[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/GravityFalls http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gamecometolife_4019.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Ow! Your pixels are really sharp!"]]

->''"It doesn't even matter if there is no hope\\
As the madness of the system grows''\\
''In the database database''\\
''Just living in the database."''
-->-- ''LightNovel/LogHorizon''[='=]s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AW6WfuWuOg Opening Theme]]'''

This trope, featured in stories which feature game-playing as an important element, occurs when the game the characters are playing becomes real. Either elements of the game start manifesting in reality, or the characters are drawn into the game. Winning the game is often the only way to escape, or to undo the changes the game caused. The Game Come to Life is usually a BoardGame, a CollectibleCardGame or a VideoGame.

A variation on this trope involves children playing a video game which turns out to be a remote-control system for actual combat machines.

Compare TheGamePlaysYou, when the game not only makes things real but is also sentient and hostile.

See also: TrappedInTVLand, RefugeeFromTVLand, InsideAComputerSystem.

[[IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] TheGame. [[SchmuckBait Which you just lost.]]



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Yugi and his friends are sucked into a board game in the "Monster World" arc of the ''Manga/YuGiOh'' manga. [[Anime/YuGiOh The anime]] had a filler arc where Yugi is forced to play Duel Monsters inside a virtual world.
** In the manga, the first game of Duel Monsters that Yugi played against Kaiba was played as a Shadow Game in which the monsters on the cards were brought to life in front of the players. Kaiba then set out to reproduce this effect through holograms as part of his plan to get revenge on Yugi, and the resulting technology was used for the rest of the franchise.
*** While the monsters are usually just holograms, various magical artifacts can render them real, complete with the ability to injure the players. These artifacts also generally raise the stakes of the game to death and damnation.
* The third ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' series, ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', had the {{Mons}} from a CollectibleCardGame come to life. The children's game cards, when scanned through their Digivices, would have real effects, too.
* ''Anime/{{Bakugan}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Chaotic}}''
* ''Anime/DotHackSign'' is about a kid who can't log off his virtual reality MMORPG.
* ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' has an online shooter mixing up with a bunch of kids playing tag. The results are definitely ''not'' pretty.
* ''LightNovel/LogHorizon'' is about many players of a regular 2D MMORPG called ''Elder Tale'' all over the world suddenly and mysteriously being pulled into what appears to be a VirtualReality version of such game and unable to log out. Contrast with its SpiritualAntithesis, ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'', which involves many players being trapped in a VR MMORPG, in which they must learn to survive until they can manage to beat the game. However, SAO was merely TheMostDangerousVideoGame and a high-quality virtual MMO, while the players of ''Log Horizon'' are truly pulled into a new reality similar to their game, with dramatic changes in the former non-player characters, enemies and themselves.
* In ''Anime/PhantasyStarOnline2TheAnimation'', Darkers are leaping out of the eponymous MMO [[spoiler:and [[TrappedInTVLand dragging unwitting victims in.]]]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Overlord}}'' plays this very similar to ''LightNovel/LogHorizon''. Interestingly, the world that [[{{Salaryman}} Satoru Suzuki]] (now [[OurLichesAreDifferent Overlord Momonga/Ainz Ooal Gown]]) finds himself in is not actually the world of the video game ''YGGDRASIL''. So only '''part''' of the game came to life (Ainz and the rest of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, a lot of things in the Slane Theocracy) while the rest of it is a completely different and for the major part vastly weaker fantasy world.


[[folder: Fanfic ]]

* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8827889/1/Path-to-Godhood Path to Godhood]]'' by [[https://www.fanfiction.net/u/1272704/VexMaster Vexmaster]] (the author of ''Fanfic/TheSwarmOfWar''), a nerd gains the ability to hack the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' universe through his computer due to a Chaos ritual gone wrong. Since the guy is a psychopath and actively works toward becoming a fully fledged Chaos God, ''NO''' hilarity ensues.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'' and ''Film/{{Zathura}}'', mentioned below, have both been made into feature films.
* In ''Film/{{Tron}}'', Flynn is forced to play various deadly games by the Master Control Program.
* In ''Film/{{Arcade}}'', teenagers are trapped inside a virtual reality computer game run by a malevolent AI.
* In the ''Film/{{Nightmares}}'' segment "Bishop of Battle", when a boy beats the title arcade game, it sends out real versions of its opponents to give him a true test of his abilities. He ends up trapped inside the game.
* In ''Film/TheLastStarfighter'', Alex Rogan is recruited to be a real Starfighter when he breaks the record on a video game; the game was just a test to find someone with enough talent.
* ''Film/WarGames'' had a hacker playing "Global Thermonuclear War" against a military computer. Unfortunately, the computer had control of ''real'' nuclear missiles...
* ''Film/StayAlive'' (2006).
* In a segment of ''Film/TheOnionMovie'', an [[StopHavingFunGuys arrogant pro gamer]], after trouncing a club of younger gamers and gloating over his greatness, makes a wish and is transported into the world of a D&D-based tabletop game. [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor He is smashed to death by a demon shortly thereafter.]]
* At the end of ''Film/TheGamers,'' the characters in the role-playing 'verse [[spoiler:burst into the players' room and slaughter them all]].
* It happens again at the end of''Film/TheGamersHandsOfFate'', when the Shadow[[labelnote:*]]The Shadow? The Shadow?! The Shadow![[/labelnote]] casts a spell to summon his "true" enemies - the players who'd been playing the D&D campaign.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the children's book ''Literature/{{Jumanji}}'' by Chris Van Allsburg, the eponymous board game transforms the children's house into a jungle with each roll of the dice.
* Van Allsburg used a similar device in a subsequent book, ''Literature/{{Zathura}}'', which used an outer-space motif.
* ''Killobyte'' by Creator/PiersAnthony has a paraplegic man trapped in a VR MMORPG by a hacker who has disabled the log out commands. He is in danger of starving to death. Even worse, the Game Over sequence could kill him by shorting out his pacemaker. The female companion he acquires along the way has diabetes, not being able to regulate her blood sugar when she too becomes trapped leads to more immediate problems.
* In ''Literature/HeirApparent'' by Vivian Vande Velde, Giannine gets stuck in a simulation game and must win to extract herself without doing major brain damage.
* ''Only You Can Save Mankind (if not you, who else?)'', the first in the ''Literature/JohnnyMaxwellTrilogy by Creator/TerryPratchett features the young hero discovering that the aliens in a game are real, and are being killed by everyone who plays. Also features the now-extinct race of VideoGame/SpaceInvaders.
* Played for laughs in ''Vurfing the Gwrx'', a short story by Michael Scott Rohan.
* Most definitely ''not'' played for laughs in another short story, ''Is This Real Enough'' by Lisanne Norman. It's set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, and the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' stand-in presented uses virtual reality technology, so the main characters don't even know they're inside the game until [[spoiler:they discover they don't respawn when killed.]]
* ''Albion's Dream'', essentially ''Jumanji'' before ''Jumanji'', had a variant of this. The game, a highly surreal and metaphorical board game, didn't pull anyone in. Instead, each of the character cards looked suspiciously like someone the main characters knew, and what happened to the characters happened to those people. There was some degree of in-universe argument over whether the possibility of changing lives for the better was worth risking the wrath of the RandomNumberGod, not to mention what would happen if anyone fulfilled the alternate win condition by reaching the never-explored center of the board. [[spoiler:In regard to the former: bad idea, especially when they encounter the fellow who's on the Death card. In regard to the latter: [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER]]! However, getting to the center was a LuckBasedMission, and was only managed by cheating, which turned out not to "count."]]
* In Literature/{{Daemon}}, the Darknet is essentially an [[AbsurdlyHighStakesGame Absurdly High Stakes]] [[MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame Massively Multiplayer]] AlternateRealityGame. Members wear augmented reality glasses; flyouts hover over other members showing their current class, level and reputation in the darknet community and other markers can show destinations, equipment status, etc. Successfully participating and/or completing projects beneficial to the community gets you darknet credits which are a combination of status and money. Said projects go from everything from using 3D printers to craft tools for community use, to hacking {{Predatory Business}}es and mundane infrastructure in order to integrate it into the Daemon - bringing the game to life is the entire purpose of the Darknet.
* In the Literature/GamearthTrilogy one of the players who wrote the rules for the game teleports into it by a roll of the cosmic dice. [[spoiler: [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor He gets killed shortly after.]]]] The game characters rebel in the end, [[spoiler: by teleporting up a bomb.]]
* Creator/WilliamSleator's book ''Literature/InterstellarPig'' plays with this: The title game, "Interstellar Pig", appears to be coming to life, especially when Barney finds what he thinks is a replica of a key piece from the game. However, the actual board game is described as a "simulacrum", used to dissuade non-participants from keeping the Piggy and therefore getting pulled into [[AndYouThoughtItWasAGame the real game]] themselves.
* Roy Pond's "Mummy Monster Game" trilogy features computer or video games that do this in all three books.
** ''The Mummy's Revenge'' / ''The Mummy Monster Game'': The game revolves around finding the pieces of a mummy, each of which turns up in the real world as they're found. Scarab beetles, scorpions and mummy monsters turn up as well.
** ''The Mummy's Tomb'' / ''The Mummy Tomb Hunt'': The game revolves around solving clues that will ultimately lead to a real tomb.
** ''The Mummy's Trap'' / ''The Mummy Rescue Mission'': The game revolves around solving clues in order to rescue a female archaeologist. In both of the latter books, the action in the game is reflected in the real world.
* ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'':
** A recruitment method like this is used in ''13th Batallion''. [[TheEmpire Earth Alliance]] military sets up VR booths for piloting realistic HumongousMecha in an [=MMO=] environment. The most creative individuals (mostly teens) are forcibly recruited for a critical mission. [[spoiler:They don't make it]].
** A short story of the same series also describes virtual space combat played by several passengers of a transport ship. The ship is also transporting actual SpaceFighters for the [[TheFederation Confederate]] military. The ship is ambushed by SpacePirates, forcing the captain to gas the players and put them into the real fighters to fight off the pirates. [[spoiler:Not all make it back]].


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The {{UPN}} series ''Series/DeadlyGames'' had an explosion bring the villains from a programmer's homemade video game to life, and he is forced to play his own game for real.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' used the holodeck for this in a number of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' and ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episodes.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' had an episode in which Teal'c and Daniel are trapped in a VR combat simulator. Each simulated "death" brings them closer to having real heart attacks.
* ''Series/SeaQuestDSV'' had an episode in which mecha fighting in a post-apocalyptic future were controlled by kids playing video games.
* In ''Series/WeirdScience'', Gary and Wyatt get Lisa to conjure up an amazing video game for them, and then order her to keep making new levels for them while being thankless about the whole affair. Irked, Lisa makes the game come to life and is later captured by the game's villain. How do the pair free her? With live-action Pong.
* ''Series/TheLibrarians2014'' episode "And the Point of Salvation". A {{Magitek}} quantum computer overloads due to one of the scientists playing a survival-horror game, and the building becomes a game level, with Ezekiel as the player, the rest of the team as {{Non Player Character}}s ("Oh no, it's an EscortMission!") and the building's inhabitants as the monsters.
* ''Series/AceLightning'' revolves around this concept. A BBC children's show, it told the story of a British kid's video game coming to life after his house is struck by lightning. The characters play the game out in the real world, while our protagonist Mark deals with the burden of WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld. While mostly serving as a both a comic look on superhero tropes and aesops about heroism, ''Ace Lightning'' had compelling characters who grew beyond their initial programming, becoming involved in storyline surprisingly complex for a British kid's show. Game-wise, the characters played their respective roles as the heroes and villains, gaining power ups, getting into boss fights, searching for the magic MacGuffin, the villains respawn when defeated, and new characters are "unlocked" when pieces of the aforementioned macguffin are pieced together.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'', the MonstersOfTheWeek are actually antagonists from [[ShowWithinAShow in-universe video games]] brought to life by the "Bugster Virus". Since the virus incubates in humans, the four main Riders are all doctors of one type or another[[note]]Emu is a medical intern studying pediatrics, Hiiro is a surgeon, Taiga was a radiologist, and Kiriya is a medical examiner[[/note]] whose {{Transformation Trinket}}s draw upon the power of those games' heroes in order to defeat the Bugster and cure the patients.

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'', [[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games Kite and Black Rose can't seem to log out]] for some reason, Then when the rest of the party ends up going from ''The World'' to the real world, they follow as their game character-selves. They momentarily wonder what's happening to their real bodies.
* The premise of ''Anime/DateALive Ars Install'' is that Shido gets trapped inside the game after trying out the new game the Fraxinus crew made.
* During an 8-bit [[ThemeMusicPowerUp Jam]] in ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies2ItsAboutTime'', Arcade Zombie's UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame machine starts spawning 8-bit zombies that act like normal/conehead/buckethead zombies.
* In episode 5 of ''VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople'', "8-Bit is Enough", a freak accident involving [[ItMakesSenseInContext Strong Bad's Trogdor machine and an irradiated quarter]] causes the world of video games to merge with Free Country USA, bringing Trogdor and several other video game characters to life.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In the webcomic ''{{Webcomic/Erfworld}}'', Parson is transported to a MagicalLand in AnotherDimension -- which operates under the rules of turn-based tabletop wargame. This doubles as BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor, because Parson is a huge [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0016.html gaming enthusiast]] and brilliant strategist, but [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone doesn't find it nearly as fun]] when winning means slaughtering thousands of people capable of holding philosophical debates, falling in love, and feeling pain. It doesn't help that the man who forcibly recruited him is arguably the setting's BigBad.
* Although not a representation of an actual ''TheApocalypseStoneDungeonsAndDragons'' campaign, the world of ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is governed by the rules of ''Dungeons and Dragons'' (3.5 edition).
* Half the main cast of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' played a boardgame like this in a non-canon arc [[http://www.egscomics.com/egsnp.php?id=60 starting here]]. Since it was out of continuity it was PlayedForLaughs and spoofed {{Jumanji}}.

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd The AVGN]] experienced several games come to life:
** Freddy from ''A Nightmare on Elm Street'' (NES).
** WesternAnimation/BugsBunny from ''The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout'' and ''The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle'' (NES).
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighter2010'''s futuristic 2010 setting.
** Optimus Prime from ''VideoGame/TransformersConvoyNoNazo'', presumably [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Scanning scanning]] James' Famicom console ahead of time.
* [[WebVideo/PawDugan Paw Dugan]]'s ''[[VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder King's Quest V]]'' [[Main/LetsPlay Let's Play]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwZNBLHN0Ls&index=22&list=PL5ACDE10D49E44AA3 finale]], due to [[Main/TheTetrisEffect the Tetris effect]].
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP]]-[[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2424 2424]] is a boss from a ''Franchise/MegaMan'' style game, somehow brought to reality. Interestingly, while he's not aware he's in "the real world", he's fully aware that he's a video game character.
-->'''SCP-2424:''' I'm the first, the easiest, I'm supposed to be. I've been destroyed more times than I care to remember. And each time it hurts. I'm not happy about my existence, but I've come to accept my demotion.
* The power of the Tempestar ends up bringing the characters from Void's video games to life in ''Webcomic/LsEmpire''. Of course, L's Empire is already a video game comic, so it leads to some confusion.
-->'''Void:''' We're under attack by video game characters!\\
'''Mr L:''' How is that any different from normal in this comic?


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends''
** In an episode, Electro traps Spider-Man inside a computer and forces him to play ''Pong''.
** In another episode, a video game creature called Videoman escapes from his arcade machine and then traps Iceman within it.
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'':
** In this CGI-animated series, the User's games would descend on a part of Mainframe, and the sprites in that area would be forced to compete. If the User won the game, that area of the city would be destroyed, and the sprites would turn into mindless Nulls.
** In a more proper sense of the trope, when Mainframe starts to crash the characters from the games appear in the system. This is given a quick {{Handwave}} so we can move on to seeing our heroes beat the crap out of every [[PlayerCharacter User Character]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' had Ben and Gwen transported inside a video game by a combination of Upgrade's powers and [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' had DW trapped inside a video game.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' The episode "Power Mad" .
* The ''WesternAnimation/BackToTheFuture TheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Bravelord and the Demon Monstrux" had Doc accidentally zapped into Verne's favourite video game of the same title, and the characters from the game transported into 1992 Hill Valley.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'', Meatwad plays a video game that, like ''Film/TheLastStarfighter'', is a test to find the person who can defeat the Gorgotron and save all of the moon's [[strike: craps]] crops. Of course in reality it's just a ploy by Ignignokt and Err to find suckers for their [=MLM=] scam.
* The cast of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' become characters in a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' game world in the direct-to-DVD movie ''Bender's Game.'' (Since it was a world imagined by Bender, it was ''sort of'' a video game too.)
* In the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' episode ''Virt-u-Ron,'' the characters enter the MMORPG "Everlot," an ''VideoGame/{{Everquest}}'' parody.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'':
** In "Fight Fighters", Dipper uses a secret code (that might or might not reference the Konami code) to bring Rumble [=McSkirmish=] to life to beat Robbie up for him. This being an anomaly of the town, things go FromBadToWorse.
** "Soos and the Real Girl" has a character from a Japanese DatingSim become sentient and go {{Yandere}} for Soos, eventually controlling the animatronics of a SuckECheeses to MurderTheHypotenuse.
** "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons" has a non-video game example, where a magic "infinite-sided die" brings to life a tabletop role-playing game's flagship villain, Probabilitor the Annoying.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RatedAForAwesome'' episode "Never Judge A Mutant By It's Slobber", the Awesomizers' attempt to play their new game in virtual reality inadvertantly brings the characters into the real world.
* In the ChristmasEpisode of ''WesternAnimation/MikeTheKnight'', Mike's dad brings home a board game based on the castle. When Evie casts a spell to make the pieces look more like the family, she instead sends them all into the game.