Backchannel is a social game developed by area/code for MTV to promote their hit show The Hills.
Backchannel is a two-screen game. As viewers watch the latest episode of The Hills on television, they play along online with other fans by commenting in real-time on the show’s events. The more funny, insightful, and snarky their contributions, the better. Players score points when other gamers click on their comments, causing them to gain popularity and increase in size on-screen. Top-scoring comments get integrated into the show itself, showing up as supertitles into future broadcasts of the episode.
Backchannel is a new-kind of social game designed for today’s multi-tasking, always-connected television audience. MTV has used Backchannel to tap into and expand a vibrant online community, as well as utilizing the data generated by Backchannel gamers to monitor the impact of its programming. By creating this unique system, Area/Code has produced an outlet for fans to enjoy repeated viewings of their favorite show while increasing their engagement across multiple platforms.
“[Backchannel is a] play-while-you watch game that’s one part chat room, one part Digg, and one part Mystery Science Theater with a Mean Girls twist.” CNet News