'Big Brother', the cultural event that defined television in the early 21st century, lives on in video game form.

The Channel 4 show, based on a Dutch television series, became a global sensation with practically every country in the world having its own version at one stage.

While the show is no longer on our screens on this side of the world, the show is still going strong in the Americas, and the 'Big Brother' app allows players to experience what it's like to be in the famous house.

Players can become a contestant from the comfort of their own home, and we spent a week in the virtual house.

The app has a clever hook - players are in with the chance to win $1 million dollars if they win all 7 houses.

While I personally watched a bit of the show in its heyday I never applied for it, and the game gave me the chance to replicate the ‘Big Brother’ experience.

After chatting to someone from Galway-based developers 9thImpact, I was parachuted into the 'Big Brother' house.

All that was missing was Davina McCall teasing out the elimination process.


Firstly, I made a digital likeness of myself.

When you’re presented with the chance to make yourself in a character creator in video games, one tends to make a more attractive version of themselves.

I gave myself more defined Cillian Murphy style cheekbones and Angelina lips and treated myself to a ‘Saturday Night Fever’ style white suit.

This was complemented by giving myself better facial hair than what I have in real life.

I proceeded to fill out my bio and gave myself the most inscrutable bio I could.

Slipknot was listed as my favourite music, I listed the 1969 French political thriller ‘Z’ as my favourite film, and I named ‘The Art Of War’ was my favourite book.

All 'Big Brother' contestants watch 1960's black-and-white French films, right?

I threw in some details about loving Italian food and candles to create the walking paradox of a ‘Big Brother’ contestant that reads ancient Chinese military strategy books and watches highbrow French films but is also your average Himbo.

If my fellow housemates wanted to crack me, they would need a sledgehammer.

Virtual Insanity

Me and the fellow housemates exchange pleasantries and we set about doing some tasks.

The game itself is similar to the actual ‘Big Brother’ experience where there are long stretches of waiting for something to happen before a moment of madness defines you.

The first few hours in the house was spent getting to know my housemates, and I was the only Irish person in the house.

I quickly discovered the key to survival in the virtual ‘Big Brother’ house is to always look busy.

The key to survival in 'Big Brother'? Look busy.

This meant checking in a few times every day to make sure my digital likeness was dusting or making dinner, and taking part in the head of house challenges.

I was a floater in the house, never really contributing much to the overall vibe, but chatted with players as necessary.

The tasks to become the head of the house varied from playing mini-games to answering trivia questions.

Whenever trivia came up, I knew I was safe, but when the task of the day was game-related, I knew I was screwed.

I was terrible at the mini-games, but my vast knowledge of useless space trivia won me the honour of becoming head of the house.

On my fourth day, I won the contest to become head of house.

The night before, I had agreed to an informal alliance with another housemate.

We agreed to form an alliance with another player who was good at the mini-games, and this would ensure the three of us a spot in the final 3, at that stage we would go our separate ways.

The cunning plan to secure survival

It was a temporary truce that showed hidden depths to my housemates.

Beneath the messages every morning chatting about our lives and generally shooting the breeze, there was a hidden depth to my housemates.

There was one problem to that Machiavellian scheme: I forgot who I was talking to.

I was given the honour of picking two housemates for elimination, and in a blind panic, I nominated the person I had agreed to form the alliance with.

For a journalist, I'm quite bad at remembering names.

In a social environment like the 'Big Brother' house, that is a recipe for disaster.

I felt bad for the rest of the day, and at the end of the day, she was eliminated.

This Coen Brothers-esque bit of forgetting the game plan and general stupidity was the turning point in my stint in the house.

Dear Diary... You can visit the famous diary room

I inadvertently ended up eliminating my main rival for the throne.

This was less 'Game Of Thrones' back-stabbing and treachery, and more 'The Thick Of It' levels of bumbling incompetence on my mind.

After that, I had a fairly smooth run.

I continued my usual strategy of keeping busy, cooking dinner, staying on people's good sides, and chucking my fellow contestants some tokens to keep them sweet.

By the end of the week, I had the house won.

Fumbling my way to victory after messing up an intricate plan is exactly what would happen if I ever went on ‘Big Brother’ and the game did a fantastic job of capturing just that.

The ‘Big Brother’ game is a really cool and novel way to experience what it’s like to be in the house, and while it’s something I personally would never apply for, the experience was actually pretty fun and dynamic.

We'd recommend downloading the app for fans of the show or people who have always wondered how they'd fare in the famous house.

In my case, I realised I have all the grace and subtlety of a rhino on rollerskates and would probably be voted out of the real house in record time.

The 'Big Brother' game is available to download for PC, iPhone and Android devices