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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/AmericanDad http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/american_dad_game_avatars.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:So deep, [[ArtShift it's not even drawn by the same studio]].]]

TwoGamersOnACouch are playing a video game, or the gang get together to play a [[RPGEpisode roleplaying game]]. Instead of showing what goes on by showing us the screen or the characters themselves, the scene cuts "into" the game, where the gamers themselves have taken the roles of the characters they are playing.

Any discussion the players have will be seen taking place between the characters. The characters will nearly always facially resemble the players, although they will often be altered to [[MorphicResonance take on]] [[IconicItem aspects]] of the player characters. This can be done with the [[RuleOfFunny intention of looking silly]], such as the 7-foot-tall barbarian wearing his geeky player's signature NerdGlasses or a male player shown [[CrossPlayer crossdressing as]] [[{{GIRL}} his female character]]. A different [[ArtShift art style]] may be used to show the gameworld; video game worlds may have something of a pixellated or [[CelShading cel-shaded]] appearance. Very rarely, one will see a series actually make the leap to using {{Machinima}} for this purpose.

This is a SubTrope of FantasySequence, some display of how "immersed" the characters are in the game; it's their imaginative perception of what's going on. This allows us to see events in-game, and is a lot more interesting than watching two guys tapping on their controllers.

(Not to be confused with "immersion gaming," a form of live-action roleplay that lasts for more than 24 hours, takes place in and interacts with the real world, or both.)

Compare TwoGamersOnACouch, RPGEpisode, RPGMechanicsVerse, SeparateSceneStorytelling.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Franchise/DotHack''. The anime and the games are predicated on the idea of a MMORPG which is the literal embodiment of this trope. Note, however, that the appearances of the game characters do not necessarily correlate with those of the "real world" versions -- characters of the same class and in-game gender look very similar. (E.g. Bear and Orca, Elk and Tsukasa, [=BlackRose=] and Mimiru, Suburu and another Heavy-Axe User, etc.) This doesn't stop some players from deliberately engineering their characters to look like themselves. In .hack//Sign, Subaru, Mimiru, Bear, and B.T. are all depicted with the same faces as their in-game characters. Kite is known to look a lot like his avatar while Orca, who is in middle school with Kite, looks like a large muscular man with little in the way of clothing. Other examples of the first type include Haseo and the second include Wiseman, who is a young boy despite being an old man in game.
* Konata from ''Anime/LuckyStar'' claims to be [[IKnowMortalKombat good at athletics by visualizing herself playing]] ''VideoGame/TrackAndField''. Cut to actual NES ''Track & Field'' graphics starring Konata's sprite, and a closeup of Konata's hand on the controller performing the famous coin and ruler tricks to win the game.
** In the OVA, a whole gang of people engaged in that in a MMORPG.
** Another episode of the anime features Konata and Nanako having an argument that soon cuts to a ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic''-in-''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' battle, with them piloting the Arbalest and Codarl respectively and arguing in the dialog boxes.
* The RPGEpisode in ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'' has Satou deeply immersed in an MMORPG. He also meets a CatGirl healer, who he falls in love with, who [[spoiler:turns out to be [[{{GIRL}} his friend and next door neighbour]], out to teach him a lesson]].
* ''Manga/ToLoveRu'''s trouble quest arc actually has the characters getting physically sucked into an RPG.
* ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'' has an episode with the heroes trying to play a fantasy MMORPG with Chi. We never exactly see how the game works for the characters, but the viewers see it from a deep immersion point of view, with the regular characters all transformed into their fantasy counterparts.
* ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' at first seems to function on this level, as characters who immerse themselves in the Wired seem to do so via high-speed web browsing rather than virtual reality, leaving their actual bodies gazing at a screen and pointing and clicking links while they're mentally exploring the Wired's virtual world. But then the deep immersion starts to get deeper... [[MindScrew much deeper]].
* While the game itself is a tactical wargame, ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'' gave us (really awesome) scenes of the SOS Brigade as star fleet commanders when they played the computer club. Haruhi gets really ''megalomaniacal'' here. There was also the nice touch of having their command ships' crews reflect their commanders (Haruhi's crew had varied aliens, Mikuru's wore cute animal masks, Itsuki's had {{henohenomoheji}}, Yuki's were copies of her; [[ButtMonkey Kyon's crew is not shown except for a brief glimpse at the back of the heads of a few at a distance]]). The anime makes clear contrasts to highlight the MundaneMadeAwesome traits of it all by cutting smoothly between [[WorldOfHam ridiculously epic orchestral scores and dramatic speeches]] within the game and the tinny, 8-bit MIDI version in the 'real world'.
** Even funnier is the end, where the enemy flagship goes down to both BeamSpam and a WaveMotionGun, the orchestra is in full trumpets-and-drums, the enemy commander DisappearsIntoLight... and cut to the computer screen proclaiming [[AWinnerIsYou You Win!]]
* Three Drama [=CDs=] of ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', called Hetalia Fantasia, has an MMORPG made by America and Japan that several characters join in.
* The [[TitleSequence OPs]] of ''Anime/TheTowerOfDruaga'' seem to imply the series is somewhere between this Trope, ImagineSpot and AllJustADream.
* ''Mythic Quest'', like ''[[Franchise/DotHack .hack]]'', revolves around players of a fictitious MMORPG. Few characters are seen both on- and offline, but the dichotomy in personality and appearance with Tragic/John and Aramusha/Anaya are recurring themes.
* The manhua ''Literature/HalfPrince'' is this trope. The MMORPG "Second Life" is playable anytime (even in your sleep!) and the character's looks are based off your real life appearance. The game prides itself on the "99% percent realism factor" which means if you get hurt you get hurt ''seriously''.
** Oh, c'mon now. They only raised the pain level to 30%. Dying still hurts like a bitch, though.
** The [[VideoGame/SecondLife actual game]] that shares the name of the MMO in question, of course, ''isn't'' like this.
* For a non-videogame example, ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' plays with this; in general, they show holograms of cards. However, shadow games show the monsters themselves. Also, there are several more straight examples when characters get caught in the game. ''Manga/DuelMonsters'' does the same thing, but with no holograms.
* The Lord En/Online Gaming Arc of ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}'' has the Ishiyama gang playing ''[[ShoutOut End of]] [[VideoGame/CallOfDuty War 4]]'' online and assuming avatar identities through several chapters of game play.
* ''Manga/SketDance'' has Bossun becoming addicted to the rpg Monster Fantasy and through roping him in to playing co-op, also gets Tsubaki addicted. The manga then switches between reality and their adventures within the game.
* In episode 8 of ''Manga/LoveHina'', Motoko ends up in a dream where she and the main characters are in an old school game Keitaro has. The characters are constantly BreakingTheFourthWall and realize they're characters in a game, and constantly switch from their normal size and SuperDeformed sizes when in the "game".
* Whenever more than one person is involved with a game in ''LightNovel/BokuWaTomodachiGaSukunai'', this trope is invoked, including one DatingSim.
** Played with in one episode. Maria, the healer, had left to take a nap. Thus, her character stood idle during the climatic boss battle. After almost every character is killed off, Maria's character starts moving again. [[spoiler: It was Kobato playing in her stead, though.]]
* In ''{{Manhwa/Yureka}}'' this is {{Justified|Trope}} as a legal requirement of [=MMOs=] (which isn't too far from existing Korean online laws) - your av's appearance defaults to your own, though it can be altered to a limited extent. The restrictions are looser in VR-space outside of [=MMOs=], but everyone still looks somewhat like their real appearance.
* ''Manga/KingOfRPGs'' does this half the time, but it's the "real life" characters who are over the top.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', there are two episodes where the heroes have to solve a video game duel puzzle; when this happens, a chibi-style avatar of the character appears in cyber-space using a Duel Disk (the first time) or a D-Wheel (the second).
* [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline''. Due to the creator's god complex each player is given their actual body dimensions and gender (resulting in a brief but funny scene where two players who were previously a seventeen-year-old guy and a young girl turn out to be a skinny, unattractive redhead guy and a short, fat, definitely ''not'' seventeen-year-old) and are outright told that if they die in the game, they're dead ''for real.''
* ''Anime/MekakucityActors'': The shooting game Takane plays near-obsessively, and the one she and Haruka design for their school festival.
* Inverted in ''Anime/LogHorizon''. Originally a simple MMORPG where characters could customize their looks to themselves or radically different, a major update to the game effectively teleports all those logged at the time into an AlternateUniverse as TheGameComeToLife. We see brief moments of adventurers at their computers at play, before the transformation.
* A common occurrence in ''LightNovel/AndYouThoughtThereIsNeverAGirlOnline'' beginning with episode two. Whenever someone's real-life identity is revealed to Hideki, their ''[[FictionalVideoGame Legendary Age]]'' avatar invariably becomes their real-life self in cosplay.
* ''Manga/SgtFrog'': A recurring plot element involves the Keronians creating video games that are a bit TOO interactive.

[[folder:Board Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DragonStrike'' is quite possibly the UrExample of this trope: The board game was packed with a 33-minute VHS tape that served as an introduction to the game, showing four players and their DM controlling the events of the fantasy world by playing the game.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Often in ''ComicBook/KidPaddle'' (appropriately, since the main character is a VideoGame FanBoy).
* ''ComicBook/InRealLife'' exclusively shows the in-world game ''Coarsegold'' as this.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Jason's online gaming is shown like this in ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* This may very well have been started by ''Film/{{Tron}}'', where Programs were played by the same actor as their users. {{Subverted}}: The Programs are ''not'' the same people as their Users. The Programs in the first film just ''look'' like the User who created them, and it's implied by a line by one character that the appearance issue is because a part of the programmer's spirit goes into their creations.
* ''Film/SpyKids 3D: Game Over'' featured this, though it was justified as the game in question was a virtual reality game. [[spoiler:However, each character's in game avatar was an idealized version of their real world equivalent. The strong character is weak, the cool character is a nerd, and the wheelchair bound grandfather could walk.]]
* ''Film/{{eXistenZ}}''. The virtual reality game has so many layers that the characters are never quite sure if they're back in reality or not.
-->"Are we still in the game?!"
* ''Film/TheGamers'' and its sequel play this for comedy, switching between scenes of the roleplayers sitting at a table and the fantasy world inhabited by the characters as whom they roleplay. Taken to an extreme in the third movie when the party banters with the main villain while waiting for the DM, ending with him asking [[LampshadeHanging who is playing him]].
** The second film in the series has a male player playing as a female evil wiz-, sorry ''[[InsistentTerminology chaotic neutral]]'' wizard. The in-game actor flips back and forth between the player's actor in drag, and an actual woman. One scene even has them "tag-out", pro-wrestling style.
* ''Film/OfDiceAndMen'' has the characters introduce themselves to the audience as if they existed separately from their players, although they are portrayed by the same actors. During the final game sequence, the lines blur a bit, as the characters sometimes speak lines within the game world that are obviously being said by the players at the game table.

* Games in [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]]'s [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] novels can be this way. You can have them in your dreams, too.
* The Better Than Life game in ''Literature/RedDwarf''.
* The entire premise of Tad Williams ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'' series, except those plugged into the network does not necessarily resemble their real selves.
* Robert J. Defendi's free audiobook ''Literature/DeathByCliche'' has a unique twist on this trope. The main character is shot, fatally, but rather than dying his consciousness is somehow transported into the world created by a particularly poor DM (who, ironically, is his assailant). He becomes part of a ragtag party of adventurers, who are characters being played by real D&D players who are participating in a campaign run by his assailant. [[spoiler:He eventually learns that he has some godlike influence over this world, and semi-intentionally alters the plot of the campaign, without the DM's intent.]]
* ''Literature/InterstellarPig'' snaps into and out of this whenever combat starts and ends. The game's actual mechanics for resolving battle are never revealed, but if the presentation of the fights is any indication, they're somewhat like [[NewRulesAsThePlotDemands the battle mechanics in the anime of]] ''Anime/YuGiOh''.
* Lisanne Norman's short story ''Is This Real Enough?'' starts with an MMORPG player preparing for a raid with his guild, but slowly moves into this as the raid goes catastrophically wrong. Then the players start to realize how ''strange'' it is that they're feeling pain when their characters get hurt, and the plot goes [[TrappedInAnotherWorld somewhere else entirely]].
* In ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' this is part of the premise - when the villain traps 100,000 players inside an MMORPG, he also changes their avatars to match their real-life appearances. Survivors who later join other [=MMOs=] choose avatars resembling themselves out of habit, though other players rarely do so.
* ''Literature/ReadyPlayerOne''s OASIS system is this, combined with Virtual Reality Technology.
* Players can fully customize their characters in ''Literature/{{Erebos}}''. The protagonist, Nick, decides against it - But somebody else models their character after him, even naming himself [=LordNick=].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Used in the cold-open of the ''Series/{{House}}'' episode "Epic Fail".
* Happened once on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', showing Ted meeting "Blahblah" (by the time of the retelling he has forgotten her name) in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. They use actual game animation, though, so it gets funny for the non-gamers out there when you find out that Ted is playing the female human and Blahblah is the huge male draenei.
* Used in an episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' where Penny got addicted to "Age of Conan". Partly subverts the trope in using realistic game footage, but also plays it straight in having no visible interface and blatantly obvious user handles. (Queen Penelope? With no numbers or guild tag?)
* Done in an episode of ''Series/{{Spaced}}'', where an argument between Tim and Daisy is choreographed to a game of ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''. Every verbal smackdown corresponds to a blow landed in the game and Daisy mimics the victory pose of her game character. "Nina Williams Wins! Daisy Steiner Wins!"
* Averted in ''Series/{{Community}}'', in which everything they do is them sitting around the table talking about it.
--> '''Narrator:''' And so did the group describe themselves walking, and so did Abed confirm they walked.
** Not technically gaming, but roleplay, in ''Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas'' the characters are shown as the stop motion figures that Abed believes everyone has turned into. Averted in a later "clip show" episode containing solely new footage that showed the rest of them sitting around the table uncomfortably playing along with Abed's Christmasland fantasy.
** Played straight in "Digital Estate Planning", where the gang play an 8-bit platformer and most of the action takes place within the game. Abed, naturally, takes things further, falling in love with one of the game characters and raising a family, [[spoiler:who come in handy when the time comes to defeat the FinalBoss. At the end, Abed saves the character in a flash drive, saying "I told you I'd come back for you."]]
* The Total-Immersion Video Games on ''Series/RedDwarf''.
* The V-World on ''Series/{{Caprica}}'' includes some of these.

* The video for ''[[http://youtube.com/watch?v=QpAP5RcYicE Operation Ground and Pound]]'' by [=DragonForce=] shows guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman playing a fighting game on a [=TurboGrafix=] 16, with their own bodies inserted over those of the in-game characters.
** ''The Last Journey Home'' might be an example of this as well.
* Red Hot Chili Peppers' video for Californication makes great use of this.
* The video for Music/ArchitectureInHelsinki's song 'Do The Whirlwind' turns the band into 16 bit style sprite characters and ends with them in a version of Pac-Man -- all thanks to the art of Creator/PaulRobertson.

[[folder:Print Media]]
* The ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' column "Dungeon Mastery" was occasionally illustrated by a comic strip that used the trope. The "real world" of the players was in a more realistic art style than the world of the game, but they were recognisably the same people.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* The ''Series/SesameStreet'' video ''Elmo's Alphabet Challenge'' did this with Elmo, Telly and Abby Cadaby in parodies of various well-known video games on Abby's "Fly Pad", including ''[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Super Mustachio Bros]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft World of Elfcraft]]''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/EdnaAndHarveyHarveysNewEyes'' takes this to its logical conclusion: playing a tabletop video game is equivalent to, and has the same mechanics as, entering a hypnotic trance. Lilli even encounters a personified hypnotic suggestion in the game (much to the confusion of the DM, who finds himself describing a character he didn't create.)
* Invoked in {{DLC}} ''Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep'' in ''[[{{VideoGame/Borderlands2}} Borderlands 2]]''. While you're using your characters, in-game it's represented as Tiny Tina hosting a game of [[MagicAmpersand Bunkers & Badasses]], and the game is being played by Lilith, Mordecai, and Brick. They will all comment regularly throughout the story missions, and during some of the sidequests as well.
** In fact, Lilith and friends play ''as'' the characters from Borderlands 2, while the real ones are interrogating a Hyperion prisoner. Brick plays Maya for example.
* A Variation: In ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze'', it's possible to see[[note]]or rather hear[[/note]] Donkey Kong either playing ''[[VideoGame/MarioKart Mario Kart 7]]'' or playing ''[[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D]]'' on his 3DS, [[RecursiveCanon both games that include Donkey Kong himself as a playable character]]. Because of this, he plays as himself in both games.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' manages to play with this. In-universe players of ''[=PSO2=]'' are often depicted as interacting with other characters in-game, including the PlayerCharacter. Except [[spoiler:in-universe players are playing the game, while the PlayerCharacter and his/her allies are actual entities, and they ''coexist''. Also, the {{Digital Avatar}}s of the players ''also'' coexist with the players ''and'' the ARKS and aren't actually digital like the players are meant to believe. [[MindScrew It's rather complicated.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/CyberdimensionNeptunia4GoddessesOnline'' has the central conceit that the characters from previous Neptunia games are playing the titular 4 Goddesses Online, an in-universe MMO (this level of meta is nothing out of the ordinary). All the characters' default avatars look exactly like themselves, and like everything else, this is lampshaded. Neptune considered getting her avatar to look as cute as her real self a challenge, Vert considers the resemblance vital to immersion, Noire wanted her avatar's outfit to be easy to cosplay, Blanc realized that fixing her [[ACupAngst main complex with her appearance]] would just get her mocked, Nepgear and Uni aren't familiar with [=MMOs=] and didn't think to do anything outlandish, and Rom and Ram both wanted to see their SquishyWizard selves acting as physical classes in-game.


[[folder:Web Animation]]
* This trope is used in the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' web video ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7Y8dA5Ir7g Patchouli Plays Super Mario Bros.]]''
* ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'' has made a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74yK4-_3K0E few]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YOZuBzY0sE flash]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_gPZGiV_m8 videos]] of themselves as the characters they play as (with identifiers like Arin's long hair and Jon's beard and hat) using audio from their episodes. The fans picked up on this and have made several, several, [[UpToEleven SEVERAL]] "fanimations" of their favorite Game Grumps moments.
** A popular scene that gets animated is the glitch scene from their [[SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic '06]] play through, where Arin RageQuit [[TenMinuteRetirement temporarily.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* This is a staple for any Webcomic about video gaming (and it's not like there are many of ''those''), so:
** Happens in 98% of ''Webcomic/VGCats'' strips.
** TheGamercat deals liberally in this trope. Lampshaded when [[http://www.thegamercat.com/comic/run-snake-run/ [=GaMERCaT=] explains to Glitch how to get the most out of gaming]].
** Has happened at least once with the characters of ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'', when they were trying to cure Ethan of his addiction to [=MMORPGs=].
** Happens occasionally in ''Webcomic/PennyArcade''.
** Frequent story arcs from the no-longer-updated ''Webcomic/AngstTechnology'' (shame Barry T. Davis stopped making it. It would have been great to have seen what he'd have made of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''.)
** After the end of ''Webcomic/MacHall'', notable for its rich and colorful illustrated style, ''Mac Hall''[='s=] creators started up another comic called ''3-Panel Soul''. ''TPS''[='=] art uses a much simpler black-and-white sketch style, except for strips set inside computer games, which are drawn much like ''Mac Hall''.
* Happened in a few ''Webcomic/{{Megatokyo}}'' strips.
* Happens a lot in ''Webcomic/PvP''.
* The IM program in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. The author actually {{Lampshaded}} this trope the second time it was used.
** Also the semi-canonical game of ''VideoGame/BlackAndWhite'' in the NP strips.
** The storyline "Duel of the Discs" [[http://www.elgoonishshive.com/?date=2012-09-06 does this]] with a ''MagicTheGathering'' [[BlandNameProduct style]] card game. Mr Tensaided is [[http://www.elgoonishshive.com/?date=2012-10-03 very impressed]] with how immersed Grace gets.
-->'''Tensaided''': You ''roleplayed''. You paid perfect attention, and yet you pictured our game as an actual wizard duel ''so vividly'' that you cried out after Justin took a bad hit.
** "Squirrel Prophet" is set at another tournament of the same game, and does the same thing, especially with Sarah being TheRoleplayer.
* Happened in one panel in ''Webcomic/TheWotch'', and it used magic.
** Used more frequently in a later chapter, about a role-playing session.
* In ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'', all game characters qualify.
* ''Webcomic/ChainmailBikini'' neatly fits this description, as the scene shifts back and forth between chararacters-in-gameworld and players-at-table views. Recently, a newcomer took over one of the characters in the RPG, and that character's face changed to represent the new player.
* ''Webcomic/DMOfTheRings'' and ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' are based entirely around this concept with the images taken from ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' and ''Franchise/StarWars'' respectively, but with all the speech being comments made by the players of a tabletop RPG following that story. The same applies to any CampaignComic, after these two launched the trend.
* The Fantasy and Space themes of ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' are this. Space tends to go a lot deeper, to the point where it's a major surprise when Paris drops out of character after being so disgusted by AWizardDidIt. [[spoiler:And it's even more of a surprise when she gets no response, possibly because Me had been killed some strips earlier. There's been no follow-up in the Space theme about this. (Though it had once been declared that DMM from the Me theme isn't the same as DMM as the GM, the fact remains that neither GM has been seen since.)]]
* Several strips of ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'', starting with [[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/339 this one]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Weregeek}}'' uses this throughout.
** It has fun with it in an early storyline -- it's set up so that initially, you don't know for certain whether what you're seeing is a [[FutureBadass real-world flash-forward sequence]], or the game of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' that was briefly mentioned earlier.
* ''Webcomic/DorkTower'' does this with [=RPGs=]
* This happens in the "Years of Yarncraft" story of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Everyone's characters look almost exactly like them, with adjustments by fantasy race played, and act like people capable of a full set of normal actions, and some non-player characters also act as if sapient.
* ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'' plays this trope straight in whatever game the cast happens to be interested in at the time.
* ''Webcomic/MyRoommateIsAnElf'' has this when the character play 'Offices And Businessmen', a tabletop ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' parody.
* The World of Warcraft comic ''Hammer of Grammar'' played with this when a character, represented by her in-game avatar, is seen seated in front of a computer at the character creation screen, rolling a new character, who then features in the next several strips.
* ''Webcomic/TheUnspeakableVaultOfDoom'' is weird about this. Almost all the time, the events of the strip are presented "as-is"--Cthoolhoo eats someone, for instance, and we have to take it for granted that such is a canonical occurrence. Every once in a while, an event involving supernatural investigators turns out to be an example of this trope, usually right after [[TotalPartyKill everyone's character gets eaten]]. And on one occasion, the roleplayers ''themselves'' got eaten by Cthoolhoo.
* ''Speak With Monsters'' initially focuses on the game world, but quite blatantly uses NegativeContinuity, and often has elements that don't quite fit together from a Watsonian perspective. Later strips sometimes show the people playing the game, and [[KillerGamemaster demonstrate]] [[TheRoleplayer their]] [[TheLoonie personalities]] and how said personalities affect the game world.
* So far ''Webcomic/OriginalLife'' has done it with ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', ''Franchise/MassEffect'', and ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. In the latter two cases it's somewhat justified.
** The previous series that led to ''Original Life'', ''Webcomic/BetterDays'' featured a chapter in which Lucy joins her boyfriend's D&D group, and in a single afternoon manages to complete the story arc that was supposed to last them months.
* There are several smaller arcs in ''Webcomic/SequentialArt'' that show Pip as he appears in ''[[BlandNameProduct Realm of]] [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Lorcraft]]''. There was even an arc in which the whole gang played the Lorcraft board game, with Pip as the Evil Overlord, Art as an Elemental Mage, Kat as a Shadow Assassin, and [[HiveMind the Think Tank]] playing as a single Knight.
** This showed up again when Pip and Art played Minecraft. Granted, the game lets you customize your own skin for your avatar, but not to the extent they did (you cannot add glasses, ahoge, or eyebrows to your character, for instance).
* ''Webcomic/{{Dissonance}}'': Gen is introduced this way, [[SeriousBusiness shooting a teammate for not following instructions]].
* Deconstructed in ''Webcomic/CriticalMiss'': Erin often interacts with video game characters, but they're hallucinations brought on by trauma from a car accident. It's frequently shown that she's really talking to nobody.
* ''Webcomic/DumnestorsHeroes'' follows a campaign this way.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' takes this to an extreme, not only is the game total immersion, it destroys the universe to create a new one.
* Happens [[http://ffn.nodwick.com/?p=1221 occasionally]] in ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity''. Usually, the group refuse to do anything sufficiently in character for Deep Immersion Gaming to be appropriate.
* The in-universe MMORPG crossover segments of the webcomics ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'' and ''Webcomic/BloodStain'' use this for the reader's benefit in determining what the protagonists' avatars look like. Dr. Stein in particular is said to intentionally customize his character to look like himself.
* Briefly invoked and then subverted in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': during Belkar's semi-hallucinogenic dream sequence, Shojo tells Belkar that he must learn to "play the game". Cut to Belkar, Shojo, and Mr. Scruffy sitting in "normal" clothing at a table with dice, character sheets, and a DM screen for Shojo. Belkar, confused, tries to clarify that the webcomic is ''not'' a representation of an actual campaign, but merely a world where D&D 3.5 edition rules apply. Shojo confirms this to be true (thus confirming in-universe what [[Main/WordOfGod Word of the Giant]] had answered many, many times before and putting an end to the debate), and the dream continues as scheduled. Although the game metaphor is extended throughout the rest of the page, the pair is never shown in modern clothes after that.
* ''Webcomic/GuildedAge'': Takes the trope to its logical conclusion.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Most of ''WebVideo/TheGuild'''s season 4 finale is presented this way, with the live-action cast appearing dressed as their avatars, like they did in the "Do You Want To Date My Avatar" music video.
* ''WebVideo/VideoGameHighSchool'' is practically built on this trope.
* Parodied in [[WebVideo/ThatDudeInTheSuede Suede's]] review of Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie. He, [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]], and [[WebVideo/YouCanPlayThis Jew Wario]] are given access to a Pokemon MMORPG. When they enter, Suede and Linkara look like animated versions of themselves...and JW looks like himself but female. This horrifies the other two, and he begrudgingly switches to male.
* ''Website/TheOnion'' uses this in their report on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw8gE3lnpLQ World of World of Warcraft]], a fictional game which itself is an aversion.
* ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' happens mostly in the {{MMORPG}} all the characters are playing.
* ''WebVideo/SwordArtOnlineAbridged'' has a recursive version: Not only is the entire game in virtual reality as in the original, the MundaneMadeAwesome ForgingScene [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKvYEXA5sIU puts the forging minigame player in their own world]] combining ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'', ''VideoGames/SpaceInvaders'' and an ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' version of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/CaspersScareSchool'' episode "Bands on the Run", Jimmy plays Guitar Hero. His avatar resembles him with long hair and dressed as a rock star.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Marge Gamer", all characters in an {{MMORPG}} Bart and Marge played were clearly fantasy versions of other Springfield residents. Apparently, ''everyone in town'' plays on the same server, by some ContrivedCoincidence. They all managed to create characters who look exactly like themselves, except for minor details (Marge's character is basically her with elf ears, for example.)
* ''Everlot'' in the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' episode "Virt-u-ron". Ron recognizes the villain in-game (it's an MMORPG, and the villain's been capturing all the other players) from his voice and mannerisms in the real world. The villain then reveals himself by removing the helmet of his in-game avatar. And the Tunnellord actually [[spoiler:has Rufus' face under his helmet.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' did this with the actual game of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. As they used machinima footage from the real game, they couldn't put the character's heads on the in-game characters, but the characters still looked similar: Stan and Kyle wore clothing the same color as their hats, Cartman was a short, fat Dwarf in red, and Kenny wore orange.
** In "Good Times With Weapons," the boys pretend to be ninjas, and the show flips back and forth between what is really going on and what is happening in their game. Their game is presented in an anime style, and each boy appears as a musclebound, adult ninja, with vague resemblances to his actual appearance and clothing.
* The cast of ''WesternAnimation/{{Chaotic}}'' do this ''literally''.
* Happened in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''; played straight with Danny and Tucker, but initially averted with Sam, whose online Avatar looked nothing like her real-world appearance... until she disabled a holographic mask to reveal her real face. Her size and build were still completely different, though you could see her ponytail even before the big reveal.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'', the User is never seen except through their avatar in whichever game they are presently playing, as the entire story takes place within a computer, and, you may not know it, but in the ''ReBoot''-verse, every time you play a game, you're endangering the computer people.
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron'' literally invents a machine to go inside any video game.
** ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' do almost the same thing in an episode.
* Played absolutely straight in the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode Dungeons and Wagons, where Haley, Steve, and their friends obsess over a computer game similar to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. All events in the game are drawn in a completely different style from the main show, but all the characters speak with the voice of their player. Downright hysterical when Steve's massive warrior speaks with Steve's scrawny voice.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' had fun with this, and old-style Atari graphics.
* The entire point of ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "MMORPD (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Duck)" does this too. {{Justified|Trope}} as being a VirtualReality game in the future.