Man, I wish that was real!
In an attempt to build a fully believable world, sometimes fiction can be delightfully meta. Movies, books, television shows, and even comics have a long and storied history involving media brands that exist only within the confines of its carefully-constructed universe.
And, being that video games are a major part of our culture, there have been numerous made-up games spotted in all of fictions various forms. While many of these tend to be shameless rip-offs or plays on existing games, every now and again one will be featured that is interesting enough to warrant our desire for them to be playable in real life. Here are the eight that would be a delight to play on modern consoles.
Alien Child (Her)
In the movie Her, a pivotal scene involving video games shows us that maybe motion controls dont have to be about awkward arm gestures and constant lighting adjustments.
During this scene, the movies protagonist Theodore plays a game projected into his living room in which he moves his character around using simple swiping motions and gestures. Theres not much by way of crazy sci-fi action, but it does have a charming look with an interesting level of depth. The implementation of the technology to allow for seamless motion controls and dynamic voice-controlled conversation with AI is a neat feature. Sadly, we arent likely to see anything on this scale until the Kinect 5.0.
Burgerboss (Bobs Burgers)
In one of his many schemes to boost revenue for the restaurant, one episode sees Bob purchasing an arcade machine called Burgerboss. Essentially, the game is a platformer in which you play as a spatula-wielding chef fighting off condiments, vegetables, and other food items while racking up points.
Its a pretty basic game, but Bob becomes obsessed with beating his rivals high score. It calls back to the days of old when so many of us sank hours of our lives into mastering controls and movements, all so we could beat someone elses high score and have our names featured on the machine. Oh wait: this is just BurgerTime, right? Bit of a cheat. You see, this is why you'll never be as good as Family Guy, Bob...
Stay Alive (Stay Alive)
Stay Alive is a horror movie from 2006 in which a group of young adults become hooked on a survival horror game. It sounds innocent enough, but Stay Alive had one massive catch: those who die in the game die in a similar way in real life.
Saying that the survival horror genre is in need of a shot in the arm isnt exactly groundbreaking. Its been largely relegated to indie PC titles or converted into action shooters on modern consoles, containing only small remnants of their former selves. Well, apart from PT, which is terrifying. Undoubtedly, actual player death is a hardcore mechanic not for the faint of heart, but maybe it could give those claiming games arent scary anymore a reason to break out the night lights. Plus, imagine the on-stage demo at E3
The Turning (The Last of Us)
Referenced a handful of times throughout Naughty Dogs apocalyptic adventure, The Turning is essentially a Mortal Kombat clone complete with all the violence and gore anyone could possibly want.
Yes, its likely weve all seen our fair share of spines being ripped out over the years. But, theres definitely still room on the market for a game starring Angel Knives, a character who allegedly would punch a hole in your stomach before kicking your head off, and could easily help meet the demand for more female game characters. Eat your heart out, Sonya Blade.
Mind Game (Ender's Game)
Procedural generation is a popular convention often used in modern games to create vast assortments of worlds, but the way its utilised in the fictional Mind Game from Enders Game takes things to a new level.
Mind Game is essentially a dynamic game collection that constantly changes what is readily available for the students to play. It is most frequently featured as Ender plays The Giants Drink, the fantasy game within the Mind Game collection widely considered impossible for anyone to beat. Mind Games main function is to allow psychologists and military leaders to analyse the behavioural responses of people playing it. But hey maybe the idea of a flexible and inexhaustible game library can make up for the possibility of unwilling psychological surveillance.
Laser Tag (Futurama)
The way Laser Tag is played in Futurama is pretty similar to its real-life counterpart. Players run around, hiding behind barriers and shooting at each other using just their hands clenched in a gun-like position. What makes it cool here is the fact that its essentially a virtual reality-based multiplayer shooter in which you can shoot and cackle with glee as your friends shatter into pixels.
The whole suit needed to transport oneself into the game is admittedly a bit more involved than the Oculus Rift, but giving players the ability to all but dump themselves into a game is enough to make up for the seemingly cumbersome setup.
Virtual Reality Fighting Game (The Island)
For some reason, movies tend to have an obsession with motion controls and virtual reality. Its often seen as a much more sleek and interesting version of the somewhat clunky options we have now, though, as seen in the VR fighting game from the movie The Island.
Seeing your likeness projected as a hologram in the centre of a small arena kicking someones ass? All while using real-time moves and a complex-looking screen display? Itd definitely do away with the need to memorise confusing strings of complicated combos, and no one can accuse you of button mashing when youre only using your fists and feet. And, it would definitely shake things up at EVO.
Demonik (Grandma's Boy)
Of all the games on this list, Demonik is the one that was closest to ever becoming a reality. Heavily featured in the movie Grandmas Boy, the game was actually taken up by developer Terminal Reality and was set to be published by Majesco as an Xbox 360 exclusive back in 2006. Unfortunate financial troubles prematurely ended the games development.
Its a shame, too, because Demonik seemed like a genuinely cool idea. It was a third-person action game in which people played as a demon hitman forced to do the bidding of those who summoned him. Sadly, all we have left of this game is the footage shown off at E3 2005.
ERMAGURD! Gerald Butter in Gamr!
Were lucky to have massive amounts of great games at our disposal today. But the chance to play proper laser tag using our fingers as guns? Or a horror game in which there are no extra lives? Its a pity that some of fictions best imaginings will never be anything more. As the saying goes: we can always dream. Have any other great fictional games youd add to the list? Share them in the comments below!
Want more features that are a little bit meta? Here's one about the 11 Conspiracy Theories That Assassin's Creed Says Are True (opens in new tab), and another on 11 Random Objects That Look Like Video Game Executives (opens in new tab).