Can you think of video games references in movies and TV shows?

  • Hi dear Allies!
    I would like to ask the community's help again..
    As part of my master thesis research I'm trying to come up with a list containing as many references to video games in movies and TV shows as possible (that includes talk shows and cartoons), to form some sort of a database.
    Anything will do, real or fictional games (even the annoying game from "Her"), games that are an essential part of the plot, others that are just there as product placements or anything in between, basically any example you can come up with will be very helpful!
    If you can please name not only the title of the movie/TV show, but also the title of the game that would also be a great help.

    As always, your help is highly appreciated, so thank you all very much in advance!!



  • The first thing that pops into my mind is this episode of Law and Order: SVU. The game in question is a fictional one.

    Other than that I can think of a few more examples.

    The 10th episode of Gravity Falls called "Fight Fighters" is about a Street Fighter style character from an arcade cabinet coming to life.

    In season 2 episode 8 of House of Lies about 8 minutes in Marty and his brother are playing an UFC game on the Xbox One.

    Frank Underwood, in the netflix version of house of cards, occasionally plays video games. If I remember correctly this happens more in the first few seasons and not as much later on. In the fifth episode of the third season He plays Monument Valley.

    I think Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play Time Splitters 2 in Shaun of the Dead.

    The recent episode of Black Mirror titled "Playtest" is about a fictional horror game/simulation.

    In Breaking Bad season 4 episode 7 Jesse plays RAGE (or an on-rails shooter version of it). I think he does so while high on meth.

    Here is an article from Kotaku about Jimmy Kimmel and his skit about Lets Plays and game streaming. He also went on to do an apology video with MissesMae and Markiplier.
    Youtube Video

    Conan O'Brien has a series called "Clueless Gamer" where he plays games. He often insults his co-host Aaron Bleyaert (with insults that portray the co-host as a stereotypical antisocial gamer) for comedic effect.

    This page on wikipedia has a list of episodes from various shows that involve games.

    I hope this helps.

  • @Brandon_Reister That is amazing Brandon, thank you so much for the detailed post! It's actually the first time I hear about some of those references, which is very valuable for my database. Much appreciated!

  • Global Moderator

    Do you mean like Conan's "clueless gamer" or more in like sitcoms etc?

  • @Lotias Anything really, I will definitely include "clueless gamer" but also any reference to video games in movies and TV shows (sitcoms, dramas, reality..)

  • Can't forget that CSI NY episode that featured second life.

    Otherwise everything I thought of, Brandon has already mentioned. I'll add anything if my brain remembers it.

  • Snakes on a Plane has an ending that owes much to video games.

    Edit. I don't know how spoilers work here again. Anyway: SPOILER. One guy lands the plane because he's played games like that. Can't remember if one is named.

  • Global Moderator

    Oh yeah I remember this scene which made me laugh a lot! (I was playing a lot myself at the time)

    Youtube Video

  • @Sentinel-Beach @Lotias @Inustar Thank you guys for those awesome references! Really cool stuff :)

  • Right now I can only think of Spaced.. Simon Pegg plays Tomb Raider 3, Resident Evil 2, and others (the show references games a lot too)

    Also, South Park needs to be mentioned for its WoW episode

    This video might help!

    Youtube Video

  • Oh! Can't forget The Wizard!
    Best terrible movie about promoting a terrible Nintendo peripheral while going on a road trip to play Mario Bros 3.

  • @Navemono Well, as long as quality doesn't matter, Pixels features Pac-Man, Tetris, Space Invaders, Q*bert, and probably others. I never saw it, so I can't provide a full list.

  • Wreck-it-Ralph immediately springs to mind.

    Besides that there's Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. It's a Japanese show that mostly uses fictional games as a transformation device to turn into their Rider forms. They're also going to fight an evil Dr. Pac-man in an upcoming movie.

  • @Faaip Spaced is dooooooooooope! Edgar Wright can do no wrong!
    Which brings me to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, an excellent movie in which everyone involved clearly loves video games.

  • @naltmank One of my favorite shows! Hopefully we'll see more Wright, Pegg, Frost collaborations in the future