Gamification in Movies and TV

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Oh hi there. Welcome to another Gamify video. In today’s video, we’re taking a look at how Gamification has been used in movies and TV Shows.

If you love movies and you love video games - it’s likely that you’ve started to notice the subtle yet consistent hints towards a convergence of the two mediums for the past 20 years - I’m looking at you Shrek DVD Extras…

And before we take a look at some of our favourite examples, I’ll make it very clear that we’re not including video game spin-offs… Super Mario Bros…

So without further adieu - here are some of our favourite uses of gamification in movies to date. 

Tinder’s Swipe Night

Did you know that Tinder is now dabbling in tv shows? Well, they are and they’re doing it in the most Tinder way possible with their Swipe Night mini-series. Aired exclusively on the Tinder app, Swipe Night is a vertically shot, point-of-view show that places you as the view in the shows of a teenager at a house party with the sole purpose of watching a comet pass very close to Earth. But when the comet decides to collide with earth, you’re left to scramble for safety with your friends.

Your involvement comes in at key moments throughout each episode, giving you 7 seconds to make a decision about what happens next. The series uses the familiar swipe right or left gesture to make a decision. Anything from what song to play at the party to whose life to save. This range of impact on your decision as the viewer was an aspect of Swipe Night we really enjoyed as it was a great example of immersion through decision-making. 

You VS Wild

For a man who spends a lot of his time stranded with minimal supplies to survive, Bear Grylls is a remarkably savvy guy when it comes to adapting his usual schtick with the current technological trends - You VS Wild is the perfect example. 

"Every jungle, desert, or mountain that I'm in... every decision is your decision. You're going to dictate what I do." - Bear Gryll’s 

Viewers are invited to come along and interact with Bear in a series of story-defining scenarios. For example, in the first episode, Grylls is confronted with a crocodile and you as the viewer must decide whether he tries to scare the beast away or silently float by it underwater. 

Now it should be noted that you cannot kill Bear Grylls in the series - trust me, you just can’t. But that’s not the point - the brilliance that comes with You VS Wild is it’s fresh take on educating viewers of all ages about survival skills. By directly involving the audience, Grylls has tapped into a form of gamification that we love - combining entertainment, education, engagement, and reward. The perfect recipe.


This list wouldn’t be complete without talking about Bandersnatch. For us at Gamify it was the first “real” film to successfully involve interactivity, without it feeling like a gimmick. What’s more is, this movie would have been decent with or without its interactivity. 

Officially announced only 1 day before its release, Bandersnatch sits within the science fiction anthology of Black Mirror. And that’s an important detail as it’s interactivity is cleverly flavoured with that famous Black Mirror eeriness - almost effortlessly hinting at mankind’s ethical dilemmas involving technology, relationships, politics, and evolution.

Where Bandersnatch stood out for us was in its many possibilities. Where other interactive movies or tv shows offer 1 of 2 outcomes within each storyline, Bandersnatch offered 150 minutes of unique footage, split into 250 segments. This ultimately meant that the movie could run for either 40 minutes all the way to over 2 hours based on the decision you make.

“As you watch or play, you kind of become part of the story yourself.”

Said Charlie Booker, the series creator. And we couldn’t agree more. Bandersnatch gives us a positive outlook on where we’re headed with gamification in movies and tv shows - we couldn’t be more excited.


So what do you think about gamification in movies and tv shows? We’d love to hear more in the comments. And as always, for more info about gamification, check out more blogs here. 

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