Archived Discussion

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

Pacific: I'm pretty sure the Arthur Example in the list of aversions in in fact played straight, and should be on the other list instead.
WVI: Why was this trope's description narrowed to only include examples in which the games being portrayed are not as advanced as we'd expect? Why do we no longer include idiots trying to finish up level 3 and tighten up the graphics a little more?
todb: "Fry was born in 1974, but every game referenced was from 1983 or earlier, which becomes absurd..." Hmm, not really. I was born in 1974, too, and I would certainly identify Centipede, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, etc. as games I "grew up with." I spend most of the early 90s playing Civ and the Roguelike games, sure, but Fry is really more of a mainstream nerd than a hardcore computer geek.

Susan Davis: "However, despite the close-up on the GBA screen several times, you very pointedly hear Pac-Man bleeps and blops." To be fair, I really do play Pac-Man on my GBA SP (and I still suck at Ms. Pac-Man after all these years), along with a number of other classics from that era.

Kizor: Is there an inversion, where the games are bright and flashy and lifelike, yet have no relation to what goes on in actual video games? An episode of CSI Miami springs to mind; there, a not-GTA-honest game was more of a nonstop synaesthetic rollercoaster of violence, robbery, murder and rape (seriously), causing easily influenced youngsters to mimic these acts point-by-point while shouting "1500 points, bitch!" and more introverted ones to play themselves dramatic pause to death.

Yoshi348: That particular example seems to be specific to the GTA controversy rather than something that can be generalized. It reminds me though that very few non-arcade games have points anymore, which is again something that pops up often in this trope.

Kizor: True enough. Should've said that I've since created Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000 .

ralphmerridew: Where does Arcade Gamer Fubuki fall?

Cassius335: Quick Lost question: How would the rechargable battry have helped? Or was thins in flashback?

Arrow: It wouldn't have helped so much as there's not any other option. GBA SP's are mechanically designed in such a way that the only type of battery that fits in them is a specially shaped Li-ion rechargable. Unless that kid is a master mechanic and can jury rig handhelds, there's no possible way he could've put two AA's in there.

sockatume: Halfway down, "The teenager opens his parents and pulls out a Game Boy." What? Like some sort of videogame pinata? Surely this was a fever dream of some sort?

Paul Power: Out of curiosity, would it be an idea to provide a link to something like this?

CodeMan38: Atari 2600 sound effects seem to fall into this trope in general. In addition to "Pac-Man," I know I've heard sounds from the 2600 versions of "Donkey Kong" and "Pitfall" in those random mishmashes of video game noises in TV shows in the past.

Thausgt: I suspect that the phenomenon is based on two issues. One is that the older videogames have had a chance to seep into the cultural consciousness. For example, the sound of Pac Man dying is almost a cliche in and of itself, while the sounds of various characters in this month's most-marketed fight game... all sound like people falling into a well. It's a simple law of numbers: no matter how 'bleeding edge' you or your audience may like to consider yourself, you still recognize the opening music to Mario Brothers, Part the First, because it's been incorporated into every. Mario. Game. Ever. The other issue is lawyers, since the amount of money involved for copyright fees usually starts at "a big chunk of the budget for the show, never mind the episode" and goes up from there.

Are "levels" really that uncommon a feature in modern games? A lot of first-person shooter series (Halo, Star Wars Battlefront) certainly still have them. —Document N

Tanto: Yeah, but nobody ever refers to them as "level X" anymore. The level structure is better integrated into the game word — missions or campaigns or chapters or whatever. Plus Wide Open Sandbox games. When this trope is in effect, every game is still the original Super Mario Bros., where every level is a number...

Tarvok: I'm hardly an expert on the subject, but is it accurate to refer to Pac Man (and other Atari 2600 titles) as "8-bit"?

Sniffnoy: Yes.

Caswin: Are things like the Teen Titans and Fairly Oddparents entries really examples of this? They don't seem to be especially warped or accurate to source. —-

Haven: Took out the line "Yes. Yes he is. But there's no silly sound-effects and no hilariously crude graphics." under Death Note, because that's kind of implied by it being under "exceptions"... —-

Andrew Leprich: Removed Justifying Edit:

Actually, for some games, this is fairly true. Sure, it won't get you to expert level, but a new player button mashing is often better than the same new player trying to actually do moves and combos.

Technically true, but for the vast majority of games, random Button Mashing the way TV characters do it is not a viable strategy.

Rann: Huge swaths of deletion... no comment here. Any reason all of that shouldn't be put back...?

ninjacrat: Put back which parts? The waffle or the bullshit?

Rann: Whichever parts annoy you the most, I'd say.

Someone else is editting it at the time, but should the Fox News/Mass Effect one be deleted? Itdoesn't seem to fit in this trope, by my understanding, though it fits in some others.

"two people were playing a video game together. One person had a GameCube controller, and the other had an Xbox 360 controller. He was too busy laughing to notice anything else about the game."

Damian Yerrick: It could have been a Windows game. Walmart* sells (used to sell?) GameCube controller to PC USB adapters, and Xbox 360 wired controllers plug into a PC as is. Has anybody seen the episode to confirm or deny whether PC is plausible?

Moocow1452: Anybody know where the page opening quote comes from? It was some crime show, where a modified version of Prince of Persia was supposed to reveal secrets on a crime at level 20.

Ununnilium: I'm taking out all comments where, theoretically, one could mod one's system to emulating a game from another system, or use a different controller, or whatever, and adding in a comment in the main body.

Also, I agree, this doesn't seem like a mistake:
  • Another Futurama episode featured a "what if" scenario, with the world changed to resemble video games that Fry had played. According to the DVD commentary on the first episode Fry was born in 1974, but every game referenced was from 1983 or earlier, which becomes absurd when one realizes that Fry would have been a toddler when half these games were around, and would have grown up during the 8-bit/16-bit era of the late eighties and early nineties. Since most people know more about that era than more recent games, it makes sense, even if it is a little jarring.
    • Fry's workplace is shown to have an old arcade unit which might explain his familiarity with the older generation of games.
    • This troper was born in 1973, and played those games plenty. Didn't seem jarring to me.

Also, someone figure out which movie this is (from the Mallrats example):
  • Not from what I can see. Brodie plays NHL '94 in the morning (protesting that Hartford only beats Vancouver once or twice in a lifetime), but nobody mentions it again.
  • You're actually thinking of Chasing Amy
    • No, you're actually both thinking of Swingers

The Defenestrator: The clip from Life doesn't work anymore. Does anyone know of a still-working link?

Count Spatula: Is it worth including here all of the cases of characters playing a DDR-esque game, and just making ridiculous dancing movements rather than actually stepping on the buttons?
Rocky_Eastman: You have to ask yourself something when you talk about this trope. What if the characters are just playing old games for fun? I mean, we sometimes play old games like pac-man or centipede. Why can't a character in a movie or TV show do it, too?
BritBllt: Removing the following...

There is yet another, even more prosaic reason for the use of certain well-known videogame sound effects. Simply put, they're copyright-hassle-free. To quote jt august from the newsgroup (ask granpa!)

Back in the 80's, someone within Warner Bros. compiled a collection of media foley effects, a set that was issued as a royalty free collection. This means that a media producer buys the record (now CD), and they get a reuse license that allows them to use the sound effects anyway they wish without paying further royalties.

The thing about royalty free recordings is that over time, those recordings get reissued by other sources, and the original issuer gets lost in the shuffle. This sound effect featuring 2600 Pac-Man and 2600 Donkey Kong effects has a tangible video game effect that works in the minds of many TV and film oriented producers and directors. Combine that with the fact that today's games use real foley (sound effects), so that they don't sound "computery," and it becomes clear why this effect is still being used today.

Using very simple game graphics on live action shows may be related to the difficulty of filming computer monitors, owing to the frame-rate of monitor and camera not syncing up.
  • What 'difficulty'? Very simple alteration of a film-camera's shutter or use of a flicker-box will synch up the frame rate; computer monitors' refresh rates can be manually adjusted, and even analogue Beta SP footage of a console playing on a TV will synch up because they're the same frame rate.

That last bullet point is Conversation in the Main Page, when the point above it should simply be removed (it's a fair point, but no moreso than the problems with showing any television set or computer monitor onscreen). The part above it is interesting, but it kills the page flow to have that huge quote stuck in the middle of an already overly long trope description, and the point it's making seems like it can be summed up with just one phrase: royalty-free.