House of Cards - Chapter #26 - Red Dead Revolver
This past month, much fuss was made about an episode of Law and Order: SVU that focused on the GamerGate movement in everything but name.
Those in support of the movement viewed it as a "reefer madness" type endeavor meant to paint gamers as crazed lunatics, and even those in the opposing camp thought it was exceptionally stupid and made real-world problems in the industry into cartoon caricatures.
The episode is still being debated even now, with GamerGate blaming the press for writing the headlines the episode was "ripped from," and house of cards playstation game press blaming GamerGate for doing the sorts of nasty things that necessitated those headlines being written in the first place.
All in all, the debate comes down to the fact that everyone is upset that a TV show made gaming look bad.
Enter House of Cards.
Unlike a show like Law and Order which draws on gaming stereotypes when it suits them, House of Cards has had an interesting and odd relationship with that has carried through all three seasons of the show so far.
To many, it seems odd that a show about the nefarious inner-workings of DC politics would bother featuring gaming at all, yet the show keeps coming back to the idea.
Now in source three spoilers through season keeping score spades card gameFrank Underwood is president of the United States.
And he is a gamer.
Unlike many out there, I don't believe the validity of video gaming as an adult pastime lives and dies by its depiction see more other forms of media, especially television.
And yet, there is something house of cards playstation game be said about a nuanced portrayal of a non-traditional gamer in a show like House of Cards, even if it only gets it right some of the time.
In the first two seasons of House of Cards, Frank's relationship with gaming seems uncomfortable at best and outright forced at worst.
Given that TV arm is a distribution partner for and House of Cards, their gaming products are inserted into the show not necessarily as a conscious plot point, but as blatant and sometimes weirdly off-putting product placement.
Most famously, in season one, Frank goes to the house of Congressman Peter Russo and finds his son playing video games.
The line became one of the most quotable of the series, and not for any good reasons.
Later, in season two, Frank tries to go back to his PlayStation where he frequently plays FPS games, but finds himself too frustrated with his political problems to get past the loading screen, which conveniently displays the prominent PlayStation logo for the cameras before he signs off.
But now in season three, Frank's gaming has expanded outside of Sony products mild spoilers, but really nothing important.
The game was made by Ustwo, who so far as I can tell, has no connection to Sony.
Frank goes on to hire the novelist who penned the review of the game to write his biography.
He name house of cards playstation game Monument Valley when discussing strategy with advisers Remy and Seth.
The house of cards playstation game becomes something of an actual plot point on the show, albeit a small one.
What's interesting about Monument Valley's appearance in season three is that unlike Sony's heavy-handed shout-outs, it is not paid product placement.
I reached out to Ustwo who confirmed no deal was in place and they believed someone working on the show must simply be a fan of the game.
Given how highly praised MV has been, that's very likely the case.
To be inserted into the plot of a show as popular as House of Cards for free is no small feat, and it represents a significant shift from past seasons.
The game is in the show because the writers wanted it there, not because they were paid to put it there.
Steve Buja of actually has an interesting take about how Monument Valley might be a metaphor for Frank's political struggle.
They are each trapped in their own Monument Valley - as fitting a description of DC as any, with the rulers of old ensconced forever watching and judging from their marble perches.
A testament to glories past.
It is up to both Ida and Frank to move the world to suit their needs; to twist and bend the path before them, reshaping the landscape to achieve their end.
Along the way they will enlist the house of cards playstation game of various allies - for Frank it's various Congressmen and Senators, for Ida, it's the semi-sentient blocks that allow her access to unreachable areas.
Still, if it was a conscious decision to use a game like Monument Valley to represent his problems in some way, I think that's rather clever.
Yet despite not being quite on the level of "Is that a PS Vita?
I think part of that is that we live in a media culture where characters on TV will reference movies or even other TV shows all day long, yet gaming is rarely brought up as a pop culture reference, despite its exploding popularity.
Perhaps this is simply representative of that kind of shift, though with House of Cards' history of blatant gaming product placement, it's easy to be skeptical until you know for a fact that such a reference isn't part of some kind of branding deal.
Fortunately, MV's appearance isn't, though many viewers may not know that.
With all of this said, if we're all upset about Law and Order getting gamers wrong, I think there is some small victory in one of the most popular shows on air err, on stream to feature the most powerful man on earth as someone whose main hobby outside of backstabbing and power-grabbing is.
And if it gets more people to play an amazing house of cards playstation game like Monument Valley, it's good for the industry at large.
We'll have to wait and see how Frank's gaming obsession evolves in the inevitable fourth season of the show.
But given Sony's shadow, I'm guessing we won't see him playing Halo 5.
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House of Cards - Vowel Game - The Debate
Created by Beau Willimon. With Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright, Kate Mara. A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.
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