10 Video Games That Appeared in Movies
One aspect that sets video games apart from other forms of media is their relatively young existence. Video games gained significance in the 1970s, wh...
One aspect that sets video games apart from other forms of media is their relatively young existence. Video games gained significance in the 1970s, which, from a historical perspective, is not too long ago. Nevertheless, video games have already made appearances in numerous films, even in their early days as a medium.
They can be significant in the plot, used for comedic purposes, or immerse the viewer in the world, especially when the film is set in a different country. Even in movies where video games are a recurring element, there is usually a prominent game that is utilized for a pivotal moment.
10 TimeSplitters 2: Shaun Of The Dead
The first installment of Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy was the horror-comedy classic "Shaun of the Dead" from 2004. The film featured numerous pop culture references, including an infamous scene where vinyl records were thrown. However, there was also a appearance of video games. The showcased video game was "TimeSplitters 2," and it is certainly an intriguing choice when you think about it.
"Shaun of the Dead" was filmed in England and produced by English filmmakers, so it makes sense to use a game from English developers. Free Radical Design was composed of many former Rare developers and happened to be located in the same country. Since "Shaun of the Dead" was a relatively small film during production, it was wise, for budgetary reasons, to use a game from a local developer.
9 Doom 2: Grosse Pointe Blank
One of the most fascinating video game appearances has to be Doom 2 in the film "Grosse Pointe Blank" from 1997. Firstly, Doom 2 appears as an arcade cabinet, and the production designers did a great job in making it look like an authentic arcade machine.
Doom 2 was never present in arcades, but interestingly, the successor from id Software, Quake, was actually found there. In 1998, Quake was released in arcades, and the cabinet actually dispensed tickets. Since this film was released in '97, the filmmakers were only a year away from portraying the scene 100% authentically.
8 Fortnite: Avenger's Endgame
As Fortnite was one of the biggest games in 2019, it was easy to predict that it would make an appearance in one of the most anticipated films of recent times. Indeed, Fortnite is seen in "Avengers: Endgame," played by some of Thor's friends.
It is interesting that despite the disappearance of half of all life, Fortnite is still an extremely popular game with a large community. It contributes a piece to world-building, although the way the game is used, with insulting and demeaning behavior, is quite cliché. You have definitely seen this type of scene in other movies.
7 Wild Gunman: Back To The Future Part 2
When it comes to iconic video game scenes, especially from 80s cinema, one definitely has to mention the '80s cafe from "Back to the Future Part II". Nintendo's Wild Gunman is the major video game featured here, and it's a short but iconic and humorous scene.
Marty starts the game and quickly takes out all three opponents in an elegant manner. However, the kids watching mockingly say the iconic line: "You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy." It's a great scene and will be remembered more than the game itself.
6 Adventure: Ready Player One
A common legend in video games states that "Adventure" for the Atari 2600 was the first known use of an Easter Egg. Hidden and concealed within the game is a clue referencing the developer, Warren Robinett, as it was against the guidelines at that time to give individual game developers public recognition.
To be fair, when the novel "Ready Player One" was published in 2011, no previous Easter eggs had been discovered at that time. However, when the film was released in 2018, this fact was no longer true as an earlier Easter egg had been found the previous year. Nevertheless, "Adventure" remains pivotal to the climax of the story and certain themes, which is why it was understandable to include it in the film.
5 Super Mario Bros 3: The Wizard
Games are often announced at video game events, but it's surprising to look back and realize that Super Mario Bros. 3 was announced in a movie in North America. Nowadays, that sounds strange, but during a time when the internet wasn't as widely available, the climax of "The Wizard" in 1989 was incredibly effective.
The film itself is a cheesy, lovably bad flick that holds nostalgia for many, but the climax was genuinely exciting at the time. In the final round of the Video Armageddon tournament, a brand-new game is played, Super Mario Bros. 3. Although it may seem incredibly unrealistic nowadays for a tournament to end with a game that no one has trained for, this finale was worth the admission price for many back then.
4 Double Dragon: Double Dragon
There are many poor video game adaptations, but one of the few notable things about the film "Double Dragon" is that the actual game itself appears in it. In the climax of the movie, the real "Double Dragon" arcade machine magically appears out of nowhere.
It is also not well hidden and appears quite prominently. The film "House of the Dead" also features the game itself, but not within the actual universe of the film. Game footage simply appears during transitions. A complete time paradox takes place here, and it's crazy to witness.
3 Gears Of War: The Hurt Locker
The Academy Award-winning drama "The Hurt Locker" is set during the second year of the Iraq War. This fact is significant because it doesn't quite match the video game featured in it. In the film, soldiers are shown playing "Gears of War" on an Xbox 360.
Since "Gears of War 1" was released in November 2006, there is a two-year difference in the film. However, it is realistic for soldiers to play games as certain devices are often used with a video game controller.
2 Street Fighter: It – Chapter Two
"It: Chapter Two" is filled with flashbacks. Not as many as in a typical Saw film, but still quite a few. In Richie's flashbacks, we see him playing "Street Fighter 1" at the arcades. The part of the modern "It" series with the kids takes place in the late 80s, so the filmmakers couldn't use the actually popular fighting game "Street Fighter 2" as it was released in 1991.
That is a bit jarring for immersion if you are familiar with the history of video games because "Street Fighter 1" was not a popular game at all. Many people had never heard of or played the first game when the second title gained popularity and sparked the fighting game boom of the 90s. A game like "Double Dragon" would have been a better fit.
1 Pop'n Music: Lost In Translation
Since "Lost in Translation" is set in Japan, it is crucial to fully utilize the setting to maintain both realism and the various themes. There aren't many games that present a Japanese environment better than "Pop'n Music." It is a rhythm game with a unique control system reminiscent of "Whack-a-Mole," and it stands among the best in its genre.
The likelihood is high that you probably haven't heard of this series, and that's precisely why its inclusion in the film is so impactful. Pop'n is highly popular in Japan, and since it is relatively unknown outside of the country, its presence adds depth to the plot and addresses important themes.