in honor of Tuckersoft, much like Tesla cars are named in honor of Tesla but have no connection to Tesla himself.
Now here’s a refresher on why TCKR is so important to the Black Mirror universe.
TCKR created San Junipero, the immersive afterlife reality seen in the episode San Junipero. We also learned in that episode that TCKR’s reality universe is used as nostalgia therapy for the elderly, but they’re only given five hours a week because it can be so addictive.
In Black Museum, we learned that TCKR experiments with all sorts of cutting edge tech, but the ethics of what they do to get there is very questionable. Nothing demonstrated this more clearly than Black Museum and Rolo Haynes, who used to work for TCKR. He was a recruiter, and as he explained, many low-income hospital patients would agree to participate in experiments in exchange for free healthcare.
Haynes worked in the field of “medtech” out of Saint Juniper’s. He described it as being like a university hospital, located in New York. He said he worked as recruitment, not a scientist, for “the guys up top.” He never actually clarifies who these people are. We’re assuming they’re the CEOs of TCKR, but it’s altogether possible that they’re actually part of the federal government or some other entity.
As we learn later in the Black Museum episode, at least one of TCKR’s technologies was later outlawed by the UN. And Dr. Peter Dawson, who once had a promising future, was destroyed by TCKR’s tech.
In Black Museum, we also got to see TCKR’s step-by-step process that eventually led to the digital afterlife of in San Junipero. It all started with the Sympathic Diagnoser that Dawson used. It was a neural implant receiver planted in his brain, coupled with a “helmet” that patients wore. This let Dawson experience all his patients’ sensations and diagnose them. It worked great until he was hooked up when a patient died, and then all his senses got mixed up and he started experiencing pain and pleasure. He eventually became addicted to the tech and ended up in a permanent coma. (Interestingly, when San Junipero is used as nostalgia treatment, elderly patients can only experience five hours a week because of how addictive it becomes.)
We learned in Black Museum that TCKR adapted and fine tuned the tech used with Dawson and finally created digital consciousness transfer. “What they call cookies today,” Rolo explained. He said it was similar to when they “upload old people to the cloud,” but much earlier in time. Before they had a VR environment, they transferred consciousness in a more organic, almost low-fi manner. They were able to upload consciousnesses into other people’s brains, and eventually even into inanimate objects. But the UN made it illegal to transfer human consciousness into limited format. The new format must be able to express at least five emotions. “Human rights for cookies,” he commented.
In Playtest, we also saw TCKR featured in an article preview on the cover of Edge magazine, saying the company plans to turn nostalgia into a game. This is an obvious reference to San Junipero and a sign as to where the episode falls within the show’s timeline.
Now, it looks like Bandersnatch may be connected to TCKR too, through Tuckersoft which created the game and hired Stefan. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.