[[quoteright:273:[[Film/StayAlive http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/StayAlivePoster_5902.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[MemeticMutation Is this the next Dark Souls? Hopefully not.]]]]

->''"If you leave your game, stay safe, stay alert, and whatever you do, '''don't die.''' Because if you die outside your own game, you won't regenerate.'' Ever! ''Game Over."''
-->-- '''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''', ''Disney/WreckItRalph''

An evil video game, usually packing some paranormal baggage. Playing the game will cause you to [[GoneMadFromTheRevelation go mad]], suffer from horrible nightmares, and even [[DrivenToSuicide commit suicide]] in an effort to make the horrors stop. Sometimes, they are less destructive, casting a trance over the player and causing him or her to play constantly, at the expense of their health and relationships.

This trope is often the result of old fogies (and thrill-seeking youth) concocting myths about [[NewMediaAreEvil the dangers of new, unfamiliar technology]]. However, it's become more and more popular for NewMedia [[FoundFootageFilms found footage]]-style horror stories.

Lurking in the realm of {{urban legends}} as well as that of out-and-out fiction, the most dangerous video game occasionally finds its way into {{real life}}, in the form of outcries from concerned citizens and {{moral watchdogs}} [[MurderSimulators who claim that real video games incite violence, antisocial behavior, and other ills on those who play them]]. Be that as it may, most of these theories are of the "fringe" variety.

A SubTrope of FictionalVideoGame (usually), TheGamePlaysYou, MyLittlePanzer, and YourMindMakesItReal. Usually, you must WinToExit.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] ''Literature/TheMostDangerousGame'', or [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame the trope named after that story]], the intersection of the two is not uncommon.



[[folder: {{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* The "Legendary Heroes" {{filler arc}} in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' features an evil virtual-reality {{RPG}} created by the Big Five to trap Kaiba and keep him from firing them. Then Yugi, Joey, and Mokuba go in the game to free him.
* The virtual-reality game ''Greed Island'' in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' really ''physically transports players to a real gameworld'' (a small, uncharted island) and only lets the player leave at certain {{Save Point}}s... which means you can be trapped in the game if you can't get that LastLousyPoint, and if you die you're really dead. It's also an MMO, which means not only do players have to contend with monsters in the game, but also with literal player-killers who try to take care of the game's item scarcity problem by wiping out the competition so their spellcards and {{MacGuffin}}s are dumped back into the game world.
* The game in ''Manga/AngelSanctuary'' allows an angel to steal the body of the player.
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'':
** In the first StoryArc, ten thousand players can't log off from the Sword Art Online game and must WinToExit. If a player dies in-game then the [[TechnoBabble microwave scanner]] in their [[DeepImmersionGaming NerveGear]] game interface will overload and destroy their brain. The game and interface creator's simply wanted [[AGodAmI to play God in his virtual world]]. Two thousand die in the first month, with four thousand gone by the time the game is beaten. Thankfully, towns are safe, and many players chose to find a city and stay there, rather than work on beating the game.
** Towns stop being completely safe when player killers discover that they can challenge sleeping players to a DuelToTheDeath. The whole process from sending the duel request to killing the target takes 2-3 minutes, longer if the victim is significantly stronger than the attacker. Here's hoping you wake up before that happens.
** The third story arc is based around this seeming to happen again, but only when [[BigBad a specific player]] kills people in-game. Since there's no longer a mechanism for it to happen (the [=NerveGear=] has been replaced by the [=AmuSphere=] which [[CaptainObvious omits the brain-frying microwave system]]), the arc revolves around figuring out how the murders are being carried out.
* In ''Anime/PhantasyStarOnline2'', the titular video game is slowly revealed to be [[spoiler:an InterdimensionalTravelDevice that Darkers, universe-threatening {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, can travel through to Earth. Thankfully, their opponents, the ARKS, can do the same.]]
* One of the minor villains of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' Part 3, Terence Trent D'arby, can [[FateWorseThanDeath take away your soul]] if you lose a match against him in one of his videogames, thanks to his [[FightingSpirit Stand]].

[[folder: {{Comics}}]]
* The ''ComicBook/HackSlash'' miniseries ''My First Maniac'' featured an old arcade game called ''Bludbus'', which urban legends state was banned due to causing things like suicidal and homicidal thoughts (undoubtedly inspired by the real-life {{urban legend}} of the ''VideoGame/{{Polybius}}'' cabinets). The slasher of the story, Grinface, was a normal boy who was either possessed by the game after his death, or was so obsessed with it he simply decided to adopt the identity of the VillainProtagonist.
* A weird ComicBook/{{Venom}} story (intended to tie into the ''ComicBook/MaximumCarnage'' game) had Carnage sending pieces of his symbiote through electronics in order to kill people playing a game based on him called ''Carnage Unleashed''. The story ended with a cyberspace showdown between Carnage and Venom.

[[folder: {{Film}}]]
* In ''Film/LayerGame'' (or ''Megami no Chu''), Japanese actress and model Ayaka Komatsu, as herself, is playing a fight game in which her avatar fights various adversaries while wearing a different cosplay for each level. (There's even one where she's dressed as a kangaroo!). Each level ends with her avatar being victorious or getting killed by her opponents. After completing every levels, she discovers the game features an hidden level. When she chooses to play it, [[http://www.toku-onna.fr/ayaka%20komatsu/layer_game/03114.jpg ninjas enter her room and murders her offscreen]]. We only hear her screaming while her computer's screen reads "game over".
* The game in ''Film/SpyKids3DGameOver'' traps the player and keeps them playing.
* One of the four segments from the film ''Film/{{Nightmares}}'' is about JJ Cooney, a video game whiz obsessed with beating an arcade game named ''The Bishop of Battle'' - a game so [[NintendoHard unfairly difficult]], not even the best players could make it past the twelfth stage. When Cooney finally succeeds (after having snuck into the arcade in the middle of the night), he realizes that beating the game [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou causes the threats and enemies from within to come alive]].
* The game in ''Film/StayAlive'' summons the spirit of the Blood Countess in its intro sequence. If your character in the game dies, she hunts you down and kills you in the same way. Not only that, but if you turn the game off or pause for too long, it will take control of your avatar itself--it... isn't very good at playing itself.
* This trope has been used often in terrible straight-to-rental movies, particularly in the 90's. Specific examples are difficult to pinpoint because they are all equally forgettable.
** In ''Film/{{Brainscan}}'', a kid tries a product that supposedly uses hypnosis to make the in-game experiences more realistic, before discovering that he is affecting the real world by playing the game.
** Another was called ''Film/{{Arcade}}''; about its only memorable feature was the villain played by John de Lancie, who also portrayed [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Q]] on ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** De Lancie also played the scientist/creator in ''Film/{{Evolver}}'', another mid-90's flick about a RobotBuddy that takes VR combat way too seriously. Of course, said RobotBuddy was originally a military KillerRobot prototype. The project was shut down when the robot broke its programming and proved impossible to control. The [[SarcasmMode natural alternative]] is to make it a toy.
* ''Film/HowToMakeAMonster'' had a video game coming to life after [[LightningCanDoAnything a lightning strike]]. It then starts killing its developers by animating an animatronic suit based off the game. It's only stopped when one junior developer dons a virtual reality suit of her own, which somehow allows her to destroy it in the real world too.
* The Bollywood film ''Bollywood/RaOne'' has a video game villain (programmed to be "undefeatable") come to life because AIIsACrapshoot and AppliedPhlebotinum allowed it to have a solid body.
* In ''Film/MaximumOverdrive'' a man is mesmerized by an arcade cabinet, which fatally electrocutes him when he touches it.
* In a sense, ''Film/{{Tron}}'' was one of the earlier movies to pull this off. It wasn't the game itself sucking you in, but the MCP used several "game programs" (disc battles, the jai-alai looking arena, Space Paranoids, Light Cycles, the tanks) to help keep control over still-semi-free programs. The MCP simply zapped Flynn into the computer world ''and'' stuck him in the deadly games. ''Film/TronLegacy'' took it a step further, in that [[spoiler:CLU]] became just a dick that enjoyed making others fight to the death, program, user or otherwise.
** The [[CanonDiscontinuity discredited sequel]] ''VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh'' has the Game Grids as a way to kill off invaders or condemned prisoners.
* Franchise/TheMatrix, technically.
* In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog himself appears in a PublicServiceAnnouncement, warning other video game characters that if they die in a game that isn't theirs, ''[[KilledOffForReal they die for real]]''.
* ''Film/WarGames'' has a variation. ''Global Thermonuclear War'' is itself just a simulator, but the computer JOSHUA can't tell the difference between simulations and real life, and is not inclined for NORAD to tell the difference either. Thus, what should have been just a game nearly causes a real nuclear war.
* Another variation in ''Film/{{Gamer}}''. Everyone knows that the characters they're controlling in ''Societies'' and ''Slayers'' are actually real people injected with MindControl nanites (in the first case, they're highly-paid volunteers, while the second game uses life-sentence prison inmates who volunteer for a chance at freedom [[DeadlyGame if they manage to survive]]). It's just that no one cares.
* The rather mediocre ''Film/HellraiserHellWorld'' used this as a premise to try to [[DoingInTheWizard Do In the Wizard]]. In the movie, Hellworld and the Cenobites and other mainstays of Hellraiser franchise are treated as part of a video game, and the premise is that after a young man kills himself because of playing too much Hellworld, his father sets up an elaborate scheme to kill the friends who did not come to the young man's aid by making them believe Hellworld is real via the use of hallucinogens and some theater. Then the film reverses course to [[DoingInTheScientist Do In the Scientist]] when it turns out that Pinhead, the Cenobites, and Hellworld all do exist.
* In ''Film/JumanjiWelcomeToTheJungle'', Jumanji is now a video game that traps you inside it where you take the form of the character you selected. Each character has it's own set of skills and weaknesses (with the exception of Smolder Bravestone, who has no weaknesses) and are given three VideoGameLives before they presumably die for real.

[[folder: {{Literature}}]]
* A Spanish children's book called ''La aventura de los chips biológicos'' (''Adventure of the Biological Chips'') is about an evil, addictive computer game that drains the life of the children that play it.
* One of Creator/{{Robert Rankin}}'s ''Brentford Trilogy'' books features a ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' machine at the Flying Swan that causes its only player to become possessed by ''actual'' space invaders.
* What kicks off the story of ''Literature/{{Otherland}}''. A number of kids who access the future-Internet fall into comas.
* Inversion in ''Literature/OnlyYouCanSaveMankind'': you can't actually die in the game, but [[RPGMechanicsVerse the mobs you're killing are real, sentient beings]], [[HumansAreCthulhu under siege by]] OmnicidalManiac {{Ace Pilot}}s [[WhyWontYouDie who won't stay dead]].
** Comes with the implication that ''all'' games are like this; at one point they pass by the wreckage of a ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' fleet.
* The ''Shivers'' novel ''The Animal Rebellion'' had a cursed (...or something, it's never really explained) computer game that caused all animals in the immediate vicinity to go violently insane. In order to reverse the effects of the game (which was purposely {{Unwinnable}}, being the kind where you just have try and survive for as long as possible) the main characters had to wipe it from the hard drive and destroy the physical copy.
* Gillian Rubinstein's ''Literature/SpaceDemons'' trilogy featured three of these (each one a sequel to the previous): ''Space Demons'', ''Skymaze'' and ''Shinkei''.
* Creator/NeilGaiman's poem "Virus" details how human civilization is destroyed by an [[JustOneMoreLevel utterly addictive]] video game.
* In ''[[Literature/ThePendragonAdventure The Reality Bug]]'' this happens with an alternate reality as opposed to a game.
* Twisted in ''Heir Apparent''. Loosing the game doesn't kill in itself, but if the game is not won, gamers will eventually die.
* In ''Literature/TheCaliforniaVoodooGame'', a game arcade becomes possessed by the loa Oggun, who conjures up a horde of holographic game avatars to attack the Gamers and some dogs they're protecting.
* In Joseph Locke's ''Game Over'' [[{{MeaningfulName}} Hades Video Arcade]] is full of nothing but violent games - violent games where some of the enemies take on the features of the player's worst bully. Enough time spent playing and the victim eventually commits real-life violence against the person(s) depicted.
* A Series/DoctorWho novel involves a new game taking the world by a storm involving a brave human fighter sent to battle the evil praying mantis-like aliens by the benevolent porcupine-like aliens (the intro shows that the two alien races can't kill one another due to their natural defenses). In reality, the porcupine aliens are kidnapping homeless people and using them as {{Player Character}}s. One of the notable "bugs" in the game is the fact that the single save game is sometimes deleted, forcing the player to start anew. The real reason is more horrifying: the PlayerCharacter is left standing when his or her player logs off and becomes an easy prey for the mantises. Oh, and Rose ends up becoming one of the [=PCs=], the Doctor being forced to "play" her to the end.
* Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/LabyrinthOfReflections'' has a variation. There are a number of games in [[CyberSpace Deeptown]], the most popular being the ''Labyrinth of Death''. While there's no chance of physical harm coming to players, there is a very real chance of people dying from dehydration if they neglect their RealLife bodily needs (which happens a ''lot''). There's also the fact that the nature of the Deep makes it impossible for most people to break the illusion without certain so-called "exit" points. This is one of the jobs of the Divers, people who have the ability to break the illusion at any point. They help rescue people who forgot to set a log-off timer and are in danger of dying. In the backstory, the first person to ever undergo a Deep-psychosis did so while playing ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''. Suddenly finding himself completely immersed in the game and being unable to exit until he beat it in one sitting.
* Creator/PiersAnthony's book ''Kill-O-Byte'' has a variation of this, where a former cop with a pacemaker and a diabetic are put at risk in a VR game because one of the shock feedback devices is perilously close to the former's heart (The shock device goes off every time the player dies in the game, which threatens to mess up his pacemaker), while both are trapped in the game, unable to log off due to a malicious hacker. It becomes a race against time as the hacker keeps trying to kill off the ex-cop to mess up his pacemaker more and more, and the diabetic starts to slip into hypoglycemic shock.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The infamous ''Series/TouchedByAnAngel'' episode "Virtual Reality" reveals that all violent video games are apparently tools of hatred and of {{Satan}} that turn children into evil bastards with little regard for human life.
* The show ''Series/LevelUp'' revolves around a group of teens working with the creator of an MMO to defeat monsters from the game that have escaped into reality. The monsters keep escaping even after they initially defeat the game's BigBad in the 90-minute pilot.
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "First Person Shooter", co-written by Creator/WilliamGibson, a virtual reality game becomes haunted by an AI that kills players in real life. [[CowboyBeBopAtHisComputer The episode gets virtually nothing right about programming or gaming.]]
* Though not deadly by itself, a virtual reality game in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "The Game" caused its users to become highly addicted, to the point of not wanting to do anything else, and also become extremely open to suggestion at the same time. It was planted by a woman seeking to gain control of the Enterprise by controlling her entire crew, and spread through the ship due to peer pressure and, eventually, crewmembers forcing it on the few individuals who refused to participate.
* The ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' season one episode "Move Along Home" ''seems'' to feature one of these, a game called Chula, belonging to a race of aliens from the Gamma Quadrant obsessed with games called the Wadi. Sisko, Bashir, Dax, and Kyra find themselves transported into the game world to serve as pieces while back on the station, Quark is forced by the Wadi to play to get them back (The Wadi had been winning too much at dabo, so Quark had ordered the games fixed, which the Wadi discovered). It certainly seems like a dangerous game; one of the challenges Sisko and the others are subjected to involves poison gas, for example, and when Quark makes a desperate gamble to end the game quickly and get the crew back, he ''loses'', and Sisko and his crew seemingly die...only to reappear back in Quark's, no worse for the wear, because, as the Wadi leader Falow points out "It's just a game!"
* ''Series/ShipToShore'': In one of the episodes, the kids play a choose-your-own-adventure video game and, on a whim, give the player character the appearance and name of the local Buttmonkey Hermes Endakis. Shortly thereafter, it turns out that whatever calamity befalls the game's hero also soon happens to the real Hermes in real life. The episode doesn't make it clear if the game really could affect reality or if it was just a series of coincidences.
* ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'': This is the ultimate goal of Kuroto Dan. His game, ''Kamen Rider Chronicle'', is created to turn everyone in the world into a Kamen Rider and force them into an endless fight for survival where a GameOver means dying for real. While he dies before the game is completed, his former partner-in-crime Parado proceeds to take over and manages to complete the game. Parado, being a "Bugster" game character come to life, uses it as a means for his fellow Bugsters to ultimately wipe out humanity.\\
Later reveals throw new wrinkles into this: [[spoiler:''Kamen Rider Chronicle'' actually backs up users' data so that nobody really dies; Kuroto in his own twisted way even intended it as a medical tool to save the lives of people with otherwise incurable ailments. This doesn't actually make anything better, as whoever's in charge of ''Kamen Rider Chronicle'' has full control of who gets to respawn [[CameBackWrong and how]], and by this point in the series it's in the hands of Kuroto's father Masamune, who holds players' lives hostage to get more and more people playing.]]
* In one episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', Teal'c is trapped in a virtual reality device based on alien technology, which the SGC adapted as a training simulator. While dying in VR doesn't immediately cause him to die in real life, the shock and pain of his injuries in the simulation will eventually kill him, and the game keeps getting harder every time he dies.
* In one episode of ''[[Series/PowerRangersNinjaSteel Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel]]'', the MonsterOfTheWeek distributes an addictive video game that makes him stronger the more people play it.

[[folder: Urban Legends]]
* ''{{VideoGame/Polybius}}'', an (thought to be fictional) arcade game of American youth and urban lore that's become ubiquitous thanks to the Internet. The game, so the story goes, is a ''VideoGame/{{Tempest}}'' knock-off that appeared in Portland arcades in 1981. The children who played it suffered from all three of the symptoms detailed above before [[DrivenToSuicide killing themselves]] in the middle of the night. The game disappeared shortly afterward, as suddenly as it had come - in some tellings, wheeled away by mysterious [[TheMenInBlack men in black]]. Someone actually decided to make a [[{{Defictionalization}} Polybius game]], purposely simulating elements found in the mythology (subliminal messages, supernatural things, and so on). Of course, they can be toggled on and off. [[http://www.sinnesloschen.com/1.php See it here]].
* There's the [[http://pastebin.com/f71e6728f Lavender Town Syndrome]] story, which has plain old ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pokemon Red and Green/Blue]]'' being a dangerous video game, and talking about how various things (Lavender Town's music, fake stuff supposedly from the tower and haunted video games) led to mass suicide. There are actually two stories tied to this one, one haunted and one having various in-game stuff causing illness and death.

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* The nameless game in ''VideoGame/NanashiNoGame''. [[spoiler:Completing it reveals the game's name -- ''Road to Sunrise''.]]
* The ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' video game ''VideoGame/YuGiOhTheFalseboundKingdom'' is about a virtual-reality game that's actually a method of gathering souls for a sacrifice.
* [[{{Parody}} Parodied]] in the indie game ''VideoGame/BenThereDanThat''.
* In ''VideoGame/KidChameleon'', the new Virtual Reality arcade game on the block turns deadly, and actively tries to kill the players. Kid Chameleon tries to beat the game at its own game, presumably to save the people the game has already beaten. [[NintendoHard It won't be easy.]]
* Also used as the ExcusePlot for the ''VideoGame/WaynesWorld'' video game; it's not quite clear if Wayne and Garth were sucked into the game or if the baddies came out, but the levels are 90's platformer versions of a few places from the movie; Wayne must use his laser-shooting guitar to rescue Garth, who has been consumed by the purple gelatinous cube from that game in Noah's Arcade in the movie.
* The premise of the AdventureGame ''VideoGame/OmikronTheNomadSoul'' is that the player character is ''you'', the person sitting in front of the computer, and that the game is a trap that sucks the souls of players into the game world, where they have to fight to save the world and escape back to reality or be eaten by demons.
* The ExcusePlot of the Creator/{{Toaplan}} ShootEmUp ''Grind Stormer'' involves a fiendishly addictive game sucking players into arcades in the year 2210.
* ''Franchise/DotHack'': "The World" is a perfectly benign MMO to the vast majority of its users, but there are a number who get caught up in the series shenanigans that have... ''interesting'' things happen to them, such as getting their mind trapped within the game or having data from the game transfer to their brain and affect their real life behavior. It's not usually the game ''itself'' being malignant, but some entity within the game (often an AI) using its hidden functions in malicious ways.
* A scrapped concept from ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' involved the "Manhack Arcade", where some of the Manhacks (read: flying killer robots with spinning razor blades) in the game world would be controlled by ''arcade machines'' being played by your fellow humans, who would have no idea they were actually killing people.
* ''VideoGame/PaRappaTheRapper'' 2 features one called "Food Court". Unlike most examples, this game doesn't kill you. However, if you lose, [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment it makes it so your body will only accept noodles.]] Apparently, the game's cartridge can also hypnotize people if you put it in a tape deck.
* [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/556644 You Find Yourself In A Room]] is this mixed with NoFourthWall.
* ''VideoGame/LakeviewCabinCollection'' has the Lacus Lamia NES game in ''Part V'', which will summon the Witch out into the real world. Though this is [[spoiler:a subversion, as she does not attack the teenagers, and is actually needed to get rid of the killer]].
* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'' is heavily into this trope, with onscreen messages such as "Insert your soul to continue."
* ''VideoGame/DuckSeason'' starts to speed ball into this quickly if you [[spoiler:[[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment shoot the dog at any point in time]]]]. If you have done so, [[spoiler:the dog will first make himself known by appearing around your house, before getting directly involved by killing your mother, and then you]].

[[folder: WebOriginal]]
* This trope encompasses an [[http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Video_Games entire subgenre]] of {{Creepypasta}}.
* WebVideo/BenDrowned (sometimes called simply ''Majora''), an Internet meme / {{alternate reality game}} about a blogger named "jadusable" who gradually loses his grip on reality as he is tormented by a haunted ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' cartridge. The whole thing can be found [[http://www.youshouldnthavedonethat.net/ here]].
** That site now redirects to the forum for the 3rd arc of the BEN Drowned ARG. Right now, you'll have to view that story [[http://inuscreepystuff.blogspot.com/2010/09/majora.html here]].
* Pokémon is a very frequent subject of these sorts of stories. Examples include [[http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Tarnished_Silver Tarnished Silver]] and its sequel [[http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Audible Audible]], which use MissingNo., the Unown, and events from the protagonist's past to screw with his life and/or health.
* Stories of haunted / evil video games are a fairly common type of Internet meme. Games from ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' to ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein}}'' and ''{{Sonic the Hedgehog}}'' have gotten this treatment.
* Parodied, to great effect, by WebVideo/JonTron in his "review" of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII''.
* ''VideoGame/SonicR'' has the myth of Tails Doll. Tails Doll was an unlockable character with an appearance that many considered to be creepy (though some just find him [[NightmareRetardant cute]]). According to a number of [[{{Creepypasta}} Creepypastas]], upon meeting certain conditions (usually tagging Super Sonic with Tails Doll on a specific track), Tails Doll would break into the real world and violently murder the player.
** Although [[http://www.tdworshippers.proboards.com some believers in the doll think he's good]].
* The ''Literature/NESGodzillaCreepypasta'' has a cartridge, which apparently houses or connects to other worlds, complete with ecosystems, and also [[EldritchAbomination the]] [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou Hellbeast]]
* Basically the premise of the [[PlayByPostGames play-by-post]] game ''Roleplay/VirtuallyReality'', set within Franchise/TheFearMythos.
* The French short-film ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-YXH1GtCI Game Over]]''
* Much like the Creator/NeilGaiman example above, ''WebVideo/SMBCTheater'' has a video about an MMO that's so addictive that the players die from completely neglecting their physiological needs. [[spoiler:[[JustOneMoreLevel It's just a button that increments the player's score when clicked]].]]
** ... Was this story written [[HarsherInHindsight before or after]] the rise of [[spoiler: Cookie Clicker]]?
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'': [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1315 SCP-1315]] is an NES cartridge that contains a "game" in which hazards manifest in real life, albeit only to the ones who are playing it.
** [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1633 SCP-1633]], potentially. It's a game that ramps up the level of ArtificialBrilliance the more hours you have logged into it. Once it becomes smart enough to realize that there is a person controlling the player characters, it starts going after them directly, though it usually doesn't try to do any actual harm to the player, just {{troll}} them enough to make them RageQuit, or use psychological mind games to creep them out. However, in one case, the game had a group of enemies coordinate repeated casts of a BlindedByTheLight spell to create EpilepticFlashingLights which gave the player a seizure. However, the came only creates/updates this "player data" file upon saving and quitting the game. When a player was instructed to beat the game in one sitting, the result was rock-stupid AI the whole way through, followed by the game taking several hours to create a player data file with an absolutely massive file size after killing the final boss. The player was then instructed to pick the NewGamePlus option that had appeared, causing the game to show television static, the sight of which immediately put him and ''only'' him into a coma. Also, an ApocalypticLog left by someone who worked on the game also suggests that if the game is allowed to get smart enough, the EldritchAbomination BigBad will start to think it is an ''actual'' Eldritch Abomination instead of just a video game character, and attempt to leave the game to destroy the real world.

[[folder: WebComics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' and '' '''how.''' '' We have Sburb, a game that brings about the apocalypse when played. It also uses TimeTravel to [[StableTimeLoop cause itself to come into being]] as well as force its players to play, meaning the destruction is predetermined and inevitable.
** It gets worse from there. [[spoiler: Sburb is necessary for the creation of other universes - meaning the players are forced to sacrifice their civilization to bring about a new universe. IF their game is not a "null session," meaning it is predetermined to fail, making the sacrifice completely senseless. And unfortunately, null sessions are much more numerous than the successful ones.]]
** Zig-zagged with a void session, which cannot cause an apocalypse, but the players themselves are still in danger.
* Parodied in [[http://www.amazingsuperpowers.com/2011/10/play-a-game/ this]] ''Webcomic/AmazingSuperPowers'' comic. The game in question? [[spoiler:Real life basketball.]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''Destroyer of Worlds'' from ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow''. Plugging it in (you don't need to play) unleashes an enormous, pixelated devil face with intent to, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as the name implies]], [[OmnicidalManiac destroy the world]].
** [[RecycledScript Similarly]], one episode featured the final boss of a video game ("The Hammer") [[InstantAIJustAddWater coming to life]] and attacking everyone after Mordecai and Rigby [[LightningCanDoAnything short circuit the TV]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "What is Reality?" the Riddler traps Commissioner Gordon in a deathtrap-themed virtual reality game, forcing Batman to enter to rescue him. (Of course, the Riddler seems fond of video games in general in this continuity, having become a villain in the first place after being cheated out of the royalties for one he invented, as revealed in his first appearance. That game was harmless, but the amusement park that was based on it sure wasn't.)
* The ''entire plot'' of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' is an inversion of the Trope. While the VR world is deadly, the BigBad would rather the heroes ''stay out'' of it; they have to go there to stop him every time he launches an attack.
** The inversion continues with the fact that 3 out of the 4 fighters will just reappear in the real world when their hit points reach zero. That said, there were a couple episodes where this was played some degree of straight; the first featured the heroes being stuck in an alternate version of reality and at risk for deletion if they attempted to go into the VR world and the second featured the villain disconnecting the scanners used to go between VR and reality, not only putting the characters at risk of death but removing their pain dampeners (when Yumi takes a hit, she's rendered immobile for a good while and while Odd handles the pain better, he's obviously ''in pain'' whereas normally taking hits in VR was more an annoyance than anything else and the same had become true for being devirtualized by that point.)
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'': Coop comes into possession of what appears to be an old video game cartridge, but it's actually an intergalactic ''prison'' housing many dangerous alien criminals. When Coop finally finds a game console that it fits into (or rather one that he can hit it hard enough to fit into), he accidentally releases them and spends the episode putting them back in.
* ''[=SinisteRRR=]'' from ''WesternAnimation/WeAreTheStrange'' is an evil arcade game that (possibly) acts as [[spoiler:a watchdog and alarm for the BigBad]] and later [[spoiler:transforms into a HumongousMecha who proceeds to kill off all but 3 of the main cast]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' episode "Power Mad", Timmy wishes for a VR game that he can't wish out of. Timmy, Chester, and AJ then have to finish the game without losing all three of their lives otherwise they'll be destroyed.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DCSuperFriends'', the Joker turns Cyborg's room into one of these.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' special "Dance Pantsed", when the girls get a parody of ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' Mojo Jojo sends them a fake sequel that turns them into evil cyborgs. This being Mojo, he also outlined his plan on the back, which is how the Professor finds out what happened when the Girls are gone.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' involves the titular character end up digitized into a popular game. Gossalyn has to control him using VR gloves to beat the game in order to return him to the real world.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "[[Recap/GravityFallsS2E5SoosAndTheRealGirl Soos and the Real Girl]]", Soos buys a Japanese dating sim that's possessed by a {{yandere}} AI.
* One episode of the ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' cartoon revolved around Jay entering [[VirtualTrainingSimulation a virtual shooting range]] to improve his poor accuracy score, [[HolodeckMalfunction when something goes wrong.]] Kay has to go in after him because getting shot by the simulated hostiles will not result in the simulation [[GameOver ending/reseting,]] but in death.

[[folder: RealLife]]
* The first recorded death while playing a video game was with ''VideoGame/{{Berzerk}}'' in 1981 - a man had a heart attack immediately after playing it.
* There are many media accounts of gamers dying after playing for absurdly long periods without rest, especially in Asia. The deaths were mostly caused by the physical stress of such a long continuous session rather than any property of the games themselves. This goes back to 1981-82, when two teenagers died very shortly after posting high scores in the arcade game ''VideoGame/{{Berzerk}}''. Even more common are reports of health issues stemming from the same practices, which have prompted game companies and service providers to institute AntiPoopSocking changes.
* There have been cases of online game players fighting or killing each other in real life over virtual property, though the players themselves were usually as much to blame as the service providers.
* The case of a [[http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/news200605wowbaby Korean family]] leaving their infant daughter alone to play ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', only to come back and find that she'd rolled over and suffocated. {{MMORPG}}s in general seem to attract these kinds of stories.
* ''VideoGame/{{Imscared}}'' is a ''[[ParanoiaFuel real-life]]'' version of this. The game can open itself, interfere with your browser, put files on your computer, has several fake endings to make you paranoid about if the game is over or not, and pretends that the villain is a monster that turned itself into a computer virus.
* ''VideoGame/SadSatan'', a video game found on the deep web, is also a real life version of this trope, taken UpToEleven. The supposedly original version contained images and audio from killings and child abuse as [[JumpScare jump scares]].