10 Times Movies & TV Awkwardly Featured Video Games

10 Times Movies & TV Awkwardly Featured Video Games


Pfffft…bloody hell, video games look exhausting,
don’t they? …Well, they are if every film and TV show
are to be believed, what with all the exaggerated leaning, furious shouting, and frenzied button-mashing
– Pipe down with that clicking! [gradually increasing controller clicking
noises, stop abruptly] Over recent cinematic history, only one thing
has been treated worse than video game movie adaptations, and that’s the portrayal of
video games in movies. What might seem like a trivial detail to a
director, writer or stagehand, can make a huge difference to even the most casual game
enthusiast. We’re talking about silliness ranging from
Sega Game Gears that play without a cartridge, to James Bond himself coming out of retirement
only to sit through acompletely made-up game – Sorry, Sean, we’ve no idea what’s
going on either. Sure, ignorance might have been understandable
about 30 years ago, but even today, TV and Film still have no clue how to represent this
monumentally successful entertainment industry, without stupid theatrics, unnatural product
placements, or disingenuous writing that screams “How do you do, fellow Nerds?” – Hey, they said a video game word, how
relatable, ha haha CUE LAUGH TRACK! It all feels so…uncomfortable. …So let’s laugh at some of the worst ones,
to feel a bit better, shall we? I’m Ben from Triple Jump, and here are 10
times Movies and TV awkwardly featured video games. 10. The Sopranos – Mario Kart After a long day of crime-organising, and,
erm, ‘wacking dudes’, there’s nothing like kicking back with a chilled session of
Mario Kart to take the edge off. What, you thought a mob boss would fire up
something like GTA? Don’t be silly, it’s his time off, for
goodness’ sake! Honestly, this entry is for all those small,
video game cameos in TV, with bizarre appearances seemingly based on ‘whoever could license
us 2 minutes of footage’. But we decided on Soprano Kart, for the hilarious
juxtaposition of an Italian-American Don playing as… another Italian leader, of a large,
influential family, you know what, it starts to make more sense, now we think about it… What DOESN’T make sense, is how Big Tone’
is playing with ONE HAND, accelerating without even touching the A button! We know those N64 controllers were a law unto
themselves, but it still doesn’t explain his kid hitting the console reset button for
the quickest race restart in history, OR the ‘watch out for ghosts’ comment on Luigi’s
Raceway – what ghosts? This is Pre-Luigi’s Mansion, guys! Still, it’s always nice to hear a good:
“I’m-a-Wario, I’m-a gonna win!”, in your serious mafia drama. 9. Shaun of the Dead – Timesplitters 2 So let’s state for the record that we’re
not about to criticise this classic spoof of zombie horror flicks. Hell, the holy trinity of Edgar Wright, Simon
Pegg and Nick Frost have done video games a lot more justice than 99 per cent of TV
and film, going back to Spaced and its homage to Resident Evil 2, amongst others. And it was nice to see Timesplitters 2, another
cult classic, feature early on, with the call-backs in a later scene of actual zombie-hunting
a stroke of genius. …Buuut… As much as we love the film, there is one
discrepancy that can’t go unmentioned. You guessed it – “Player 2 has Entered the
Game”. Sadly, Timesplitters 2 didn’t actually feature
a jump-in multiplayer feature, mid-way through a match, or an announcer with those lines
– as much as we’d have welcomed it back then. But we get it, we know it’s all for comedic
effect, and we don’t want to be that kind of “Umm, actually!” nit-picker, so we’ll
gladly let this one slide for the sake of great cinema. 8. Disturbia – Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Damn it, guys, you almost had it – an on-screen
video game appearance that looked normal. In 2007’s Disturbia, we see a young, Actual
Cannibal Shia LaBeouf, doing what plenty of teenagers do – NOT THAT! We mean playing games, or more specifically,
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, on the Xbox 360. Everything seems natural, at first. While Hollywood Superstar Shia LaBeouf goes
a little bit ‘E3 live demo’ with his serious, faux-military callouts through the headset,
at least he’s not attacking the controller’s buttons like an angry child with a fidget
cube. But when his Xbox Live subscription runs out
and kicks him from the game, that we see it. Now, it’s been a while since we’ve gazed
at the classic 360 ‘Blades’ dashboard design, but there’s something not quite
right about this one- maybe it’s the font, the menu, or the – OH JESUS, ‘ACCESS DENIED’? We’re just logging in to Xbox Live, not
trying to hack the Pentagon! Credit to the team that tried to recreate
an accurate 360 interface, but…why? Why go that far for accuracy and then make
that part look weird? 7. True Blood – Nintendo Wii Vampires seem like a perfect untapped market
for games consoles – they need something to keep them busy during daylight hours, after
all. So we can certainly see the logic in having
the Nintendo Wii as a recurring extra in True Blood. But these cameos feel as uncomfortable as
a bloodsucker on a sunbed. In season 1, protagonist Bill Compton enjoys
a round of golf, with the Wii – except it’s not Wii Sports: Golf. Or Tiger Woods, or any recognisable ball-whacking
title, just an actual photo of a golf green, and some extremely false advertising, for
the Wii’s graphical capabilities. Speaking of adverts, another character begins
pitching the awesome features of the Wii, oblivious to his lady-friend’s advances. And the show also gave us this crazed, cackling
lady, flailing at an early build copy of Dead Space: Extraction – the episode was filmed
before the game’s September 2009 release, hence it looking a bit wonk’ums. But as out of place as this scene was, at
least it proved EA wrong two years later, with their Dead Space 2 campaign promise that
“All Moms Will Hate This Game!” Oh really, EA? Really? 6. Grosse Pointe Blank – Doom 2 arcade version One of the 12 billion films that starred John
Cusack in the late 90s, Grosse Pointe Blank saw the boombox-lifter star as a hitman, looking
to get away from the messy business of killing. The film also cast another expert in violence,
Id Software’s Doom 2, in an unfamiliar role – that of an arcade cabinet. When more gaming-literate viewers first saw
this in 1997, they wondered where this rare arcade version had been all their lives. The answer was: nowhere. Because it didn’t exist. This blatant lie was a custom prop built especially
for the movie, used in a scene where Mr Cusack has his shopping run interrupted by an intense
gunfight. All the while, the Doom fan is oblivious,
too absorbed in this gaming anomaly, and the Motorhead soundtrack blaring presumably from
his hi-tech Sony Walkman, to care about actual bullets. The sad part is that, by the time we realise
how brilliant a Doom 2 arcade machine would have been, the store has already been blown
up by what can only be described as a microwave bomb. …Aaaand this is why we can’t have nice
things. 5. Hurt Locker – Gears of War The Hurt Locker released in 2009 to critical
acclaim, shining a light on the bravery of the US army bomb disposal squads, during the
Iraq War. Yet it caught some flack after its debut,
due to various inconsistencies and anachronisms. Now obviously, we’re just weak-armed gaming
boys who aren’t remotely qualified to comment on the brutal realities of war…
…but we CAN say that, for a film set in 2004, we have references to YouTube (founded
in 2005), an iPod Touch (2007), and an Xbox 360 console, released in 2005. Not only that, but the scene shows specialist
Owen Eldridge, unwinding with a bit of Gears of War – another gift from the far-flung
future of 2006. Outrageous. I mean, is it too much to ask for, in our
gritty, realistic war film, to have a realistic depiction of an unrealistic cover shooter
that involves shooting unreal monsters, with unrealistically top-heavy meat-heads? …unless…Time Travel? Chalk this one up to Time Travel? That’s fair, we can live with that… 4. The 40-Year-Old Virgin – Mortal Kombat:
Deadly Alliance Even this classic mid-2000’s comedy isn’t
clean from your standard ‘nerd culture’ stereotypes. But the worst culprit isn’t how they use
habitual gaming as a cause of decades-long celibacy – it’s a tired trope, but it’s
all tongue in cheek, because you know, it’s a comedy. Nor do we mean the ridiculous gaming chair
– it’s completely overkill for Tony Hawks Underground 2, sure, but hey – comedic effect,
right? But Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, playing a casual
match of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, have made themselves look a little silly, if we’re
honest. See that N64 controller? The one being unceremoniously mashed by Rogen? Rather, err, strange, isn’t it, Seth, that
the game didn’t come out for that console? Ah, you’ve probably just hacked it to work
with a Gamecube, haven’t you? Yeah, that’s it…I mean, you’ve made
a career out of being the stoner layabout type who definitely knows video games because
‘Stereotypes’, so…yeah… And yes, we realise the irony of getting overly
nit-picky about a film literally called ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’, but hey, if we don’t
point these out, then…literally no one else will…probably care, either way… Look, more importantly, does ANYBODY want
to buy a gaming chair? Yes? No? Any takers? Call me… 3. Scrubs – ‘Halo’ but actually Quake Wars Now this is a textbook TV video game diagnosis. All the symptoms are here: over-excited pressing
of all the buttons; a non-wireless controller that isn’t plugged in; two-players attempting
to play on a single player screen… And the several Halo references to Warthogs,
Jackals, and the like, that make little sense when they’re not even playing Halo, but
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars! The series has made a few other nods to gaming
culture, with dated references to Space Invaders and Pac-Man being passable at best, but as
for this clumsy portrayal of ‘Not Halo’? Well, if this scene suffered a Red Ring of
Death, it’d come with a firm “Do Not Resuscitate” order. Slightly better diagnosis for fellow medical
drama, though, as the chronically sarcastic Dr House clearly has a thing for handhelds. Featuring Metroid: Zero Mission for the Game
Boy Advance, Metroid Prime: Hunters for the DS, and even a PSP that recurs in later episodes. See that, Scrubs? Continuity – it’s important! Yes, it’s still product placement, but handled
with a bit more subtlety, less overacting, and a very touching scene that introduces
the PSP, given to House by a grateful boy who overcame his autism to look the doctor
directly in the eyes. Ladies and gentlemen – the power of video
games. 2. House of Cards We’ve seen the PSP make a half-convincing
appearance on House – but when the PS Vita shows up on House of Cards, all sense of subtlety
comes crashing down like…well, you know. This completely unnecessary inclusion in the
middle of an episode is so obviously an advert for the system, we’re surprised they didn’t
get Kevin Butler to burst in and start plugging the Playstation Move. As the Scandal-Penguin and not scandal confirmed
version of Kevin Spacey, is about to discuss business, he very clearly points out a “PS
Vita” – taking care not to just call it a Vita, like most of us – and asks which
games it has, to which the bemused father shrugs and replies ‘all of them’. That’s right, ALL OF THE GAMES – ALL SEVEN
OF THEM! (We’re just joking, Vita, we love you really)
… Even more egregious is the blatant promotion
for browser game, Agario, or AGAR-dot-I-O, where they literally go through the features
of the game and how it’s played. Come on, Spacey, we know you got the big bucks
for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (when he was Scandal-Pending of course), but you don’t
have to plug every single video game. 1. The Wizard (1989) – Super Mario Bros 3 & The
Power Glove Oh boy. This is what happens when cheesy 80’s kids
movies and video game promotion reach critical mass. The Wizard released in 1989 to a critical
panning, but despite this, amassed quite a cult following, for being one of those ‘so
bad, it’s kind of good’ films. It was essentially a 96-minute-long advert
for the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, and of course, they crammed in as many
awkward game references and appearances as they possibly could. The plot revolves around a talented young
game enthusiast and his entourage, as they travel to what is basically the biggest eSports
event in the 80’s – the “Video Armageddon!” With a name like that, we can only imagine
what sort of intense, highly competitive multiplayer game they’ll be compete– oh, it’s Super
Mario Bros 3, of course it is. A game that wouldn’t be released in the
US until a year later, we should add. Be prepared for dramatic scenes, like losing
a life and having to start a level over, a clutch warp zone activation, and naturally,
a giant countdown clock – it’s all so gloriously terrible. Best gaming appearance of the film, however,
goes to the Nintendo Power Glove. After an unconvincing demo from an overly
smug child,we get this immortal line: “I love the Power Glove. It’s so bad.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And there we are, those were rather awkward,
weren’t they? Why can’t movies get it right? Are there any on-screen video game moments
that made you cringe? And most importantly, does ANYONE want this
gaming chair? You can follow myself and TripleJump on Twitter
here, and while you’re at it, why not support the things you enjoy by having a look at our
patreon. Finally, don’t for get to like the video,
share it with your friends, and subscribe to the channel. I’m Ben from TripleJump, and thanks for
watching.

55 thoughts on “10 Times Movies & TV Awkwardly Featured Video Games

  1. The best with video games and TV was that for 20 years….no matter what system was being played…the sound was either 2600 Pac Man or Donkey Kong. Two terrible games.

  2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle should be on here. The whole film is an awkwardly shoehorned in video game! It’s a good film generally but some of the dialogue is so… 🤦‍♀️ Like when they have to explain what an NPC is…

  3. Charlie's Angels and their mistreatment of my precious FFVIII.

    How dare they…multiplayer was in FFVI and IX to my knowledge…it wasn't that hard to pick one of those.

  4. Remember that one episode of "Arrow" where Felicity and William are seen playing Injustice 2? You know, the game that features several Superheroes and Villains and their secret identities that also happen to exist within that Universe? Like Green Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Captain Cold, etc…

  5. You missed S1E7 ("A Civil War") of the NBC cop show Life. There's a bit where they have to unlock a spreadsheet BY PLAYING PRINCE OF PERSIA!!!! AND REACHING LEVEL 10 (WHICH THE GAME DOES NOT, OF COURSE HAVE). AND THEY PUT OVERLAYS ON SCREEN IN PAPYRUS FONT TO SAY STUFF LIKE "LEVEL COMPLETE" BECAUSE THE GAME DOESN'T DO THAT. THERE'S A SUB-BIG-BANG-THEORY JOKE ABOUT HOW ONE MAN WOULD BE GOOD AT GAMES BECAUSE HE HAS A STAR TREK COSTUME. THEN THEY GET A LADY (OOOOHHHH, A LADY! WHO PLAYS GAMES! PLOT TWIST RIGHT?) TO PLAY THE GAME BECAUSE SHE'S SILENTLY MIMING THE CONTROLLER (BADLY) IN THE BACKGROUND. YOU KNOW? THAT THING WHICH ALL GAMERS DEFINITELY DO WHEN WATCHING SOMEONE ELSE PLAY? TO UNLOCK. A SPREADSHEET. SOMEHOW?!?!??? OH MY GOD IT'S SO BAD AND INSULTING.

  6. House continues it's "House loves handhelds" theme when House is sarcastically listing lots of different deities and mentions Arceus.

  7. I’m old enough that I saw The Wizard in theaters (it came out in the early days of my youthful Nintendo obsession), and believe it or not the movie has a valid excuse for using Mario 3 in a proto-Esports tournament prior to its North American release. See, the whole idea of the Video Armageddon tournament was that entrants played various Nintendo games in single player each round, and whoever got the highest score in their heat would move on to the next round. Mario 3 was used only for the final round, with the idea that the field would be leveled because it was a game none of the finalists could have practiced beforehand. (The film never stated the tourney was only open to Americorns, but presumably it was.)

  8. One of the worst I saw lately was in the Office (US).
    They're playing COD, on PC, and one character asks how you turn around. The response is "just push A then D"
    …no, that would just strafe an inch… IT THE MOUSE! YOU KNOW THIS!

  9. In Stepbrothers John C. Reilly is playing Guitar Hero then turns to talk to his dad and lowers his hands but the notes are still being hit on the TV.

  10. ‘Overcame his autism’???? You don’t over come autism, it’s not curable, I’m autistic…..that’s a ridiculous thing to say. It’s like saying ‘he overcame his blindness’ it’s a disability.

  11. How hard could it be to just have the actors actually play a section of game while filming? Maybe it’s more of a pain in the ass than we think it is idk

    Seems like it would be the simplest way to make it believable

  12. Call me pedantic, but The Wizard shouldn't be number 1. It was, after all, a film where videogames were a major part of it, not just "awkwardly featured." Also, Super Mario Bros 3 being a featured game in a tournament with a timer isn't THAT unrealistic. GamesMaster (Peter will know that show) would regularly include single player game challenges like beating X amount of levels in under X amount of time and those sort of challenges/tournaments would feature at events.

  13. The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon's mother sends him his N64 and he claims he can carry on his Super Mario 64 save file by using a memory card – when the game actually saves to the cartridge… Always bugged me.

  14. Please say "Lets look at some" more often Ben, thats my favourite part of the video. All joking aside, keep up the good work, love everything you guys do!

  15. For me its Black Mirror. Cringe as fuck. And I watched that Jennifer Ghost Love episode last week! How much for the chair?

  16. I saw in one show a character playing a game on a laptop and in one shot it's clearly a video of game footage as you can see the play bar along the bottom of the screen.

  17. Anyone else remember that time in Breaking Bad where Jesse Pinkman was playing a non-existent Light-Gun-Thing version of Rage..?

  18. There's an episode of Community where one of Shirley's kids has a PSP Go even though it's an irrefutable fact that nobody bought the PSP Go.

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