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House of Cards turns a video game reviewer into a major plot point

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Netflix's House of Cards has already had its share of memorable video game cameos — remember Frank Underwood saying, "Is that a PS Vita?" oh so product placement-y? — but one video game plays an important role in the show's newly released third season ... in which a fiction writer and video game reviewer is tapped to write the President's biography.

The game is ustwo's award-winning Monument Valley, which Underwood plays thoughtfully in the season's fifth episode. Later in the episode, Underwood invites writer Thomas Yates to the White House to offer him a biography writing gig. In order to convince Yates that he's the right man for the job, Underwood reads back to him his write-up on Monument Valley.

"You read my video game reviews?" Yates responds incredulously.

"I tend to play shoot 'em ups," Underwood says, an interest we've seen in previous episodes. "The indie games don't really interest me. I need adrenaline, action ... but when I read this, I had to try it. If you can convince me to be a silent princess with just 100 words, imagine how many millions you can convince with this book. You are a salesman, Thomas."

"I wasn't trying to sell anything, just describe my experience," Yates says.

So there you go. The leap from reviewing video games to writing a presidential biography is not such a big one anymore.

The makers of Monument Valley had some nice things to say about their game's cameo in a tweet earlier today.

Monument Valley isn't the only indie game cameo in season 3. In a later episode, Frank is confounded by the appeal of The Stanley Parable, which he's introduced to by Thomas.

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