Home Lifestyle Frank Underwood’s gaming from season 3 of House of Cards

Frank Underwood’s gaming from season 3 of House of Cards

2 min read

Frank underwood monument valley

I may be slightly obsessed with House of Cards. It’s an excellent series whether or not you’re interested in American politics; it’s just a joy to behold as Kevin Spacey embodies Frank Underwood so perfectly. Despite being a high powered politician, Underwood plays video games. In the early seasons he’s shown playing FPS titles, but this year they’re showing something different. Warning: may contain extremely mild spoilers for Season 3.

There are two games that are shown in House of Cards this season, and neither of them are played on his usual PlayStation console. Now, this time he plays two indie titles, both of which have earned a ton of awards.

The first game we see him playing is Monument Valley on tablet. It even becomes a minor plot point as he discusses the game during strategy with his team and even goes so far as to hire the man who wrote an impressive review of the game. You see, game journalists are politicized in the best way, sometimes.

After he is hired by Underwood, the writer then introduces him to a different game, The Stanley Parable. Described as punishing the player for obeying or disobeying the rules, the game is an interesting parallel to a conundrum in the actual series.

It’s not just about using indies this time around as compared to the usual shooters. Underwood still references that there’s a PlayStation around for a kid to play on, but it sends an even more important message. Sure, Frank Underwood is a character we all love to hate. However, he’s also high functioning and incredibly successful. For him to also be shown as a gamer is excellent and makes me extremely happy – instead of gamers being shown as crazy misogynists like they were in Law & Order, House of Cards takes a much more nuanced approach to gaming, and even shows how it can be beneficial. Plus, it’s nice to see indies are getting attention, even on mainstream TV.

I’d like to see more series and movies adopt this in the future. Not all character have active hobbies where they want to go running or boxing to blow off steam – it’s great to see on-screen character engage in other, relatable activities.

Last Updated: March 3, 2015


  1. Matewis Jubilai

    March 3, 2015 at 19:46

    That’s so cool. The most cringe worthy game playing I’ve ever seen in a tv show though, must have been in Big Bang theory: playing mmo’s on their laptops in the living room, presumably using the touchpad, while furiously bashing away on the keyboard 8-|

    edit, this bloody scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEkmO3gQQAs


    • Admiral Chief

      March 4, 2015 at 06:47

      Have you seen the one where the laptops are all pixelated and all you see is the faces and the arm action?



      • Matewis Jubilai

        March 4, 2015 at 07:10

        Lol I don’t think so, what episode was that? I stopped watching from about season 5 onwards when the humor starting taking a real turn for the worse. Also, I got my hands on the entire Friends series, and asked myself why I should settle for any less 😛


        • Admiral Chief

          March 4, 2015 at 07:19

          Where do you stay? I’d like to acquire this series for the Mrs (meaning MOAR game time for me)


          • Matewis Jubilai

            March 4, 2015 at 07:21

            40.2 gb later 🙂
            I’m in snortoria, roundabout the csir

          • Admiral Chief

            March 4, 2015 at 07:42

            Oh yes, I remember now!

          • Geoffrey Tim

            March 4, 2015 at 07:43

            Oi! Piracy bad.
            Want friends? It’s available from Takealot.


            The whole thing is also on Netflix, which costs like, R80 a month.

          • Matewis Jubilai

            March 4, 2015 at 07:52

            Lol I was waiting for this, good man! 🙂 Ofc piracy is bad very bad. I’ve been trying to make up for all my filthy pirating in highschool by flatout refusing to pirate any game ever. Well, except for once with Bioshock, but that was because my store bought version flat-out refused to work with the key provided.

          • Admiral Chief

            March 4, 2015 at 08:47

            Except Netflix is also kinda illegal in SA?

            In any case, I wanted to “borrow” his box set, but he has them digitally…

          • Geoffrey Tim

            March 4, 2015 at 09:09

            Vidi, local streaming service, has Friends for R149 per month. Legal as fuck.

          • Hammersteyn

            March 4, 2015 at 09:25

            Matt LeBlanc could use the money, as long with some of the other cast members.

    • Rock789

      March 4, 2015 at 07:49

      Isn’t that how all MMOs work? **runs** :p


      • Matewis Jubilai

        March 4, 2015 at 07:54

        Lol, the grabbing of items wasn’t uncommon, like when it’s time to sort out the loot and there’s a hunter in the party 😛


  2. Rock789

    March 4, 2015 at 07:49

    Kevin Spacey for the win! Love the series and love his role in COD:AW (which actually is quite similar to his role on House of Cards).


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