Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.


Heart Burn Kid: A character is able to do something (fly a plane, shoot a gun, etc.) because he did it in a video game? The ur-example of this would be Flight of the Navigator, but it was also used in Snakes on a Plane, and... well, I'm sure there's more examples than that, but I can't think of any at the moment.

Anybody got a good name for this?

Uriel-238: It also came up in Back To The Future 3, and the plot of The Last Starfighter was based around this very idea.

Ununnilium: Parodied in that Futurama episode with the people of the video game planet.

Heart Burn Kid: You know, I meant The Last Starfighter, not Flight of the Navigator. I hate getting my childhood favorite movies mixed up like that...

Unknown Troper: Sounds similar to I Know Kung Fu , though the character never really learned the actual skill, only a computer simulation of it, which somehow meant they only had to do it in the real world once to get the hang of it. Maybe a special branch of that, I Played Kung Fu ?

Seth: We have an example like that (Mickey knowing how to fly a blimp) on I Know Kung Fu. I'd say that it goes there. No need for a new trope.

Heart Burn Kid: I dunno, I Know Kung Fu just seems like a general handwaving over how a character acquired a given skill; with what I'm talking about, the fact that it's not a "real" skill is usually addressed in the plot (the air-traffic controller in Snakes on a Plane telling Troy to vacate the captain's chair for somebody with actual experience, for example, or at the very least, the character in question gets all sweaty-palmed about whether they can do this in real life).

Ununnilium: I Know Mortal Kombat?

Seth: I change my mind just for that name

Ununnilium: Trope'd!

Travis Wells: Removed one of the two entries for Snakes on a Plane.

Ununnilium: Thanks! BTW, we usually put new stuff at the bottom of discussion pages.

jaimeastorga2000: Doesn't Ender's Game count as a subversion?

dirty lies Added a *brief* note on the spectrum of the trope. Specifically, it ranges from justified, plausible plot point, to much more ludicrous (which is often played for laughs.) The model airplane engineer who designed the new airplane in (the original) "Flight of the Phoenix" would indeed have the necessary engineering knowledge to do so- and the character knows it. His comrades are far less sure, and the dissonance becomes a significant plot point. Compare that to the guy in "Snakes on a Plane" who is able to land a BOEING 747 JUMBO-JET because he played an arcade-style PSP GAME- which is clearly as far from a simulator program as you can get, and patently ludicrous. (OF course, this same movie also featured muthafuggin snakes on a muthafuggin plane, so...)

My point is, this trope has quite a range of applications to it- from very serious plot point to one-liner jokes (Playstation!) and rather implausible handwaves. Whether or not this warrants a note in the trope description proper, I don't know- it depends on whether or not the first, (justified) use of the trope is at all common enough to warrant it's observation, or if it's entirely outside the description of the trope, and thus subversions.

Andy Waltfeld: How'd this wind up becoming a Contributor Page? Also, didn't we have a picture at one point?
Mr Death: Edited the Snakes on a Plane example. It would be a Justified Trope if he'd been shown playing a realistic flight simulator, not a PSP game (and as far as I know, there's no Boeing 747 simulator on the PSP). But because they did (sort of) set it up, it's definitely Chekhov's Gun.

Caswin: He was playing the PSP on the plane itself, of course... but didn't he mention something else? I know he said he'd logged hours upon hours on something, and I remember watching and thinking, "Alright, this could almost believably work..." Or did I just fabricate a line out of a desire to somehow justify what I was seeing?
Fire Walk: Hmmm, I've just seen the Last Starfighter "videogames as space pilot recruitment" plot show up in Batman Beyond, and was wondering if it's worth splitting. Partly because it's explicitly justified, and partly because it has a different role in the story to the normal "Of course I can fly a plane, I've played Flight Sims" things. Is it worth a different trope?
Operator: Does the movie 'Chocolate' ( ) qualify? The main character (Zen) is autistic, but apparently this translates to the ability to catch anything thrown at her (from any angle), as well as the ability to exactly mimic anything martial-arts-related that she sees in a movie or video-game. Or that she sees the students doing at the kick-boxing school next door to one of her childhood homes. As a side note, the movie is from the same producer/director/studio as many Tony Jaa movies, so there you are, I guess. And no, I'm not confident I could add it to the main page for the trope, as I'm not good with wiki-markup.
Izaak: I can't believe it! That's the same motivational poster I made for /m/ years ago!
Loser Takes All: Removed because it has nothing to do with video games:
  • The villain Taskmaster has use of photographic reflexes that allow him to copy and do anything he can physically do. Add that with a body with the strength of an Olympic athlete and you have a formidable foe.