TRENDING: Disney’s Second Screen Live Gamifies the Movies!

We’re going to take a break from talking about game elements that contribute to gamification right now and discuss a new trend in entertainment. Yes, I know I said that this blog was about gamification applied to education, but it’s a complex world where most everything is related.

Ever hear about the restoration of wolves to Yellowstone National Park? I rest my case about the fact that everything is connected (which I would love to include the article link, but as I’m writing this there is a government shutdown affecting the websites- link was placed in after government continued functioning fully).

American Idol & The Voice Give Opportunities for Engagement


By Lestat (Jan Mehlich) [CC-BY-SA-2.5]

American Idol and The Voice are singing competitions where audience members can vote on their favorite performances. American Idol allows audience members to vote during a two-hour window by calling, texting or submitting their votes online. The Voice allows audience members to vote through iTunes song downloads.

Both shows encourage live tweeting with performers and judges. These two shows really set the stage for audience members interacting with each other and their entertainment shows.

Disney’s Second Screen Live- Gamifying the Movies

Disney re-released “The Little Mermaid” in theaters with the following twist: bring your iPad downloaded with Second Screen Live App to interact with the movie while you are watching it. In fact when you enter the theater, you are split up into different teams named from the different characters to add a sense of competition to the mix. In addition to tapping out bubbles and fireworks, audience members solve trivia questions to rack up points.

Disney has applied game elements such as points and competition to watching a movie. Would you pay movie theater prices to watch a movie you’ve already watched? Most likely not, unless you have special connection or you watched it when you were a kid and now you have kids of your own. Disney’s betting on that too.

McDonald’s Monopoly Game Uses Gamification

In a previous post, we shared a monster of a list noting examples of gamification to include: McDonald’s Monopoly Game. “McNopoly,” as I’m coining it, encourages you to buy something that you might not normally buy in quantity, in the hopes you “win” something. Everyone likes to be a winner. It’s like like the phrase, “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Someone wins at McNopoly, somewhere. However, lots of little prizes: free fries! Bet you buy a Coke to wash those fries down.

Gamifying the Movies- So What Does It All Mean

Most of us multitask, some even while using the toilet. I know, TMI. Do we really need to add another layer of stimulation in our movie theater going experience? However, the entertainment industry wants to capture ALL of your attention.

So what does this means if it was applied to education? How can we increase interaction and engagement by using some of the same elements that Disney has used? Perhaps live tweeting during classes using a specific hashtag (#FSULIS5385)? Hogwarts house style points system for answering questions correctly or doing the right & good things?

What would you do to increase engagement in learning? Would you see “The Little Mermaid” Second Screen Live if it came to a theater near you? Drop us a comment or two about what you think? Until next time, go get your game on! Don’t forget to drop by our Facebook page for additional #gamification content: .


Posted on October 30, 2013, in Apps, Gamification and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Really interesting post! I dig the Hogwarts house points idea 😀

  2. I really enjoyed this article! I’m a fan of Disney and social media so it’s cool to see the two mix. I think social media and technology will continue to grow in use. It’s a really cool tool, I really like the concept of the interactive movie you mentioned I totally think it will bring in new people who are curious to see how it works/experience it!

    • I agree! I thought it was a great mixture of those two things. I had no idea they were doing this and now I wish I would have had the chance to participate! Its a really unique idea.

      • I had no idea they were doing this either! I hope it will become widespread so I too have the chance to experience it first hand. It is a really unique idea.

  3. Elizabeth Jimenez #eme2040

    I’m a huge Disney movies fan and I think it is a great idea to be able to interact with the movie features. I would watch and participate in the Second screen live. I would incorporate this idea inside of the classroom. It will be great if we can do this on a smart board and BYOD with the app downloaded, but with informative movies, such as March of the Penguins.

  4. So this article title caught my attention as soon as I saw the title. I love Disney. It’s honestly a smart move on Disney’s part to have put a twist like that on an old movie. A movie that was made many years ago suddenly became extremely relevant to this generation with the inclusion of technology. They know how entertained children this day in age are by just a simple game on their phones so if these movies and shows are doing it, why not schools too!

    • I agree that kids will love this idea. It’s a way of Disney meeting the needs of the new generation that is so tech-heavy. It’s also a way for Disney to make more profit off of an old movie!

      • Kayla Francisco

        Exactly! In a society that revolves around technology, the smart thing to do would be to involve more technology in all things! Especially school

  5. Second screen interaction is a great way to capture peoples full attention. It is a great way to interact with users and increase engagement. In the case of learning although potentially it can make learning more engaging, I think it offers a chance to find other distractions.
    There are new social media platforms that focus exclusively on education and that potentially can be a good way to engage students outside of the classroom.

  6. Nielsen recently released the results of a study that they did which showed a positive correlation between the number of tweets being sent out about a program and the number of viewers. From this, it is clear that social media and interactivity does have some sort of boosting effect on television, and probably movies as well. This probably means that it can have a negative effect as well. If a lot of people are saying online that a show or movie is awful then it could influence the decision not to watch. I think that something like what Disney is doing is with their interactivity and iPads during movies could also deter people who simply want to watch in peace. It seems like this could almost be over-gamification.

  7. Nowadays focusing on just ONE thing is not enough. Having these interactions like Disney did with the little mermaid is a great way for the audience to have fun and enjoy something more. I think including this in lesson plans would be a great way to have your students pay attention since they’ll probably be on their phones anyway. I think students will do anything for some extra points! and they’ll find it fun too! School=fun ? You don’t see that too often but this might just make it happen.

  8. Disney is a very smart company, no wonders why they are a multibillionaire company. The twist they gave to the movie show of the classic movie “The Little Mermaid,” was brilliant! They not only show they move along the new generations by understanding what are their interests but they also show that by doing it they include what older generations are interested in as well, which in this case is participation in family. Kids could enjoy their smart devices and parents got to be part of this experience and participate as a family helping their kids, this also must had helped the adults not to get board at the movies, great move Disney!

  9. Gamification is increasing perception, stimulation and engagement. With the goal of leaving a lasting impression for viewers. And involving technology is genius! It’s the best way to reach this generation. These days everyone has a smart phone or tablet. And to bring that into a classroom allows students to engage at a greater level. It turns learning into something fun and motivates them to succeed.

  10. I, personally, wouldn’t watch a movie I’ve already seen in the movie theaters even if it had some type of gaming element to it. But I do see the potential in growing that market for kids so the movie theater becomes an “experience” of some sort and not just a movie anymore. If marketed correctly, it would be great for kids movies like The Little Mermaid – I could definitely see Disney implementing that in their movie theaters in Downtown Disney to add that sense of “magic” and excitement in every corner of their brand – even the movie theaters.

    I also think that social media should be utilized in a classrooms more. Students are going to look at their phones regardless, so why not make them use it toward their education? Live tweeting their opinions during a discussion, and seeing if anyone gets any responses to their opinions and sharing them with the class would keep the discussion going when nobody wants to share their own opinion in front of the class. It’s stimulating and engaging all at the same time. I think so many things take the attention of students, and by making educating “fun” or “cool” it’ll help spark the fire to learn through tools they’re already using.

  11. Regarding this article, I don’t believe I would watch a movie I have already seen again even though there is a new gaming element involved. However, I know 10 year olds watch movies over and over again and at the same time they can be very competitive. So if they are split into groups and the more you know about the movie will most likely make them win I’m sure they will want to go to the movies over and over again, mainly to win the opponent side.
    At the same time they will most likely keep playing the Disney apps and this will allow Disney to behavioral target these children with marketing with specific things that the children might be interested in, such as toys, movies, characters or even music.

  12. I feel this may not make much of a difference, even though is a great way to engage specially kids into this trend. But kids having all kinds of media to interact with the different Disney movies that come out, i feel it will be a trend that won’t die out, but that won’t be as popular with children that are constantly visiting disney sites or different apps. Regardless, it’s a great interactive tool that contributes to the promoting for movies and to somehow teach children the different gaming features.

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