Which ones are actually real again? It gets confusing. So we've rounded up a bunch of the best fictional games to clarify, and also looked at what exactly they'd be like if they did exist.
Grand Theft Walrus
From: The Simpsons Movie (2007)
It is: A bright and breezy, zoology-based Grand Theft Auto. Penguins are the new crack-whores.
In real life: It'd be hilarious. If fact if it wasn;t for the need for a family-friendly age rating, we'd be lobbying EA to put it in a future Simspons game as an unlockable. We want to play a walrus in a gunship blasting up a puffin stronghold, before speeding away in a BMW and side-swiping a street-tough wiseguy gazelle along the way. And you know you do too. And for once, PETA couldn't complain. Animal on animal violence is just the circle of life, even if itinvolves semi-automatics.
From: The Last Starfighter (1984)
It is: A space shooter arcade game that secretlyacts as a recruiting device for a flailing alien race's space fleet. Top the high score table, get your own fighter plane.
In real life: It would be the most universally uncompleted game in history.A perfect 1000/1000 gamerscore would come with severe health risks. The immediately-unlocked sequel would have better graphics, but a definite lack of save points.
Global Thermonuclear War
From: WarGames (1983)
It is: A government computer simulation of nuclear war, intended to teach an automated defence system how to deal with a nuke threat. Though it'shacked remarkably easilyby a young Matthew Broderick, leading to all kinds of near-armageddon hilarity. Man, Inspector Gadget can do anything.
In real life: It actually exists. Sort of. Cult fatalistic nuke war game DEFCON is based very much upon it. Only without the risk of global holocaust. We hope. We like DEFCON. No-one's missing any countries at the moment, are they?
From: Stay Alive (2006)
It is: A co-op survival horror game with suspiciously pre-rendered looking graphics that kills you up in real life if you die in-game. Nothing like an interactive version of Ring then. Probably on a legally-enforcable level.
In real life: It'd probably actually be pretty creepy, pretty prettysurvival horror, by the looks of the extracts in the movie. And Mikami only knows we need more of them right now. Plus, it'd have the added advantage of saving you the effort of muting any annoying players you found yourself saddled with. TKs would never have been more satisfying.
From: Brainscan (1994)
It is: A total immersion virtual reality murder simulator that uses brain scanning and hypnosis to create a psychologically-tailored optimum horror experience for the player. You know, just like all video gamesdid in 1994. Oh, and your in-game murdering happens in the real world too, and then the FBI comes after you. GOTY.
In real life: Fox News would haemorrage with joy.
From: Existenz (1999)
It is: A total immersion virtual reality weirdness simulator requiring a physical and ambiguously psycho-sexual bond with an organic game controller. It's highly addictive and can cause a total existential breakdown of your perception of what is and isn't real in around 30.4 seconds flat.
In real life: You might already be playing it.