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Camera Abuse: Video Games
  • Atari's 1980 classic Battlezone may well be the Ur Example for video games, with the screen cracking when you get hit.
  • Some Killer Instinct finishing moves involve smacking the opponent into the camera.
  • In the Olympics themed 'Go for Gold', it's possible to damage the camera during the hammer throw.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game and Turtles in Time, you can throw foot soldiers into the camera. The Super Nintendo version of the latter game uses this as part of a boss fight: when you encounter Shredder in the fourth level, he's manning a giant gun. After he taunts you, the camera spins around so that he's in the foreground. The only way to hurt him is to throw enemies into the screen... and thus into Shredder's gun.
  • In the old Apogee kart-racer Wacky Wheels, a head-on collision would result in your car being smashed into the screen, leaving several cracks as your chosen cartoon animal slides down the glass.
    • Another Apogee screen smash occurs in Monster Bash. If you leave Johnny idle for long enough he'll turn his slingshot towards your screen and fire a rock at it, cracking it.
  • In Escape from Monkey Island, you can ask the dart players in the Scumm Bar to throw one at 'that guy over there'. They throw the dart at the screen, which appears to crack where it's hit, literally Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Similarly, in Quest for Glory II, throwing a dagger at Julanar will cause it to bounce off and crack the screen, killing you.
  • Global Conquest has an HQ unit. When it takes damage, the screen shakes and fizzles.
  • Similarily, in the 2007 game World in Conflict, moving the viewpoint too close to ground zero of a nuclear blast causes interference.
  • The 3D Metal Gear games are good at this. In First Person View, the camera gets splashed with water droplets if someone dives in the water near you, and when getting out of the water the film of water coating the lens slides off. Underwater, of course, the camera is grainy and poor quality. Killing a man with the sword or knife can paint your camera in blood, and staring upwards when seagulls are drifting above rewards you with a nice, wet bird dropping on your camera. Most ominously, when you die in First Person View, the camera lens smashes inwards, giving a spider-web distortion as your character slides to his knees...
  • In the Metroid Prime series, the game is played from behind Samus's visor. Thus, long falls or other heavy hits shake the screen, raindrops bead up on the "camera", condensed steam obscures the view, ice attacks frost the screen, electric attacks and shockwaves cause Interface Screws and so on. Bright lights even allow you to see the protagonist's face reflected from the visor.
    • The most dramatic example in Metroid Prime 2 with the Rezbits in the Sanctuary Fortress. One of their attacks is to remotely hack Samus's visor, forcing her to reboot her entire suit for one whopper of an Interface Screw. The multiplayer game has a "Hacker Mode" item that lets a player's Scan Visor do the same to opponents.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, characters thrown off the top of the screen could bump into the camera on their way back down.
  • In Brain Challenge the Authority games in the Stress category feature men from the slopes of the Uncanny Valley who deliver the twist on the games' usual objects (instead of writing the answer to an arithmetic question, for example, you'll have to write it in the box he tells you), and if you get it wrong or take too long, berates you and headbutts the screen, "cracking" it. It's swiftly and unobtrusively repaired, however.
  • The boss introduction cutscene for the Golem in Mabinogi takes this particularly far. Near the start of the introduction, the flying camera crashes into the Golem, knocking them both over and causing the camera to malfunction, with periodic audio and video distortion. As if this weren't enough, your character then further interrupts the action by wandering into the shot and giving the broken camera an awkward look.
  • In Mario Strikers Charged for the Wii, several characters have animations involving Camera Abuse, such as DK knocking over the tripod and Waluigi roughing up the cameraman.
  • Mario Kart Wii has the Blooper item, which squirts ink all over the screen and makes it hard to see the track.
  • Some of Age of Conan's fatalities will leave blood splatters on the lens of the 'Camera'.
  • The 3D Mortal Kombat games have had some fun with this, including severed heads ricocheting off the camera, Scorpion spearing the camera and dragging it toward him for a closeup (then kicking it away again), and, of course, omnipresent blood smears.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped there's a level where the main enemies are double-headed giants whacking the air with their clubs. If one of them hits you, Crash will be sent flying to the camera with his face covering the screen, and slowly fall.
  • Even Battletoads busted this one out, after a fashion: the boss of the first level is a giant robotic walker, and the battle is viewed entirely from the perspective of its red-tinted camera. To defeat the boss, you need to grab the spheres it occasionally shoots and toss them back at the camera, cracking its screen.
  • In one scene in the original Command & Conquer, resident Big Bad Kane goes to an extreme end with camera abuse, destroying one that was filming him.
    • "Is that camera still running?" *BANG*
  • Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days looks as if it was entirely shot from a DV Hand Camera. Blood and other liquids hit the screen (and stay on for quite a while), lights give streaks of pixel mis-colors, and various other digital artifacts are clearly seen. Not to mention that if you die, the camera drops.
  • When fighting Yunalesca's final form in Final Fantasy X, she uses an attack where her eyes flash, and three cracked holes appear in your TV screen.
    • Slightly less drastic from the same game: Tidus steals a pair of binoculars from a tourist on a boat. The camera POV switches to what he's sees as he looks through them. It retains that POV even as Tidus absent-mindedly (or Jerk Assedly) tosses them overboard when he's done with them.
    • Similarly, Final Fantasy XII's Basch, Penelo, and Big Bad Vayne's Quickenings, Ruin Impediment, Resplendence and Force Of Wil respectively, shatter the screen and suck up the shards into a massive explosion. The last one actually puts his fist through the display.
  • In Primal, you see the raindrops hitting the screen when you look up or into the wind in rainy areas. You also see trails of water running down the screen when surfacing from diving.
  • In Star Wars: Republic Commando, killing an enemy at close range always resulted in some pattern of oil, ichor, or blood spattering over the screen and being wiped away by what could be called an electric windshield wiper. In this case, though, it's the visor of your character's helmet, not the camera itself.
    • Also, one type of enemy grabs your character's face and drills into your screen/visor. The windshield wiper fixes this, too.
    • Getting too close to a jamming device will fill the visor with static and make your HUD elements flicker.
  • In Halo: Reach, the HUD will flicker and fill with static when you get near a Covenant jamming device.
    • In the final mission, whenever you take health damage, the visor becomes cracked and the HUD fades. Take enough damage, and you lose your entire HUD except for your shield and health display. When Noble Six is finally taken down, the coup de grace is shown from the now-discarded helmet's point of view.
  • Dante kicks over the camera during the intro movie of Devil May Cry 3.
  • In the obscure fighting game adaptation JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, one of the super moves of the character Hol Horse involves him shooting the camera lens. It allows him to use J. Geil's Stand's power, as it uses the reflection from the shattered glass from the camera lens to attack the other character. The camera repairs itself immediately afterward.
  • After the credits of The Maw finish rolling, Maw eats the camera.
  • In Left 4 Dead, the camera reflects certain statuses. If you've been vomited on by a zombie, the view turns green, and distorts and blurs chronically. Seeing as the character puked on literally can't see anything more than indistinct blurs in front of them, shooting is a very bad idea. Camera turns red when you've been hit hard. Being on fire ignites the bottom of your screen. Being incapacitated will drop the camera to ground level (complete with tilt and bob) and the more you bleed, the darker your view gets until you bleed to death. If you've been incapped and revived so many times, your view turns monochrome (and with a steadily accelerating heartbeat) to show that you really need medical attention. Conversely, having your character realise they're about to be mobbed by a Crecendo or Panic Horde will make everything turn slightly sharper and brighter (resembling an adrenaline spike), and chugging a tub of ibuprofen makes everything superbright for a second (resembling getting slightly high).
  • In Rock Band, sometimes the vocalist (player character or not) will kick the camera or otherwise abuse it.
    • Everyone kicks the camera in Rock Band. Well, not the drummer, but everyone with their legs free.
      • Who says they need legs? I've watched guitarists whack the shit outta the camera with the heads of their guitars. I play guitar like Ringo Starr plays drums, and even I know that's not right...
      • Sometimes the drummer will just up and punch the camera.
    • At least this falls under the "in-universe camera" proviso, as you are playing a concert with cameras all over the place.
  • Wayne Gretzky Hockey ,a 90's hockey game, opened with a slapshot hitting the camera and "breaking" the player's monitor. (The final shot of the intro revealed the contents of a smashed CRT.)
  • It is possible, when posing your avatar for your gamer picture in the Xbox 360 Avatar Creator, for your avatar to bang his/her head on the camera.
  • Golden Sun's final boss (in both games) cracks the screen because of how big it is.
  • In the Resident Evil games, particularly the ones on the PS1, and particularly the Director's Cut of Resident Evil, lining up a shot perfectly with the camera and shooting right at it will cause a bullet hole to appear briefly on the screen. This may be doable in Resident Evil 2 and 3 but memory is fuzzy. The hardest part is finding a room or hall where the camera is positioned perfectly for the shot.
    • It can be done in 2. The corridor with the first Licker contains such a camera positioning. And the turntable elevator during the battles with G's second and third forms.
    • And if you die a certain way in RE 2 and up, blood gets splattered on the camera.
    • At one point, you turn on a security monitor to find that Trenchcoat Man Tyrant is in the hall behind you, then he smashes the camera.
  • In Ōkami, Hasugami, the god who gives you the Water Lily Brush Technique, will belly-flop into the camera, cracking the "lens" of the "camera" in his intro (skip to 2:23).
  • In Street Fighter IV, Seth's Ultra Combo sucks the enemy into the yin-yang sphere in his chest, then shoots them out at high speeds, bouncing off the camera in the process. If the attack knocks out the opponent, they instead splat against the screen and slowly slide down to the floor.
  • In Prototype, some of the consumptions are brutal - like beating them to death with such vigor that blood spatters on the "camera".
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, after his Ominous Floating Castle explodes and falls into the ocean, Bowser gets sent flying into the fourth wall, cracking it and sliding down the screen.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, after increasing the water pressure on the fountain in Mushrise Park, a chunk of the fountain goes flying after it explodes. Cut to an overhead view of Pi'illo Island, with that chunk going so high that part of it busts through the camera lens, gets stuck for a second, then falls back to the island.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming rewards certain actions, such as tearing through the occasional fleshy wall or executing a Finishing Move with a bladed weapon, by spattering the screen with droplets of blood.
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day uses this, with water droplets sliding down the camera after swimming, or errant bullets causing cracks.
    • Also one of the cutscenes has cave men knock over the camera running by it.
  • It's tricky to notice; but at one point in the Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Scout" video, the Scout taps the camera lens with his finger, knocking it back slightly and leaving a fingerprint on the lens for the rest of the video (except for the scenes where he's beating up the Heavy).
    • The Scout commits two more instances of camera abuse. In "Meet the Medic", he gets thrown towards the camera by rocket explosions. When he closes the distance, he cracks the supposed lens as he's plastered against the glass. Turns out, though, he broke a window in the foreground. A more honest example then occurs in "Meet the Pyro". Scout is reluctant to talk about the Pyro, so he gets up and walks away, bumping into the camera in the process and knocking it over.
  • In Street Fighter X Tekken, Balrog roughs up the camera a bit in his special intro animation with his tag partner Vega.
  • In the 6th-gen fighting game X-Men: Next Dimension, there are several ways to do this. One of Toad's throws has him fling the opponent into the camera (with his tongue), cracking it. Sentinel Alpha outright punches the camera after a win.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes has a few victory poses doing this. Marrow, for example, throws the camera a bone.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 continues this, Deadpool grabs the camera and, in his usual fourth-wall breaking self, begins berating the player about their performance, Wesker has a more sinister version, grabbing the defeated opponent (who you're seeing through the eyes of), and lifting him off the ground by the throat, holding his hand up and channeling darkness through it as though about to deliver a killing blow. Super Skrull knocks the camera over and stomps on it, shattering the lens.
  • One Must Fall features some camera shake when either player slams the other into a wall or the Nova does its Earthquake Smash special move.
  • Earth Defense Force 2017: Has a camera shake option you can toggle. If it's on, then things such as huge explosions, UFOs crashing into the ground or buildings crumbling will make the camera rattle around, contributing a bit to the campy sci-fi motif, but potentially ruining your aim when the shaking gets too severe. And believe me, it will.
  • Canabalt has the camera shake when... bad things happen.
  • When you die in Iji, the title character screams as the display "cracks" before it goes black.
  • Punch-Out!!: If Aran Ryan wins, he'll shake the camera and smash the "screen" with his head.
  • When the player kills an enemy with the chainsaw bayonet in Gears of War the screen is positively drenched in blood which quickly fades.
  • Also when the player is hurt in Fallout 3 a slight blood spatter apears on the screen and does not quickly fade.
  • In FEAR 2: Project Origin, if Beckett is killed, the game over screen shows cracks running down the screen - indicative of his Cool Shades being destroyed.
    • Duke Nukem Forever does the same thing when Duke takes fatal damage: the viewscreen "shatters" to indicate his Cool Shades being smashed.
    • The FEAR seris also uses this to show damage on player-controlled turrets; first the camera feed progressively distorts, then shows a bullet hole through the lens, and finally cuts to a Snowy Screen of Death when the turret is destroyed.
  • God of War III goes all the way to Cameral Murder by showing Poseidon being beaten to death by Kratos from Poseidon's point of view.
    • Something similiar happens later on when Kratos beats Zeus to death against a rock, covering your eyes in blood, when the screen in is covered in blood, Zeus is dead. However, the scene doesn't stop until you stop punching, and doing it long enough earns you an achievement.
    • In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, both Kratos and Zeus have outros regarding this trope. Kratos has a losing outro that has him punching the screen in anger (which is also a nod to the Poseidon scene described above). Zeus has two, one of his winning outros has him lifting the cameraman in a similar way to Wesker in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (also mentioned in this page), and finally, his losing outro has him covering the screen with his hand in embarrassment of such defeat.
  • In The Lost Crown, when Nigel is navigating a catacomb with his night-vision video camera, malignant ghosts start tossing rocks at the lens. They don't actually score a direct hit on the lens, but you hear the clack of stones bouncing off the camera.
  • Happens all the time in Split Second with the camera constantly being covered in muck and gunk.
  • In Samurai Warriors 3, the Ultimate Musou of some, if not all, of the characters feature some form of camera abuse (for example, Magoichi Saika will riddle the lens/screen with bullets).
  • In Die Hard Trilogy: Die Hard With A Vengeance, running over pedestrians in first-person view splatters blood on the camera/windshield.
  • In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, the touch screen appears to shatter when Primal Dialga reveals Celebi and the others' attempt to reach the Time Tunnel under cover of her powers.
  • In Red Dead Redemption: Skinning an animal will splatter blood all over the camera.
  • In Metal Marines, whenever one of your attacks (or occasionally counter attacks) sufficiently upset the enemy's only female commander, she would stand up and kick the camera screen in anger, with cracks showing on her end of the transmission screen...of course, since each of these mini-cutscenes uses the same intact starting screen for its animation, this implies they go through a lot of cameras with her around...
  • In the ending of Tomb Raider II, Lara shoots the camera with a shotgun.
  • Rather than having your view blur as in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim depict your character taking damage by spattering the camera lens with blood.
  • On the main menu of LEGO Racers, the LEGO character on it will eventually bang his/her hand on the inside of the monitor if you leave the menu sitting long enough.
  • In the air hockey game Shufflepuck Café, goals scored on the player appear to smash into the glass of the screen... whereas goals scored on the other player crack an invisible plane on the far side of the court.
  • In Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Anko grabs the camera and shakes it in one of her winning animations.
  • Being a "game version" of an amateur film, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 4: Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, has several of these. Most notably is when Strong Bad accidently walks into the camera while "walking away" from a scene.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, the screen shakes whenever a character scores a Critical Hit. Must be one heck of a hit if it makes the whole dungeon vibrate...
  • In Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, your HUD gets fuzzy and glitchy near ECM devices, or if you're about to wander off the battlefield. In another mission, your helmet and HUD get damaged.
  • In Super Robot Wars Z 2, Deathscythe Hell from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing uses its Hyper Jammer special equipment as part of its most powerful attack. In-universe, the Hyper Jammer scrambles enemy electronics. It's shown here making a dent in the fourth wall, as the Hyper Jammer makes the player's screen appear to glitch out and break into audible static while it's in effect.
  • In MechWarrior Living Legends, the camera is violently shaken around when the player's BattleMech or tank is hit with explosive weapons, such as missiles and particle projector cannons. Players using Battlearmor will get blood and suit sealant splattered on their screen when the armored shell is pierced, which can obstruct the HUD elements due to it being a Diegetic Interface. Once the armor is cracked, the suit's visor can become permanently cracked - though never in a way that really obstructs your view.
  • In Paranormal, the camera goes along for the ride when Mattel falls down the stairs, and spots of ripply distortion slide across the image when he ventures into the backyard in the rain, suggesting raindrops are dripping down the lens.
  • Swinging hammers in Iggy's Reckin' Balls can knock a character into the screen, causing them to slide down it with humorous noises.
  • Failing Wonder Pink's first QTE in The Wonderful 101 has her storm toward the camera and angrily punch it to knock it over, then start stomping on it with her eyes glowing red.
  • One of the most extreme uses of this trope, In the Experience 112, the entire game is based on running a security system and watching the main character, manipulating her through computer actions. The player directly control the cameras and lights of the abandoned base. These camera's interact with the environment in several ways, and are completely controllable with different types of lenses for different tasks, they are even capable of controlling a submersible and a robot at some points. EXperience112 on Wikipedia..
  • WildStar: The Meet the Exiles video has representative Kit Brinny accidentally punching out the cameraman.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure Heritage For The Future:
    • Hol Horse weaponizes this in one of his supers where he shoots the camera three times, and if the opponent is caught in one of the cracks and hasn't blocked it, they're pinned to the ground and stabbed by Hanged Man (J. Geil's Stand). Hol Horse also shoots the camera in one of his winposes anyway just to be a dick, and Hanged Man crawls up said camera to glare at the player.
    • Dio has a win pose after accusing the player of "watching him again", sends his Stand, The World, at the camera.
  • In Alice: Madness Returns, when you get low on health, cracks start appearing around the screen like glass. It might take a bit to recognize the visual, but in short, the looking glass is getting ready to shatter.
  • One mini-game in Mario Party 5 has two players passing a Bowser-shaped bomb to each other until it explodes. When it does, the character holding it flies into the screen, causing the camera to tilt... and it even stays that way when the other character celebrates their victory.
  • In Blood Bath, the camera cracks when you're one hit away from death, and gets blood-splattered when you die.
  • In Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light you have to wear a gas mask at certain points, mostly on the highly radioactive surface. Taking damage while wearing it causes cracks to grow on the side of your screen that only go away when you replace the mask with a new one. Things like blood, rain, and mist can also cover the mask, and are wiped off by pressing the same button you hold to put on or remove the mask. Even if you aren't wearing the mask, flies swarming around you may walk over the screen.

Live-Action TVCamera AbuseWestern Animation

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