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->''"You Win - Advance to Level 7"''
-->-- '''''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones''''' as portrayed by ''Series/{{Life}}''

''For the 1982 novelty single and album by Buckner & Garcia, [[Music/PacManFever click here.]]''

For whatever reason, video games seen on TV never evolved past a very primitive state. Classic 8-bit games (such as ''VideoGame/PacMan''), 2D pixel graphics, and synthetic sounds and music are cutting-edge technology.

In live action, standard practice is to render bleeping ArcadeSounds, and bounce a shifting light pattern off the characters playing (read: ButtonMashing furiously). In animation, actual game graphics can be rendered, but they are seldom very sophisticated. If the video game's graphics are depicted in-show and are 2D, the sprites will often feature irregularly-shaped/"angled" pixels that actual sprite-based hardware couldn't handle until the mid-SNES era at best. Game music is almost never heard, and if it is, it's almost always an 8-bit chiptune.

Characters talking about video games will similarly seem out of touch. They will refer to the game in numbered levels and the main goal will be ScoringPoints, which are elements tied more to the arcade than home consoles. If a story line is mentioned, [[ExcusePlot it will only be as deep as "save the galaxy from aliens"]]. It seems that the only way to play these games is to [[ButtonMashing hit all the buttons as fast as possible]] and to move the control stick(s) wildly without direction, especially when playing with someone else.

This trope has many root causes. Most important of all is that high quality game graphics/sounds/music competes for screen time and viewer's attention similar to the cause of StylisticSuck. Plus the music in particular may [[SoundtrackDissonance ruin the overall tone]] if they actually use the in-game soundtrack. The second reason would be money. While it wouldn't be hard to toss in some footage and sound from a modern game, it may cost quite a bit to get the rights to do so, and it would definitely cost quite a bit to make something original. Thirdly, primitive game graphics can be a visual shorthand for "not real" in cartoons, which are already moving, simplified graphics. Last of all, since MostWritersAreAdults, they may not be avid gamers, either knowing [[TwoDecadesBehind only the 8-bit glory of their youth]] or having come of age before video games. This actually resulted in a strange CoconutEffect for a long time in both film and television depictions of gaming, only in recent years has this trope been averted.

If you're too young to remember what ''Pac-Man'' was like on the 2600, check [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL2p2ANFlQ4 this]] out. And [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juH2qHYX9aI this]] for good measure. And, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzI1RBdK2_g this]] is ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' on the same system. These two games probably account for the vast, vast majority of ArcadeSounds used on TV. Very rarely, though, you'll hear a ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' sound effect, or one from ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' every once in a blue moon.

While obviously unrealistic for most settings, [[TropesAreTools from a storytelling perspective]] the audio and graphics will instantly tell any audience member of any age that the characters are playing a video game, as opposed to watching a movie where a more realistic approach is used[[note]]This is helped somewhat by re-releases and indie games keeping this style of game from disappearing altogether[[/note]]. This may be a DiscreditedTrope before long, being replaced by UltraSuperDeathGoreFestChainsawer3000 thanks to MoralGuardians. High profile ProductPlacement may cause this as well, if the [[http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_industry#Comparison_with_other_forms_of_entertainment videogame industry outperforms other media.]]

Note that we're assuming that the characters haven't [[UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade purchased]] [[UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole games]] [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationNetwork online]] or modified their consoles to play old games, unless otherwise stated.

See also: ArcadeSounds, BeepingComputers, FictionalVideoGame, VideoArcade, TheCoconutEffect, PublicMediumIgnorance, TwoDecadesBehind, and HollywoodGameDesign. Compare StockFootage. If pushed far enough, it can lead to SchizoTech. Not to be confused with the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube game of the same name or an obsession about a certain Filipino boxer. For the case of someone playing Pac-Man feverently, see JustOneMoreLevel.

The Trope Namer is the 1982 novelty song "Music/PacManFever" by Buckner and Garcia.



* Countless advertisement images and banners have used stock photography of people playing video games using outdated controllers, most commonly from the {{UsefulNotes/Xbox}} and UsefulNotes/PlayStation families.
* The Acclaim Remote wireless NES gamepad ad shows a kid button mashing furiously while playing ''[=WWF WrestleMania=]'' and ''VideoGame/WizardsAndWarriors'', activating rapid fire on ''Top Gun'' with pew-pew-pew sounds, and doing flips and firing laser beams.
* An ad for ''VideoGame/RadRacer'' on the NES shows the player with the NES Advantage controller, who believes he is playing with a steering wheel controller on the arcade machine, holding down on the joystick like a gear stick, possibly due to [[DamnYouMuscleMemory muscle memory]].
* An ad for ''Videogame/{{Tetris}}'' on the NES shows a player button mashing, while the screen shows a piece being rotated once before being placed, which would mean one button press followed by holding down on the D-pad.
* An ad for Subway restaurants has a kid playing an Atari game where the PlayerCharacter eats burgers, hot dogs, and other junk foods, and then gets so fat he can't fit through a gap in the platforms to get at a gigantic sundae. The game's graphics are actually too ''advanced'' for an Atari console to handle, and it comes complete with the requisite random jerking around of the joystick.
* An ad for batteries from around 2007 seems to advertise their potential for gaming, particularly handheld gaming, despite the fact that 1) you're unlikely to find a modern game about "space ninjas" where you go for a high score that isn't a parody or homage minigame, which shows how well they know their target demographic, and 2) starting with the Game Boy Advance SP (which came out in 2003), handhelds began to use proprietary rechargeable batteries rather than [=AAs=]. An JustForFun/{{egregious}} example as, unlike most of these, this ad was aimed at gamers.
* The makers of ''Fruit by the Foot'' once struck a promotional deal with Nintendo to print gameplay tips for UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}} games on the snack's cellophane wrappers. The commercial showed two teenagers grown old, with one who's been waiting 62 years for his friend to finish playing. He's supposedly been using the snack's hints to keep from losing for all these years... but he's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C-z2J9Qp_Y playing]] ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie''. If the tips are so useful, [[FridgeLogic why hasn't he beaten it by now?]] It's even worse for the next commercial, where he's playing ''VideoGame/MarioParty 2'', which is specifically designed to be ''[[PartyGame a multiplayer game.]]'' 62 years and he never thought to go to the store and buy a second controller?!
* A Mexican ad for Mirinda promoting ''Pokémon'' bottle caps starts with four kids yelling and button mashing like savages... while playing ''VideoGame/PokemonStadium'' (not even the Mini Game section in which it would be at least a little believable; the screen clearly shows a battle between a Squirtle and a Meowth). Made worse a second later when they show the screen saying "GAME OVER", a phrase you will never see in multiplayer (nor in any main Pokemon game series, for that mater).
* A Russian ad for Choco-Boy snacks says there is a contest to win a PSP Go and shows a kid playing it, but what we see on the screen is Choco-Boy running with a background taken right from the ''Super Mario All-Stars'' version of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1''.
* Look no further than the box cover of the AK Rocker gamer chair for a prime example of this: A family of three (dad, son, daughter) are all on the eponymous chairs playing a game together... with an UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}}, Nintendo 64, and UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast controller, respectively, and the Xbox controller is being held upside-down. Of course, it also depicts another family playing games cosplaying as ''Vikings'', so take that as you will. [[http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2006/06/marketinggonebadcqh.jpg Here's a pic.]]
* And then there's a commercial for becoming a game designer that's so bad Alta Colleges doesn't want you to see it. Parodied by ''Three Panel Soul'' [[http://www.threepanelsoul.com/comic/on-level-three here]].
* One advertisement for an online ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' game, seen on this very wiki, depicts a scene using sprites from ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', where Mega Man fights Proto Man. The main problem with this is that neither Proto Man or the pictured version of Mega Man even appear in any game in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series. Also, both Proto Man and Mega Man are heroic characters, although they do engage in some friendly sparring every now and then.
* A print commercial for ''VideoGame/CrashMindOverMutant'' shows two kids playing the game with a UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube controller. Note that when Radical Entertainment took over the ''Crash'' franchise (''Mind over Mutant'' being their third game), the [=GameCube=] was long dead. And the Wii version of said game does not support [=GameCube=] controls.
* Parodied in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZYQiXKvZDg this]] commercial for [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi Channel]], wherein [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]] plays a version of ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' with stock sound effects from the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}}'s version of ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong''--whilst on a UsefulNotes/PlayStation.
* A commercial for a RacingGame called ''Juice'' falls victim to this. Two gamers are sitting in their car, fooling around with the car customizing tool when they notice the changes they make in game affect a nearby woman's [[PowerPerversionPotential dress]] [[FridgeHorror and body]]. Despite being in a customization screen, both gamers appear to be playing, and at the end they make her rotate in place while rapidly changing the color of her dress... by slamming the joysticks and mashing the buttons repeatedly. They proceed to shorten her skirt, increase the woman's bust size and strip the top off, [[NakedPeopleAreFunny whereas they then remove the dress completely]], which by the commercial's [[MagicAIsMagicA own logic]] would require them to strip off the outside of their car.
* Gamer Grub is a semi-example. It doesn't depict games themselves in unrealistic ways, but it does bring up the strange idea that games aren't compatible with most snacks. Granted, the package can be tipped so the food can be eaten without being handled, but that hardly narrows the field.
* In Canada, a Tim Horton's ad is partially an aversion and partially (the part video game players will remember) a straight example. A guy is nearly caught playing video games at work (he gets away with it because his boss is too fascinated with the guy's Tim Horton's latte to notice what he's actually doing). We get a clear look at a screen of actual gameplay from ''VideoGame/AngryBirds''. Yet, the accompanying sounds are generic '80s bleeps, nothing like anything you'll hear actually playing that game.
* Verimark, a South African store selling assorted tat, advertises the "i-Play" games console, a little Game Boy-type gadget along the lines of the PSP with "60 built-in games!!!" and "High-resolution graphics!!!", among other gaming marketing buzzwords. A shame the device itself uses pretty basic graphics that at best approach SNES-era gaming.
* In an Australian ad for ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr7omem9R0k RACV]]'' insurance, while inspecting the house, one of the insurance men grabs a generic [=PlayStation=] game box called "Zombie Attack!" from a shelf and exclaims that it is his favorite. Needless to say, there is no game called "Zombie Attack" on [=PlayStation=].
* [[http://cheezburger.com/6684135168 This]] ad depicting someone playing one of the Bowser sub-games from ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor''... with a [=PS3=] controller.
* Neutrogena put out an ad in late 2011 which features a bottle of shampoo playing a game much like ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' against reappearing dandruff, complete with early-80's style sound effects. Then the bottle of Neutrogena scores a OneHitKill and triggers the AWinnerIsYou ending against dandruff.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh0V68c1ybw This]] commercial for Sonic the Hedgehog pasta by Franco-American has a boy playing ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic and Knuckles]]'' on a UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis (specifically the Mushroom Hill stage). Ordinarily, this example would avert this trope, except the music playing in the background is from the Chemical Plant stage from ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' and the kid's button presses don't match what Sonic is doing on-screen.
** See also [[https://youtu.be/8Yjcmhytta0 this commercial]] by Swiss Maid Dairy Food. The last scene features the console turned on ''Sonic The Hedgehog 2'' in the last boss [[SoundtrackDissonance while the title theme is played on background]].
* Kellogg's has a Froot Loops commercial where a couple is sitting on a couch, and when the wife pulls out a box of Froot Loops, they end up a few seconds later enjoying a game of the ''Super Mario Bros''. attract mode. To their credit, this gaffe was later caught and fixed.
* A 2015 "You're not you when you're hungry" Snickers ad has bleeping arcade sounds and furious button mashing from two players holding [=GameCube=] controllers. Not only does it use stock sound effects roughly 30 years out of date, it's using a console that (except for ''Super Smash Bros. Melee'') hasn't been relevant in 10.
* The 2015 [[UsefulNotes/AVeryBritishChristmas John Lewis Christmas Commercial]], revolving around a girl and her telescope, has a shot of her brother sitting in the background tuning out his surroundings while playing a handheld game console, which is emitting the traditional old-fashioned bleeps.
* A 2017 product picture for [[https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71IpHTWeQ-L._SL1000_.jpg a brand of charging cables]] sold on Amazon depict a boy playing stock artwork of ''VideoGame/MarioKart 8'' on a Playstation Vita (poorly airbrushed to remove the Sony branding, even though the prominent Playsation logo on the Home button is still there) with a mirrored Gamecube controller. Without looking at the screen.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Done deliberately in ''Manga/ArcadeGamerFubuki''. Fubuki's first opponent plays a joystick game while wearing boxing gloves.
* A fairly obscure example lies in the sole English-subbed episode of ''Manga/KyouKaraOreWa'', where at one point the main character is waiting for someone and plays the early UsefulNotes/GameBoy shooter ''Solar Striker'', complete with actual footage. However, the sounds are your generic random bleeps and bloops, as opposed to the actual (although still bleeping and blooping) soundtrack.
* In an early episode from the English dub of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', Kero is seen playing an RPG that looks similar to ''VideoGame/ShiningForce'', but with sound effects from the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}} version of ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' in the background.
* In an episode of ''Anime/GhostStories'' two characters are shown playing ''VideoGame/DarkCloud'' together, using actual footage from the game. What's the problem? ''Dark Cloud'' is a single player game. The GagDub takes it a step further by adding UltraSuperDeathGoreFestChainsawer3000 on top of that, the characters talk about the game as if it were a violent RatedMForMoney game along the lines of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' and mention beating up hookers. Needless to say, none of that is in Dark Cloud, though it's likely played for the laughs.
* ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub''. In a flashback, the twins Hikaru and Kaoru are playing (well, ''one'' of them is playing) a game on what is clearly a UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance--but when we see the screen, the graphics are comically low-rez, looking more like an LCD Game & Watch (Maybe they were playing ''Game & Watch Gallery 4''). Averted in a later flashback, where they've upgraded to a DS.
* In ''Manga/KOn'', the game that Ritsu lost to Ui again on is being played on a So-- er, ''[[BlandNameProduct Pony]]'' console (Slaystation 2, perhaps?), judging by the controllers... but ArcadeSounds is definitely in play here.
* ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'': Celty and Shinra play what appears, from Shinra's comments, to be a Mario Fighting Game, with the requisite Atari noises and [=PlayStation=] controllers. The game case is a PSX-style CD Jewel case, but the system clearly loads ''carts''. (They don't appear to be playing it on any sort of TV either, but that's okay because Celty doesn't have a head.)
* Played with in ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'': Two characters can be seen playing a video game on a TV with bleeps and bloops. Cut to another angle, and it turns out they're playing VideoGame/{{Pong}}.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' is shown playing a video game that looks 8-bit at least once. Makes some degree of sense, considering the AnachronismStew in play elsewhere.
* One episode of ''Anime/SuperSonico'' has her play what is clearly ''VideoGame/BioShock2'' on a UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn. Played with in that this takes place in her dream, so it might just be TheTetrisEffect.
* Subverted in ''[[Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam Crossbone Gundam Skull Heart]]'': The "Satellite of the Apes" story has a FlashBack showing that [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Garma Zabi]] was inspired to test [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkeys]] for [[PsychicPowers Newtype]] potential after seeing one play ''Pac-Man'', but a margin note from the author remarks that he just used it as a stand-in for whatever video games they'd have in the future.
* ''Manga/SgtFrog'': Averted. A recurring plot element involves the Keronians creating video games that are a bit TOO interactive.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Inverted and played straight at the same time: In an issue of a ComicBook/UltimateMarvel title, Franchise/{{Wolverine}} is seen playing a full 3D game on a handheld system that looks exactly like a Game Boy. On one hand, the graphics look much more advanced than those of real handhelds of that time. On the other one, the idea of a 3D console having the same number of buttons as a Game Boy is simply laughable. Any gamer will tell you the four buttons and a d-pad are nowhere near enough for most 3d games. Add to that the fact that the story was set some time after the Game Boy design had been abandoned, replaced by the Game Boy Advance design.
* The shooter Loki plays in issue #4 of ''ComicBook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'' looks positively retro (16-bit tops) despite the console looking current for the most part. But then again, it gave Loki an opportunity to [[CatharsisFactor shoot the All-Mother in the face]], when they [[PostmodernMagik chose to manifest through it]].
-->'''Loki''': Well, this is certainly '''[[LampshadeHanging therapeutic]]'''.
* Aboard the starship Entreprise-2601 in ''ComicBook/{{Pouvoirpoint}}'' , on several occasions we see the characters playing a first-person video game in black and green wireframe, called ''Death Race in a Non-Euclidean Environment'' (visually inspired by the 1979 Commodore PET game [[https://youtu.be/Bk0iuJ4DgQE Ratrun]]). To defeat the boss "Sly Lozenge", the player must find the "Power Polyhedron", which activates "Hyperbolic Crystals". This raises the specter of the "Rectangle of the Mountain'', who give the player "Symplectic Invincibility"... They also play an unnamed 8-bit fighting game, with a red fighter against a blue fighter. Lots of ButtonMashing seems to be involved.
* An Italian Donald Duck comic features a villain by the name of "The Analog Knight" interrupting a videogame tournament [[ItMakesSenseInContext by transforming modern gaming consoles into tabletop games]]. The scene shows two guys playing on a console styled after the UsefulNotes/XBox360, but the TV screen shows a scene that was clearly traced from a ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' screenshot. Not only was ''Final Fantasy XII'' never released on a Microsoft console, it's not even a multiplayer game.
* PlayedForLaughs in one ''ComicBook/SinisterDexter'' one shot story. In an arcade littered with a huge variety of virtual reality games where players plug into customisable worlds, [[FightingIrish Sinister]] spends the day playing ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}''. Justified in that it's apparently the only non-VR game in the place and he's doing it to kill time and blend in while waiting for his target (the arcade's owner, no less) to come in.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Amazingly, ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' manages to play this trope straight. Andy plays a portable game by button mashing, and the game is described as "[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros a plumber]] trying to rescue a princess from a wizard and collect the power crystals", something found in mid-80's to early-90's video games. Said chapter couldn't have been released later than '''2010.'''

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Shorts}}'' features a particularly bad example of this. Various characters in the film are often shown playing ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}''. Normally this wouldn't be all that bad, but said characters are shown playing it multiplayer (''Spore'' is a single player game), on a UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation3}}S3 (''Spore'' is PC exclusive), and while randomly mashing buttons all while showing the Creature Creator on screen. To top it all off, nothing is even happening on the screen while said button mashing is happening (the creature is clearly in its idle animation), and several bleeps reminiscent of some kind of weapons fire are heard.
* In ''Film/CharliesAngels'', ''two'' boys are shown playing ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' with two 3rd party [=PlayStation=] controllers and button mashing unrealistically while out-of-place sound-effects play -- though the sound effects are not particularly old-sounding and not from ''Pac-Man''. The really bad part is that Final Fantasy VIII is not only a game for which buttonmashing is counterproductive (unless you're charging up your GF summons), but that it's NOT a two-player game.
* ''Film/RumbleInTheBronx'' and ''Film/{{Airheads}}'' feature cartridgeless Sega UsefulNotes/GameGear consoles. ''Rumble in the Bronx'' is particularly amusing, as the wheel-chair bound kid exclaims while playing the cartridge- and ''battery''-less Game Gear: "Thank you for the game, uncle Jackie!"
* ''Film/SurfNinjas'' also features a cartridgeless Game Gear, though there it's a bit of a plot point.
* Intentionally played straight in ''Film/TheFortyYearOldVirgin'', in which two characters play ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance'' by flailing randomly on incorrect controllers and using a console it's not on. The filmmakers tried to get as many things wrong as possible (although the gameplay footage itself is accurate, even showing off some Fatalities).
* In ''Film/{{Elephant}}'', one of the characters who shoots up his school plays a game in which he shoots several identical people in the desert. (The people seem to resemble the characters from ''Gerry'', Gus Van Sant's previous film, about two guys who get lost in a desert.) The point of the game seems to be to shoot people who don't do anything but walk around.
* ''Film/LiveFreeOrDieHard'' has dozens of computers but no mice; at one point, the actor who plays the heroic hacker reaches for the area where a mouse should be. On the other hand, the intro to the movie quite clearly shows several of the hackers playing ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', and one of Warlock's many screens has the same game paused on it.
* ''Film/{{Jarhead}}'' has a few lines of dialogue referring to levels in ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'', and that if you reach the tenth level, nothing happens, you just start at the beginning again. Erm, no. ''Metroid'' is divided into geographic areas, not levels, and they're named, not numbered. It's also not an EndlessGame, and shows a closing cutscene and rolls the credits when completed.
* ''Film/TrainingDay'': A kid plays on a Dreamcast controller while stock 70s Arcade sound effects play in the background.
* In ''Film/ReturnOfTheLivingDead3'', a group of thugs are playing what's clearly ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' in a convenience store, yet it makes sounds like an early [=1980s=] arcade game. In addition, the game is clearly in demo mode, as the ''Street Fighter II'' marquee keeps flashing up even though they're meant to be in the middle of a heated battle.
* In ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' (2007), Glen's cousin is playing ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution''; when Glen enters, he asks what level he's on, and the reply is "Six!" (Level 6 songs in ''DDR'' included ".59" and "Healing Vision" on Standard or "Max 300" on Light, prior to the expansion from 10 to 18 levels in ''DDR X''.) Then Glen pauses the game and asks his cousin to leave the room, and the reply is "Well, save my game!" (Unlike ''Amplitude'', ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'', and ''VideoGame/RockBand'', DDR doesn't have pause. It does, like those games, have auto-save.) Very likely he's actually playing ''VideoGame/StepMania'', a DDR-alike that has similar graphics.
* ''Film/InsideMan'' goes the opposite extreme. A kid plays an ersatz ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' UsefulNotes/{{P|layStationPortable}}SP game. When we see clips, the game's graphics are too advanced for the PSP, especially since at the time Sony had the CPU speed slowed down to preserve battery life.
* ''La Maquina de Bailar'' ("''The Dance Machine''") is a Spanish film where the plot involves a nobody winning a ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' tournament in order to pay off a debt. Even with official endorsement from Konami, many "liberties" were taken with the game -- mainly that each player's whacked-out dancing doesn't even attempt to correspond with the arrows onscreen (which, when shown, display a stepchart from another song... at the lowest difficulty... ''and they're repeatedly missing steps''.) Not to mention that the best way to train for a DDR tournament is, apparently, to take a ballet class (as opposed to playing the game instead.)
* The low-budget horror film ''Film/HowToMakeAMonster'' was obviously written by someone who had no knowledge of video game development, or video games in general. A triple-A title game is being created by three programmers and a producer. Now that's an efficient development system. The programmers are in charge of "AI", "Weapons" (?), and "Music". These are apparently the only three components to a video game. No art, no design, etc. Further, the programmers work in isolation from each other and in competition, as the best aspect of the game will earn the corresponding programmer $1 million. Sounds like a good business model. When we see footage of the industry-conquering game they're creating, it's a generic first person shooter that is years behind the times. Funnily enough, it actually does look like something four men could hammer out in a few days.
* ''Film/GrossePointeBlank'' features a kid playing an arcade game in a convenience store, but the game he's playing is ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} II'', which was never officially turned into an arcade game.
* In ''Film/{{Beethoven}}'', there's a scene where the brother and older sister are playing ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' together. As in simultaneously mashing buttons on their controllers, even though the footage shown indicates that they're not playing one of the "versus games" that actually allows simultaneous play. Plus,, the brother is wearing the Mattel Power Glove but uses his free hand on the "standard controller" button setup that's built into the glove.
* ''Film/MeetDave'' has an extremely stupid example. The eponymous alien plays against a kid in what appears to be ''Kinetica'', an ''VideoGame/FZero''/''Wipeout''-like racing game for a UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation2}}S2. The kid seems to be playing correctly, but Dave just taps his fingers over the controller like a mad man, and kicks the kid's ass in the game. Granted, he's an alien unfamiliar with human video games, but there is no way that ButtonMashing on crack could help you in any racing game at all, as they don't require combos. If it were a fighting game, this might've been funny, but in a racing game it looks stupid.
* In ''Film/HomewardBoundTheIncredibleJourney'', the kids are playing ''VideoGame/StarTropics 2'' together and the stepdad asks who's winning. The actual game is single-player; the NES didn't have enough video memory for co-op [=RPG=]s.
* The horrific ''Film/PoliceAcademy: Mission to Moscow''. Not only do various characters in the movie sport cartridgeless Game Boys (of the black and white variety -- the color models didn't come out until 4 years later), but videos of the game in action are blatantly shot on a PC monitor, in color!
* In the Wrestling/HulkHogan movie ''Film/SuburbanCommando'', there is a section where a kid and Hulk Hogan's character play ''VideoGame/AfterBurner'' all while randomly yelling nonsensical crap about some space alien and phasers despite briefly showing us some gameplay footage that depicts a very much Earth-based fighter jet. They're also playing it very wrong, but then, Hogan's character doesn't know it ''is'' a game (not that this stops The Hulkster from beating the game anyway -- [[RuleOfFunny it even raises a white flag in surrender!]]).
* The brief scene supposedly parodying ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' in ''Meet The Spartans'': Leonidas starts running in very jerky motions as he steals a car, soundtracked by 8-bit-esque sound effects and music. Although this ''is'' Creator/SeltzerAndFriedberg [[ShallowParody we're talking about here]]...
* The Creator/LindsayLohan movie ''Film/ConfessionsOfATeenageDramaQueen'' has a scene in which Lohan's character plays ''Dance Dance Revolution'', or a ''DDR'' ripoff, against the antagonist (played by Creator/MeganFox). They both actually ''dance in synchronous'', from the waist up and everything, never mind the way ''DDR'' actually works.
* ''Dead Babies'': ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' is played on an N64 with a UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 controller.
* ''Film/WorldsGreatestDad'' features technology contemporary to the year it was released, 2009, yet the teenage son announces that he's going to play ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', a game older than he is. The character is portrayed as anything but a retro-gamer.
* In a scene in ''Film/BigDaddy'', Julian is seen playing ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal III'' with sounds beeping like a generic '80s arcade game, not the actual sounds.
* ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'' has a ''VideoGame/KarateChamp'' arcade game with ''VideoGame/PacMan'' sound effects.
* ''Garrison's Flowers'': There is a [=PlayStation=], though the film is set in 1991.
* One scene in ''Film/HarrietTheSpyBlogWars'' shows a character playing a licensed video game -- it's in 3D, but it's an unbelievably crappy-looking SpritePolygonMix, and it comes complete with ButtonMashing and ArcadeSounds.
* ''Life is Ruff'': A cartridgeless Nintendo 64 is being played.
* ''Film/MyBlueHeaven'': ''[[VideoGame/TheGoonies The Goonies II]]'' is played, overdubbed with sounds from the Atari 2600 ''VideoGame/PacMan''.
* Almost averted in ''Film/TheRocker''. There are a couple scenes where the main characters are playing ''Rock Band'' on Xbox 360. They use the actual game guitars, the music plays as normal and they don't mash the instruments like crazy, but when they stop playing (without pausing), the game is still being shown in background, with the notes still going on, and the notes being mysteriously still played, making it clear that it was just a video of the game being played.
* In the film ''Film/SkinnedDeep'', the younger brother starts playing a Super Nintendo. Without turning on the TV. Or putting a game in the console. You start to see why he was [[TooDumbToLive killed off early on.]]
* In ''Film/BringItOn'', Creator/KirstenDunst's character's brother is seen playing ''Twisted Metal III'', and he actually looks like he's playing it and not randomly smashing buttons, and the sound effects are typical of what you'd hear from that game. All goes well until he makes a smartass comment about her boyfriend, causing her to get mad and rip the controller out of the system so hard it pops open the console, revealing no game inside of it.
* ''Film/TheWizard'', a film which could best be described as a [[MerchandiseDriven 90-minute Nintendo commercial]], featured genuine footage of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' several months before its release. It ''still'' managed a number of inaccuracies, however:
** One of the main characters getting 50,000 points in ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' ''by mashing buttons during the opening cutscene''. (The arcade machines playing NES games could be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayChoice-10 Playchoice-10]] machines.)
** There's also the bit where someone comments on Jimmy getting so far in ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' without taking a hit, when the screen we see shows a couple notches off his health bar. He even keeps playing after Haley sets a magazine down over 90% of the screen, though that could possibly be because he's [[HollywoodPsych "autistic"]].
** Not to mention, after the dad (Beau Bridges) gets hooked on ''{{VideoGame/Zelda II|TheAdventureOfLink}}'', the older son (Creator/ChristianSlater) snaps him out of it by unplugging the controller -- which somehow shuts off not only the NES, but the TV he's playing on.
** And also the other scene when the dad mashing buttons like he's playing ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' when you can clearly hear the sounds from ''Zelda II''.
** In the ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' scene, Jimmy shoots into the lead by getting the warp flute. However, it's a points race, and you don't get any points for that... The whole "points race" thing counts too, since even at the time, most gamers strove more for progress through the levels rather than points. Besides, in a points race, the warp flute would actually be counter productive. It gets you to higher levels that have harder enemies and fewer opportunities for points. In such a competition, a smart gamer would never had left level 1-2 and its [[RespawningEnemies infinite Goomba pipes.]]
** To make the ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' scene even funnier, ''Series/SiskelAndEbert'' admitted to not being big on the gaming scene then proceeded to point out flaws [[CriticalResearchFailure even they noticed]]. Ebert commented that he had in fact played ''TMNT'' and made it to level 2, thus making it very clear to him that despite claims of being on level 3, they were really still on level 1.
* While in the book it was never shown, the movie adaptation of ''Film/DiaryOfAWimpyKid'' shows the fictional "Twisted Wizard" game, and is... well... ''VideoGame/{{Superman 64}}'' [[RecycledInSpace with]] [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons dragons]], multiplayer, and, of course, Pac-Man sound effects. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking On Wii.]] It's apparently played by just randomly tilting the Wii Remote back and forth without actually pressing any of the buttons.
** ''Film/DiaryOfAWimpyKidRodrickRules'' has a scene panning over a retirement home rec room, and shows how old the games are by having a shot of two seniors playing VideoGame/{{Pong}}...with Xbox controllers.
** ''Film/DiaryOfAWimpyKidDogDays'' shows them playing a medieval RPG with early 2000s graphics and... the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion HUD.
* Mild case: In ''Film/TheAvengers2012'', Tony Stark points out that one of the Helicarrier's crewmen is playing ''VideoGame/{{Galaga}}''. When he leaves, the crewman looks around and then goes back to his game. When he does, the sound of a tractor beam can be heard, but there aren't any on the screen.
* In ''Film/MenWomenAndChildren'', one of the characters has their ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' subscription fee cancelled by their parent (which becomes a fairly important plot point). The only problem is that game ''has no subscription fees''. This is a particularly egregious example as the biggest selling point of the original ''VideoGame/GuildWars'' was that it was the ''first'' big AAA MMO to not have a subscription fee, which its sequel obviously retained. One wonders why they didn't just use ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' instead, which is not only a better-known game than ''Guild Wars 2'' (''the'' best-known MMO in fact), but also one of the few remaining [=MMOs=] that ''does'' retain a subscription fee.
* Somehow, ''Film/{{Pixels}}'' -- a movie ''entirely about arcade games'' -- falls prey to this. It's a major plot point that one character uses [[ClassicCheatCode cheat codes]] in '''old arcade games.'''
* The trainwreck that is ''Film/SupermanIII'' has the scene when the villains have successfully constructed their supercomputer and Supes is heading their way, they try to take him out with missiles, and the computer represents the battle with a rather nice UsefulNotes/AtariST-esque render of supes... Set to the sounds of Pac-Man from the Atari 2600.
* In ''The Truth About Jane'', an NES is played with a Master System controller.
* In the 2017 movie Bigger Fatter Liar, the main character is supposed to be a teenage computer and video game genius, who supposedly comes up with an idea for an industry revolutionizing video game, and he gets his idea for it plagiarized by a video game developer. All throughout the movie the characters keep talking about how amazing and brilliant this game is and yet in the brief footage we see of it it appears to be a casual game in which your character runs around catching bombs thrown from a gorilla in the sky. The graphics for the video game are at least 15 years out of date and the actual game footage bears absolutely no relation to how the people in the movie describe it. This game is clearly not the sort that would revolutionize an industry, in spite of how much the characters gush about it.

* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'', Harry mentions that Dudley broke his UsefulNotes/PlayStation (and comments about Dudley playing UltraSuperDeathGorefestChainsawer3000 games). Given that he was writing that in the summer of 1994 and the system would not be available in Japan until that December, nor in Europe until September of the following year, Creator/JKRowling admits she [[WritersCannotDoMath screwed up with the numbers]]. This was apparently going to be worse as, before her editor suggested using the [=PlayStation=], Rowling was going to use an SNES.
* In ''Literature/SchoolsOutForever'', Ari goes shopping and finds a flash-new Game Boy display, then proceeds to steal one. The book was released in 2006 (and suggested to be set in the fall of 2005), by which time the DS would have long since replaced the Game Boy as the hot new thing in portable gaming.
* In ''Skeleton Key'', the third book in the Literature/AlexRider series, Alex is given a Game Boy and a copy of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' while traveling to Cuba, and he's relieved to get to "the fifth level" [[ItMakesSenseInContext without the Game Boy exploding in his hands]]. None of the ''Legend of Zelda'' games are divided into levels; they're all [[{{Metroidvania}} open-world games that require the player to accomplish tasks, gradually unlocking more of the world as the game progresses]]. That said, ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'' (possibly what the book meant) does explicitly refer to its dungeons as "levels" upon entry, so the writer could have been referring to the fifth ''dungeon''.
* In ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'', the entertainment systems on the ''Heart of Gold'', the galaxy's most advanced starship, comprise "little blobs ... rush[ing] around the screen eating each other", while Zaphod says "Pow! Freeeoooo!", apparently having to make the Pac-Man noises himself. (In the same book, for reference, an incredibly lifelike VR system is used to watch a historical documentary.)

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the ''Series/FullHouse'' episode "Stephanie's Wild Ride", someone plays a FictionalVideoGame on a Super NES using an NES Max controller.
* In an episode of ''Series/JudgingAmy'', someone plays a cartridgeless N64.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' created a game called ''[=IntenCity=]'', an obvious ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' ripoff, to create a far-out story about games causing prostitute murder -- RippedFromTheHeadlines, depending on who one asks. The game is 3D, but extremely lousy-looking. And short, for when the suspects are asked to play the game in order to measure their brain activity, the same 10 seconds of game footage is looped over and over, broken by close-ups of the suspect.
** ''SVU'', again, featured an episode centered around a fairly typical hack-and-slash dungeon crawler... and then subverted this trope like mad. The characters refer to the game having "levels", but use it to refer to levels of the game and the game hero's character level interchangeably, which does actually make way more sense than you'd expect. The sound effects correspond to the gameplay being shown -- clashing swords, monster noises, and a triumphant horn chorus straight from ''VideoGame/EverQuest'' for leveling up -- and it's Captain Cragen, the eldest cast member, who discovers a talent for the game and actually manages to beat it, and then uses their shared love of the game to talk to the main suspect, a kid who's obsessed with the game and has a bit of trouble telling fantasy from reality. Oh, and in one final subversion, [[spoiler:the kid ''didn't do it''. He was roleplaying the hero and tried to ''save'' the girl.]]
** The second season premiere has a bad one, when Stabler and Benson question a person of interest outside of a convenience store while he's playing a light gun game. Said game cabinet isn't even on, and the two teens next to him are playing on anther machine, which clearly says NFL Blitz 2000 on the side. But instead of football sounds, we just hear random arcade noises, as well as the two just randomly wiggling the sticks and pressing buttons, before they just up and leave in the middle of their game as soon as Stabler and Benson walk away.
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' has one episode with a nerd playing an original UsefulNotes/GameBoy, mashing the buttons while arcade noises sound. When the Game Boy is broken, he pulls a second one out of his pants, immediately playing it with the same sound effects.
** Minor example in one episode; after Bud borrows money from a loan shark to help Kelly and another classmate make a music video, the mobster sends a rather intimidating henchman to make sure the project goes smoothly. (Which it clearly does not, as Kelly and the other classmate can't cooperate with each other.) The henchman spends most of his time there looking up contacts for illegal organ donors on a laptop (what he hints he'll do to Bud if he can't pay up). In one throwaway joke, one of the backup dancers asks the guy if he has ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' on it. "You kidding?" he responds. "I got the highest score in the mob!" While funny, no game in the ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' franchise had, at the time, been available on a PC, and competing with other players for highest score is rarely the objective.
* In the ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' episode "Homework", Ray and Robert are playing a fictional generic zombie {{F|irstPersonShooter}}PS on UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 (mashing buttons and all). Interestingly, a few minutes later, Robert picks up the console and leaves, and we can clearly see that it was not even hooked up to the TV.
* ''Series/{{House}}'' reprehensibly abuses this trope in one episode by showing House playing ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission'' on his UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance SP... however, despite going close-up on the GBA screen several times, you very pointedly hear ''Pac-Man'' bleeps and bloops. He also makes the same mistake as in ''Jarhead'' of referring to numbered levels in a MetroidVania. Maybe people just associate 2D with levels.
** If you want to get really technical, the visuals suffer from a similar but extremely specific form of "[[TheCoconutEffect Wrong for the sake of accessibility]]". In game, main character Samus can roll into a ball and download maps from statues. However, makers of the episode decided that the image of Samus being held in the claws of a big alien thing worked better as something recognizably negative (despite being something the player has to do to progress), complete with an "Oh, that's gotta hurt!" reaction shot from House. Never mind the fact that several hours of playing doesn't seem to advance House beyond the first thirty seconds of gameplay.
** In another episode, House holds up a UsefulNotes/NintendoDS to a patient's ear to see if he can hear it. While it is quite clearly playing the Morph Ball time trial from ''Metroid Prime Hunters'' ([[AttractMode without any input from a player]], interestingly enough), we hear the stock sound effects. Maybe the writers are ''Metroid'' fans, but the sound effects guys think it's just ''Pac-Man'' with better graphics.
** During season 2, House is shown in his office playing ''MX vs. ATV'' on his PSP, and apart from the fact he's just trying to crash into a wall instead of completing laps, the sound effects are the motor sounds from the game, the music is just cut.
** In another episode, this is done slightly less poorly: House is playing ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden II'' on an UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}} with realistic sounds and button inputs. The only problem is that House seems to think that his goal is to kill the protagonist Ryu. Admittedly, as antisocial as House is, one could see him play a game just to kill the main character. It'd help if he was using the left stick and not the d-pad, though.
** Another episode has the team treating a video game designer and even trying out his virtual reality immersion equipment for the game. It has some very good graphics and {{F|irstPersonShooter}}PS views. This specific example is an aversion, but a later episode shows Foreman and Taub bonding over playing UsefulNotes/XBox together (mashing buttons and analog sticks) while the exact same game footage plays on the TV.
* In a 5th season episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'', Spike is playing a game that's implied to be the original ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', making comments such as "Gorilla with barrels" and "Stupid plumber!", yet he is clearly holding an Xbox controller. And we doubt that Creator/JossWhedon has heard of homebrew.
** The sound effects are right for ''Donkey Kong'', and Spike's comments make sense in the contexts of the sound effects (however, Mario was a carpenter in ''Donkey Kong'', not a plumber).
** Later in that same season, [[PhysicalGod Illyria]] and [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld Drogan]] are shown playing the same system while the rest of the heroes are away, and making bemused remarks to one another about the gameplay that clearly suggest they're playing a ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' game. What sounds do we hear coming from the unseen television screen? Pac-Man beeps and whistles.
** In the first issue of the season nine comics of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Buffy's roommates are playing ''VideoGame/MassEffect'', which makes sense as Creator/DarkHorseComics is behind both adaptations. The scene shown is an Asari fighting Collectors, GunsAkimbo, wearing what looks like Cerberus armor. They almost got it right with ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' multiplayer, except for the armor and DualWielding.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{ER}}'', Dr. Kovac buys a brand new console. This is not only [[NewMediaAreEvil treated as a ridiculous and silly indulgence for a grown man and a sign of his deteriorating moral character]], but features him mashing buttons to the same stock bloop-bloop arcade sounds.
* The Australian soap opera ''Series/{{Neighbours}}'' became infamous among schoolkids of the 90s for frequently showing one of the children playing a Nintendo UsefulNotes/GameBoy ''with no cartridge installed''. This wasn't possible until Nintendo introduced the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance in 2001, which could load a game into RAM from another GBA or a [=GameCube=].
** This happened ''again'' in 2008. The child in question is ''still'' playing an original Game Boy.
** Also in ''Neighbours'', well past 2000, whenever a character plays a computer game, the sound effects are the distinctive background music and projectile-launch sound effects of ''Magic Carpet'', a game first released in 1994...
* ''Series/HarryEnfieldAndChums''[='=]s "Kevin the teenager" sketch starts as a sweet kid who spontaneously turns into a stereotypical teenager. On his thirteenth birthday, he opens a present and pulls out a Game Boy. He exclaims that "''VideoGame/MarioKart'' is babyish!" Heaven knows why, as ''Mario Kart'' wasn't on the Game Boy until ''Mario Kart Super Circuit'' for Game Boy Advance. Even worse, he's clearly holding a copy of ''VideoGame/WarioLand''.
* Done by Feedback on ''Series/WhoWantsToBeASuperhero''. Despite his superhero identity getting his powers from video games, when asked to name his favorite game, he says ''Pong''. However, he also mentions the ''Franchise/PrinceOfPersia'' series, which is still going strong, so this may just be a nostalgia thing. (Or maybe he's just [[GenreSavvy well aware of this trope]].) Considering his official profile gets the details right[[note]]He gains powers from video games; the example given is ''Prince of Persia'', saying that the game would give him the Prince's acrobatic skills and limited control over time.[[/note]], GenreSavvy is more likely.
* Mike from ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' is apparently a video game enthusiast, but the arcade game he is shown playing in one of the earliest episodes displays crude graphics and sounds typical of games from the late 1980's/early 1990's. Contrast this with the source material (''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''), where, in the premiere episode, Chiaki is shown playing ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 6: Bloodline Rebellion''. Of course, it helped that Namco/Bandai, publisher of ''Tekken 6'', also sponsors the long-running ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' series.
** In an online skit for ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'', Robo Knight is trying to get to a laundromat to clean the Rangers' uniforms. At one point he passes through a house where two kids are somehow ''playing a trailer for the series on a Nintendo 64''.
* In two separate episodes of ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'', a UsefulNotes/{{Super N|intendoEntertainmentSystem}}ES is clearly being played, complete with actual sounds and music from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' and using the SNES controller realistically. However, both times the games is misidentified. Mark states the game deals with "skulls and blood" while Roseanne makes a comment about saving a monkey princess, two things definitely not in ''Super Mario World''. There are skull rafts and [[LavaPit blood-red lava]] in the Vanilla Dome of ''SMW''; this may have confused the producers of ''Roseanne'' as much as it confused Luigi in "[[WesternAnimation/SuperMarioWorld Mama Luigi]]". To top it off, the music in at least one of these episodes is from [[AttractMode the game's title screen]], which never occurs anywhere else in the game.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' features Turk playing a game on the UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}}. The footage seen is from ''VideoGame/UnrealTournamentIII'', but the show doesn't seem to get its facts straight on anything, with the dialogue sounding more like they are playing ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''. Particularly hilarious is when Carla turns out to be the best player, but her actress obviously doesn't know how to hold the controller. Worst of all, the characters all explicitly mention that they are playing co-op mode on the same machine, but the screen clearly shows single-player mode in progress.
* ''Series/{{Life}}'' had an episode where the victim is tied to drug dealing, and the detectives figure out that he managed to store files pertaining to the crime on his UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}}. So they get the victim's sister, who they see making vaguely controller-like fiddly motions in the air for no good reason, to play through ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' until she gets to Level 10, which unlocks the files. Never minding the fact that the game itself doesn't ''have'' numbered levels, the people behind the show just decided to hack up footage from the game and randomly stick "level" screens between them to denote progress. To make matters worse, the player before the girl was brought in was shown dying a lot, even though one of the series' selling points is the ability to rewind time, and he claims the plot of the game is to, as he puts it, "SaveThePrincess, Farah", when Farah actually assists the player for a good portion of the game and doesn't need rescuing. (At least they got the ''name'' right.) To top it all off, there are plenty of easier, more accessible ways to hide files and easier, more accessible ways to get them back off the console. This, coupled with a lot of erroneous remarks involving game systems being "just hard drives with games on them", as well as a couple of rather nasty implications about gamers being losers, leads to a very grating episode.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' Sharona's ex-husband comes back to mend fences, and in one scene plays ''{{VideoGame/Kinetica}}'' with Benji. It all looks pretty straight forward until his character dies from falling off the race track, where in the actual game it just resets the player. Benji states that he has "3 lives left." The ex-husband leaving the game also doesn't affect Benji's play. All of these inaccuracies make the game seem more similar to an old-fashioned arcade game.
* In an episode of some Disney TV show (''Series/HannahMontana'' or ''Series/ThatsSoRaven''), two people are playing a video game together. One person has a [=GameCube=] controller, and the other has an Xbox 360 controller. True, a PC can use both 360 controllers and USB-adapted GCN controllers, but it's unlikely that was the case.
* In a 2001 episode of Creator/TheBBC children's television program ''WATCH!'', two kids play ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Melee]]'' (which had only just been released) on a ''[=PlayStation=]'' (actually a [=GameCube=]).
* A truly atrocious example appears in an episode of ''Series/CSIMiami'', where a group of killers is linked to a ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto GTA]]''-esque game. Apart from the usual errors regarding "points" and "levels", the detectives determine that the killers are basing their actions on the game's plot. They ask the (fortunately local) game developer for details of the plot. Said developer refuses to tell them the game's plot, citing it as a "trade secret", and states that they will have to play the game to learn the plot, which they do. Apparently, no one involved with the show has ever so much as walked into a video game store, with prominent shelves of strategy guides proclaiming "all secrets revealed!" Or heard of [=GameFAQs=].
** If that wasn't enough, at the beginning of the episode a group of kids rob a bank with machine pistols, and one of them is shot by Delko after he tries to rape a woman for "extra points". It's later revealed they specifically picked a bank with a cop present (again, for extra points), the PR guy (yes, there was only one) encouraged them (and provided the guns) to do it for advertising purposes, one of the suspects is found to have "gamed himself to death", and the token [[GamerChick Girl Gamer]] apparently did it to get in with the highly elitist gamers.
* In the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' episode "Spark of Life", they manage to perform Pac-Man Fever with a cartoon. They show a small flat-screen TV playing a series of stock cartoon sound effects... with the opening of ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce''.
** Somewhat averted in another ''Series/{{CSI}}'' episode, where one of the cases revolves around the death of an MMO player. The game shown, terminology, rankings and even a game-related TV show that sponsors a competition are a fairly realistic representation for what they show. The only problem? Someone forgot to let them know that there's a difference between a multiplayer, team-based shooter and an MMO.
* Episode 6 of ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' has his girlfriend's son pick up a [=PS2=] controller and start playing what appears to be ''Doom'' with ''Pac-Man'' sounds over the background music from ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders''.
** A Season 3 episode has the eponymous AntiVillain playing ''VideoGame/Halo3'' on the PC (which it was not released for), with completely foreign sound effects (including gunfire right out of Atari and an enemy "death rattle" akin to sound effects from ''Film/{{Tron}}''), and using only the keyboard (which ''is'' possible, your aiming would just be terrible compared to using a mouse).
* A ''Series/StepByStep'' episode has the family's stereotypically nerdy son becoming a "video game addict," complete with an ending where he goes to a support group and has a psychotic episode in which he angrily screams "I ALWAYS GET THE HIGHEST SCORE!!!" before breaking down and admitting he has a problem. The game which drives his addiction (indeed the only game he seems to have ever played) is a generic looking Galaga doppelganger which was outdated looking even for the show's time.
* There's a video poker machine in multiple episodes of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' that produces ''VideoGame/{{Pitfall}}'' sound effects. At least they're in alternate dimensions.
* One episode of ''Series/ManhattanLoveStory'' has Peter playing ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' on the Xbox 360. Good enough... until he reveals he was talking to another player on the headset and refers to him as "Blue Team Leader," something a one-on-one fighting game absolutely wouldn't have.
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played With]] in the Franchise/StargateVerse:
** In the episode "Avatar" of ''Series/StargateSG1'', the graphical representation of Teal'c's virtual reality adventure was created using actual gameplay footage from ''Stargate SG-1: The Alliance'', which was an {{F|irstPersonShooter}}PS based on the show that was, sadly, cancelled without a release.
** In the ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' season two episode "The Long Goodbye," John Sheppard is seen playing with a small handheld device while in the infirmary. [[WordOfGod According to the DVD commentary]] this was not intentional at all. Joe Flannigan (the actor) was playing video games between takes, and just kept playing when they decided to start filming. [[FailedASpotCheck Nobody noticed until after the scene was shot]], [[ThrowItIn and they decided to keep it in]]. This became a RunningGag, and Sheppard would be seen playing with the same device throughout the series. What, exactly, he is playing is never revealed.
** In the season three episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' "The Return," Elizabeth Weir needs to distract HollywoodNerd Bill Lee, so she tries talking to him about ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. She knows nothing about the game, but he doesn't notice; they both get so much wrong about it that it seems very likely, although this could be wishful thinking, that this instance was StylisticSuck for the sake of RuleOfFunny. Every term Weir and Lee used appears in ''World of Warcraft'', and yet every single one is used incorrectly ("Mage" is referred to as a species, Bill refers to having a level 85 character before it was possible to do so, etc).
* A fifth season episode of ''Series/ThreesCompany'' begins with Jack and Janet playing what is apparently Atari Football. The bleeping sounds are exaggerated both in frequency and volume, but that could be excused as it sets up a quip from Mr. Furley. However, looking at the actual system... well, it's an authentic 2600, too bad the cartridge is laying behind it.
* ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'':
** Jake mentions that he wants to get the "new Final Fantasy game", and when he goes to a video store and gets the game, it turns out to be ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. Not only was the game about three years old at the airing of the episode, it clearly has the red Greatest Hits logo. And when he gets home and starts to play it, remixed music from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' can be heard.
** Another example is when Jake plays his DS with a high volume and Alan gets annoyed by the Pac Man sounds, he plugs the cable to Jake's headphones into the charge slot on the top rather than the standard headphone jack on the bottom. Alan must have been used to the GBA SP, which uses special headphones that plug into the charge slot. They also refer to that same DS as a 'Game Boy'.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''. ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' is discussed, and is played on an actual console that had a version of ''MK'' on it. Although there aren't really levels in versus fighter games, just opponents that use harder AI later in a game. Also, Sub-Zero has never been a final boss, except momentarily as one of Shang Tsung's morphs in the first game. There's also a scene where Reese is playing an original Game Boy ''without a cartridge.''
-->'''Reese:''' No one believes I beat the last level of ''Franchise/MortalKombat''.\\
'''Hal:''' Because that's just ridiculous. No one beats Sub-Zero!
** This could mean "no one has ever gotten past Sub-Zero to get to the final level/fight", though. In all likelihood, seeing Hal's role as TheDitz, he probably actually believes Sub-Zero is the end boss.
** In "Charity", ''Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones'' is mistakenly referred to as ''Double Dragon '''IV'''.''
* ''Series/ChappellesShow'' went recursive, with the narrator calling "You give me Pac-Man Fever!" a hilarious video game joke. Not to mention when he claims to know about gamers and the [=PlayStation=] 2, which he proves by doing a live-action GTA spoof with 8-bit sound effects.
** It's averted somewhat with the skit where Dave beats a kid with cancer in ''Street Hoops''. While there is a bit of button mashing seen when they're playing, the skit featured actual footage from the game.
* At the end of an episode of ''Series/MurphyBrown'', Murphy mentions that she and Frank still haven't beaten ''Mario 3''. The scene comes ''so painfully close'' to inverting this trope: they both pick up NES controllers and when the game starts up, neither of them hammer on the buttons. But alas, the music that plays is not of ''Mario 3'' at all, but instead that of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld''.
* An episode of ''Series/ColdCase'' revolves around a fictional arcade game called ''Defector III''. One of the detectives describes it as an RPG, then helpfully defines that as "Role Playing Game". When you see the game later, it is obviously a two-person fighter in the vein of ''Franchise/MortalKombat''.
* An episode of ''Series/BigTimeRush'' has a sequence where one {{tomboy}}ish girl tries to avoid talking to a girly-girl she wants nothing to do with by hiding in the bathroom, playing video games. Sure enough, this is depicted as her randomly mashing buttons on a DS (that in all likelihood wasn't even turned on) as 8-bit music plays in the background.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' Walt is playing a modern game (some overhead shooting game in a snowy setting or something) on a modern handheld system, and the sound effects are the classic ''Pac-Man'' ones.
* In ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Finn can tell he's being affected by stress -- he got killed on ''level two!'' Of, er, ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', apparently. Maybe he was going for a NoDamageRun?
* In an episode of the German crime show ''Polizeiruf 110'', a criminal smuggles pirated copies of a game called ''Killman 4'' into the country. When the police officers get a copy of the game and play it on their PC ("playing" here meaning doing nothing and staring at the screen) the sounds heard are an air raid siren, rifle shots and screaming children. Even worse, the cover of the game shows African child soldiers holding AK-47s.
* ''Series/ICarly'''s creators have used a pretty good (for something created specifically for the show) ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' or ''VideoGame/RockBand''-styled music games on several occasions. One major difference is it including the ''violin'' as well as more regular instruments. They must be playing The Corrs ''VideoGame/RockBand'' or something. The next time it shows up, Carly is just playing ''Violin Hero'' and it includes ''bow power''. They made a mistake however, with the notes still being hit when Carly stops playing to talk to Freddie when he enters. As the episode was ReCut into an extended version shown a week later, they had actually fixed the error after it was pointed out to them after the original airing.
** There is one episode where Spencer gets addicted to a game called "Pac(k) Rat" which has 8-bit graphics and sounds, but this would be a JustifiedTrope -- Spencer specifically said he got this game from the dumpster, it was [[LampshadeHanging mentioned several times]] that the game in question was rather old, and it's actually an arcade game. Bonus points as it is a parody of ''Pac-Man''. It even has a (very unpleasant) EasterEgg: [[spoiler:a dead raccoon]].
** There is also ''Series/DrakeAndJosh''. In one episode we see Helen's Groove Machine which is basically ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' hooked directly up to her TV. Despite the fact that the screen shows displays for two players, Drake, Josh, and Helen are all shown dancing on the machine built for three people. Their dancing is also far more choreographed than usual for such a game and the icons moving on screen don't match up to their movements.
** In another episode Josh is shown playing games on TV with what is clearly a UsefulNotes/NintendoGamecube controller and quickly switching between that and a UsefulNotes/GameboyAdvance SP playing both while rapidly pushing buttons. We can hear some of the sound effects from both and they are the standard "bloopy" sound effects from older games.
** In another episode Megan pulls out her "Pintendo GS" and starts playing it by rapidly pushing buttons, without appearing to even turn it on. We hear generic laser-firing sounds for a few seconds.
** In fact, any Creator/DanSchneider series is generally good about this, as they seemingly are set in a SharedUniverse with the fictional Gamestation console.
* In ''Series/TwoPointFourChildren'', both Ben and David are avid gamers, with Ben getting addicted to the FictionalVideoGame ''Ninja Badger''. Like many teenagers, David is obsessed with violent, gory games, often describing them in great detail. This is all well and good until one episode shows that he's playing ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' while talking about how "the torture master ripped out my spine again".
* ''Series/ModernFamily'' plays it nice and simple with Luke using a DS, playing a game with '80s beeping noises and high scores. And it probably wasn't ''VideoGame/RetroGameChallenge''.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderUK'' has a teenager using his UsefulNotes/XBox360 as an alibi for not committing a crime. Subsequent investigation shows that he ''was'' online at the time the crime was committed (not ridiculous at all), that he made three saves at three specific times (okay, real-world time is saved for a lot of games), and that he ''had'' to be the one who made them because the saves were password protected, which on the face of it appears to be this trope, except that [[JustifiedTrope you don't have to automatically sign into an Xbox profile]], meaning that the saves could have been protected because he was the only person who was able to sign into his profile to save the games in.
* While generally decent about video games, ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' flubbed several moments in [[http://www.gametrailers.com/user-movie/ncis-trolling-pc-gamers/356335?playlist=featured#comments_top Kill Screen]]. To begin with the episode name, they propose that somehow an online [=MMORPG=] has a scoring system that causes it to crash. This is talked about like a common occurrence. Kill Screens don't even exist in video games anymore.[[note]]They happened when the processor on certain events rolled over from 255 to 0, which caused a fatal error. Modern gaming engines can process numbers into the billions now, far further than most programmers or gamers would venture for the express purpose of breaking an engine.[[/note]] Even if this did exist, the computer-savvy characters would more likely refer to it as a "Screen of Death", the modern term.
** Additionally, [=McGee=] states that a witness held the high scores in multiple [=MMORPG=]s, a genre largely devoid of easily-tracked scoring systems.
*** And when they do have leaderboards of some kind, they are often topped by players who dedicate most of their waking hours to getting there, making it unfeasible to top even different types of leaderboards (such as both pvp and pve) in a single mmo, much topping multiple mmos.
** In another episode, the kid of an army commander is shown playing a Nintendo DS, sound effects and all. The sound effects are indeed the ones heard when you turn on a DS; the one from the initial title screen, and the one from choosing a game to play. Unfortunately, that's ALL that is heard, as, for the next few minutes, the only sound effects are those two noises, looped ad nauseum.
** The Season 10 finale shows Abby complaining that while [[NewMediaAreEvil she hates violent video games]] [[SeriesContinuityError (she actually plays them with [=McGee=] all the time)]], she has designed a homebrew game to vent her frustrations at the Department of Defense special prosecutor, who is targeting [[spoiler:Gibbs]]. The game involves shooting an effigy of him on her PC monitor with a [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] "Zapper" LightGun, which doesn't even run at the same frequency as a PC monitor.
** The episode "Child's Play" actually uses footage (complete with sound) from the second level of ''Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2'' as a "combat simulation" children in the Sattler Institute play to train on.
* ''Series/ClarissaExplainsItAll'' goes the opposite direction. OncePerEpisode, Clarissa will slap together a video game that she can use to vent her frustrations from her current dilemma. These games are graphically far beyond what could be done at the time, often using high resolution photos of Ferguson or her parents that rotate without any artifacts. Amusingly, both this style of graphics and the speed with which she can put the games together would make much more sense about 15 years later in Adobe Flash.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 4'' makes repeat appearances in ''Series/TheOC'', yet the characters always play as Xiahou Dun and refer to the characters as "ninjas".
* An episode of ''Series/JustShootMe'' has Maya buying Elliott a [=PlayStation=] for his birthday, and mentions buying several "cartridges" for it. (The use of [=CDs=] was arguably the most defining feature of the [=PlayStation=] against the Nintendo 64).
* ''Series/GoodLuckCharlie'' is very bad about this, as you can often see characters mashing Xbox 360 controllers to ancient chiptunes, and appear to have figured out how to play Wii Sports on a VCR.
** Additionally, when Charlie's brothers bring a TV to their room, you can see two characters talking in a modern-esque game... with heavy metal rock and machine gun sound effects in the background.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' has one partway through its fourth season. Jesse Pinkman is seen playing ''VideoGame/{{Rage}}'', which doesn't seem that odd except 1) The game wasn't out yet at the time of the episode's airing 2) It's clear he's playing a developer walkthrough trailer and 3) He's playing it with a light gun instead of a controller.
** It's worth nothing that the lightgun has nothing to do with the writer thinking lightgun games are still popular, but is in fact a character-based decision, as Jessie had recently [[spoiler: murdered someone by shooting them in the head, and was struggling to deal with it]].
* ''Series/GhostWhisperer'', in the episode "Ghost in the Machine", centers around what seems to be a ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' clone. While the graphics for the game, as it is depicted, are pretty close to on par with ''VideoGame/SecondLife'', the "graphics" when she [[DontAsk jumps into the game]] (i.e. a live representation), are closer in quality to what a modern game would have than the game depicted.
* A ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' skit has former US president UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush being distracted by a UsefulNotes/GameBoy when being asked questions during a presidential debate. His response is "I have a question for you. Have you played Super Mario Brothers? I'm in the water level and I can't beat the Kooper Trooper." Super Mario Brothers was released on the UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor and the use of "Kooper Trooper" is to make fun of Bush's VerbalTic, so what's the problem? Koopa Troopas (nor Bowser, if that's who he's actually referring to) can't be found in water levels.
** In addition to that, Koopa Troopas aren't something you have to beat and this would be especially true in a water level. You just have to get past them. There are levels where jumping on them helps you get across gaps and that kills them but no one would describe those parts the way they did and a water level couldn't have a part like that.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' features a single but painful instance of this -- at one point Frasier complains that his son Frederick is spending his entire visit playing video games and is uninterested in anything he tries to do with him. As he says this, Frederick is shown playing a Game Boy on the sofa, ''with no game cartridge in the system''. In another episode Frederick is shown playing a game with a Playstation 2 controller, but it isn't named and the only sound effect is a high-pitched scream played when the character dies; coupled with Freddie's vague descriptions of gameplay and story going on (they're in a training level where they've escaped from some sort of prison cell), it might well be any number of real games.
* Some 90's sitcoms have the characters (pretending to) playing games using NES controllers (the NES was already fading in relevancy by the early 1990s), but the sounds are clearly from ''Donkey Kong'' for the Atari 2600.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' has John playing ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' with somebody. That he plays it by randomly hitting buttons is justified, since he's never played an Xbox before and is given no instruction. The fact that the two players are shooting each other in what's clearly a co-op campaign, however...
* In the Creator/{{BBC}}3 series ''Coming of Age'', one of the characters says he reached Level 14 on ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. It might be a joke though, as the character in question is frequently portrayed as being TooDumbToLive and reaching Level 14 in a ''Final Fantasy'' game isn't particularly impressive.
* A scene in the US version of ''Series/{{House of Cards|US}}'' has the main character Frank Underwood sitting in his basement, playing an online deathmatch session in a ''Call of Duty'' game. Although ''Call of Duty'' is a franchise of first-person shooters, Frank isn't using the thumbsticks or any of the triggers much, but is mashing the face buttons like a madman. The in-game footage shown is used twice in the same scene.
* At one point in ''{{Series/Heroes}}'', Claire's brother Lyle plays something on a UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable, but the sounds are from the arcade game ''{{VideoGame/Defender}}''.
* In episode 2 of ''Series/InTheFlesh'' Dean is seen playing ''Franchise/ResidentEvil: Deadly Silence'' on a Nintendo DS... with Atari 2600-like sounds.
* ''Series/TheMiddle'' came close in "One Kid At A Time", where the family is seen playing ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution Extreme'' on beginner mode on a real cabinet (with dubbed over music and actual in-game footage)... except it has a ''DDR X2'' marquee for some reason. (X2 was never released in the U.S. for "old" cabinets.)
* An episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' has the gang playing a ''Donkey Kong'' version of Jenga, and they talk about DK having a son to whom he passes on his knowledge of "kidnapping princesses". The lady Donkey Kong kidnaps is '''not''' Princess Peach but Pauline, a regular woman who was once Mario's girlfriend. Peach wasn't even introduced until 4 years after the original ''Donkey Kong'' came out, and her usual kidnapper is Bowser, as anyone who's ever held a controller in their life could tell you. Additionally, ''Donkey Kong Junior'' is about Jr. saving his dad from Mario, with no damsels involved.
** It's played straight again in another episode, where Sheldon's mom sends him his Nintendo 64 and he pulls out his memory card. A ''[=PlayStation=] 2'' memory card to be exact. And the N64 rarely used memory cards.
** In another episode, they're playing Halo and most of the things they describe actually sound like Halo but Penny says "It's raining you!" after killing Sheldon even though the game doesn't have dismemberment or even much blood. These kinds of inaccuracies are actually a common complaint about the show because people expect a show about videogame/comic/sci-fi nerds to get this stuff right. Also, when the guys play Halo, they do so with vigorous button-mashing despite the fact that Halo is a first-person shooter, which are played with precision and acting at the right times. Also, many of the game sounds are wrong, most notably the plasma grenade.
* On ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Darnell is seen playing a ''VideoGame/PacMan'' game with a joystick, on a very old-looking TV. On the other hand, [[RetroUniverse most of Camden is still stuck in the late 80's or early 90's.]]
* In ''Series/BlueHeelers'' Tess plans to get Hayley a UsefulNotes/Nintendo64 and ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', and they are seen already up to Tall Tall Mountain, meaning either she is either the best video game player in the world (which Tess promptly disproves) or the writers made a mistake in showing a level that late into the game.
* At one point in the BritCom ''Series/MyHero'', Ollie the Superbaby is seen playing a video game. His parents call over to him, and he tells them to be quiet because he's almost reached "Level 9". ''As he says this'', there's a shot of the TV with footage of someone playing ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002 Ratchet and Clank]]'' on it (complete with appropriate sound effects), a game which doesn't use numbered levels. Even if it did, the level seen is actually Veldin, the ''first'' level.[[note]] [[WhereItAllBegan Or the last]], but certainly not the ninth.[[/note]]
* Justified in ''Series/HaltAndCatchFire'', which is set during the tech revolution of the 1980s. Unlike most examples of the trope, HCF's portrayal of video games, while not 100% spot on, is [[ShownTheirWork fairly accurate to the period]].
* ''Series/WhiteRabbitProject'': In "The Granddad Gang" segment of the "Heists" episode, one part of the reenactment of the crime was animated in the style of a [[{{Retraux}} "8-bit video game"]] - with sound effects lifted from the notorious UsefulNotes/Atari2600 port of VideoGame/PacMan.
* One episode of ''The Creator/TyraBanks Show'' features a married couple having a falling out because of the husband's ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' addiction. The "solution" to this? Have the husband take the ''[=WoW=]'' CD and put it through an extra-strength shredder! Except the CD only installs the game, and ''World of Warcraft'' runs on a monthly subscription system; to really cut himself off from the game he'd also have to uninstall it from his PC and cancel his subscription. And even if shredding the CD prevents him from reinstalling the game, what's to stop him from simply buying another one? Also a case of TechnologyMarchesOn, as the most common way of installing ''[=WoW=]'' nowadays is just downloading the game off of Blizzard's website.

* ''Music/MachinaeSupremacy'' is built on enforcing this trope. They're making 2010 metal with help from the Commodore 64 SID chip.
* Herman Li, guitarist for Music/DragonForce, often slips ''VideoGame/PacMan''-esque wails into his songs, referring to them in interviews as "video game sound effects". You can also see the trope in action in the band's music video for ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVoMWcOzQQU Operation Ground and Pound]]''. Note that both guitarists are actually gamers, the sequence was their idea, and Li actually owns the [=TurboGrafx-16=] seen in the video.
* Being a seasoned gamer and a lover of the classics, Lupe Fiasco purposely invokes the trope in his music video for "I Gotcha", in which he is briefly shown sitting on a couch playing Pong, 80s one-button joystick and all.
** In the song "Go Go Gadget Flow" : "All me, no ghost no 16-bit like Sega GENESIS."
** He mentions Atari a lot in his songs. Like in "Go Baby": But we go back like a set of Ataris...from baby fat til we skeletons, darling...me starring you is what it says on the marquee, so let's go give 'em a show!"
* In Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" video, the lyric goes, "Next to this new chic she like cola, next to the [=PlayStation=] controller." But the controller seen in the girl's hand is clearly an UsefulNotes/XBox controller. See it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n7ncJEFuSw here]] (at 0:50).
* LM.C's song John starts with various sound effects from Super Mario, e.g. the "Get coin" and "Become Big" effects.
* People Under The Stairs has a ton of effects, references, and even the KonamiCode in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbIxL-EDsuk Gamin' on Ya]].
* In the video of the song "Ti amo inutilmente" by Italian singer Antonello Venditti, there's a point in the video with a shot of popular Italian Youtuber Favij playing with his cellphone... except that the game shown is ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. for Wii U]]''.

* [=SiriusXM=]'s "Decades" stations are each devoted to music from a specific decade, and the station identification bumpers are all designed to evoke a bit of PopularCulture from some point in that decade, be it a song, a movie, a TV show, or something else. One of these uses an 8-bit rendition of [[VideoGame/{{Tetris}} Koronbeiniki]], which actually works fairly well as in between the various platforms (PC, Mac, NES[=/=]Famicom, Game Boy) and the staggered release schedule for different parts of the world (thanks, UsefulNotes/ColdWar), nearly half of the years in TheEighties saw at least one major Tetris release...or at least, it ''would'' if they weren't using it on ''TheNineties'' station.

[[folder:Video Games]]
Worth noting: that any appearance of this trope in actual video games can usually be assumed to be StylisticSuck, similar to ArtisticLicenseFilmProduction.
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' is notable for being a video game that actually ''uses'' Pac-Man Fever; it mixes exaggeratedly vintage video game beeps, chimes, and graphics with the more modern stuff.
** ''VideoGame/GodHand'' does the same thing, but to a significantly lesser extent.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto: [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity Vice City]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas San Andreas]]'', which take place in the late eighties and early nineties respectively. However all of the games are extremely simple [[EndlessGame Endless Games]] although the "Degenatron" one (not playable in the game itself) [[http://www.rockstargames.com/degenatron/ is much more authentic in spirit of an Atari game at the time.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' averts this with more variety on the in game videogames you can play, including a 3D futuristic racer with contemporary graphics (which is a remake of an in universe top down racer that also exists in game).
* Complete ''[[VideoGame/KatamariDamacy Me and My Katamari]]'', and [[spoiler: you'll be taken to an 8-bit minigame with a blooping version of "Katamari on the Rock", with the King commenting entertainingly on the graphics]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3'' uses this trope. Apparently TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture on Mars, the only games available involve punching turkeys to death.
* The "Void Quest" dungeon in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' has wall textures, sound effects and a graphics style that appear as though is an NES era jRPG (even if it is in the same 3d as the rest of the game). Yosuke actually notes that it is "retro". The boss of the dungeon even attacks [[ShoutOut using the menu from the]] [[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI original Shin Megami Tensei]]
** And one of the boss's schticks is the giant 8-bit warrior that fights for him. If you bring Yousuke into battle, [[LampshadeHanging he gets a little angry that video games are being represented by things from the 8-bit era]].
* Each of the main ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games [[ConsoleCameo feature Nintendo's current home console in the player's room]]. In the first generation, the main character has an SNES; although the N64 was out and going strong in 1998, this makes more sense for generation 1's original early 1996 release, especially since the Super Famicom stayed strong for far longer than its American counterpart. But what's bizarre is that ''[=FireRed=]'' and ''[=LeafGreen=]'' gives the hero(ine) an ''NES'' instead; remember that the games are set contemporary with ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', where the protagonist has a [=GameCube=]. This is meant to promote the ''Classic NES Series'', budget [=GBA=] Game Paks that ran an old NES game in an emulator.
* In some of the ''VideoGame/WarioWare'' games, 9-Volt's and 18-Volt's stages take on an 8-bit look. When they do, they use only NES chiptune instruments in their background music. This is due to their being [[NoFourthWall Nintendo fans]], NES fans in particular, who also happen to be game designers.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicColors'', each set of stages in Game Land remixes music from the rest of the game to sound like they came out of an NES, though some actually more closely resemble the UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue}}'' allowed us to play on old games like ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier'' either at the arcade or the UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' featured one of Conker's idle animations as him pulling out a yellow UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor and playing the GB version of ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'', immediately recognizable for its world-famous theme music. It also played sometimes Sabrewulf's theme, and Jago's theme from [=KI2=] for no apparent reason whatsoever. In the Xbox remake, ''Conker: Live & Reloaded'', the themes of Cinder, Spinal, Riptor, and T.J. Combo are part of the theme rotation.
* This trope holds true even in life-simulation series ''VideoGame/TheSims''. Any time a Sims character plays a video or computer game, the machine will make comically simple racing sounds or PEW PEW noises while the player is cheering and flailing around their hands.
** Zig-zagged ''VideoGame/{{The Sims 2}}'' which features [[ProductPlacement real video games]] from publisher Creator/ElectronicArts but the "Maxis Console" you can buy looks very cartoonish and the Sims's are still cheering and flailing around their hands. Played Straight with the handheld console you can buy in the ''University'' ExpansionPack, which just makes beeping sounds when Sims play. The arcade on the other hand, shows footage made from The Sims 2 itself with scenes in context on the arcade game's description.
** And then ''VideoGame/{{The Sims 3}}'', which shows [[Videogame/MaddenNFL footage]] [[Videogame/{{Burnout}} from]] [[Videogame/FIFASoccer other EA games]] although until University Life expansion pack, the games are generically named.
** The Sims 4 also averts this with the appearance of Videogame/TheSims1 and Videogame/MySims with several fictional puzzle games.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies2ItsAboutTime'', with regards to Arcade Zombie's arcade machine (a retro version of ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'') and the 8-bit zombies it spawns during an 8-bit Jam. This is because he's fought in Neon Mixtape Tour, a world that takes place in TheEighties where Arcade Machines were like that.
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] in ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters2''. In some of the levels, you can find Atari-style game cartridges as MiniGame {{Easter Egg}}s, including a ''Snake''-style game, an ''Asteroids''-style shoot-em-up, and a RacingMinigame (which, incidentally, is hard as diamonds to play, not because the game itself is tricky, but because it requires getting a ways through the game's [[ThatOneLevel hardest level]] [[UpToEleven on the hardest difficulty]] to even access it). Whether it falls into this trope or not varies due to the game's TimeTravel theme. The first example is justified, since the level it's found in takes place in 1990, when cartridges were still mainstream. The second one is found in the CyberPunk future of the year 2019, but is in the possession of criminal hacker types who might conceivably enjoy retro games. The third one, however, is found in a robot factory in the year 2315, making the game cartridge in question ''over two centuries old'', at least. Quite the antique. And this is ignoring the mysterious ability of the PlayerCharacter to even play these things on their 25th-Century uplink gizmo.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', various [[NonPlayerCharacter Non-Player Characters]] play a beeping handheld game (or a smartphone game) when bored.
* A bizarre self inflicted case in ''Videogame/Uncharted4AThiefsEnd''. There is an easter egg when Nate plays a ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot'' level on a old UsefulNotes/PlayStation, and it involves him trying to beat Elena's high score (with an secret trophy if the player manages it). There is no high score mechanic in the actual release of the game done in the way depicted in the scene (in fact, the score screen is lifted from the box total screen).


[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'', oddly, has [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/memberimages/100502.jpg Atari-style joystick]] ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}''.
* Parodied with a ''[[http://www.digitalunrestcomic.com/index.php?date=2010-01-1 Digital Unrest]]'' comic strip.
* Parodied in [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=060219 this]] ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' strip. Kada refers to the game as "Super Graphical 3D Battle Area In 3D(tm)" and the game options offer everything from "battle smells" to "[[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys monkeys]]", but what we actually see on the holographic screen looks like crude black-and-white 8-bit graphics -- specifically, arcade classic ''Berzerk''.
** Sluggy normally averts this. Older strips made reference to real games and systems. Later on, he switched to using obvious {{Bland Name Product}}s of current systems (The Playstashun and the [=SuWii=]). The game that comes up the most often is Fashion Rancher and various spinoffs, most likely a reference to the ''VideoGame/MonsterRancher'' series, and possibly a TakeThat at the ''Franchise/DeadOrAlive'' volleyball games.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In one ''WebVideo/{{lonelygirl15}}'' video, the hopelessly geeky HollywoodNerd is giving all the "regular" characters training. For the PlayfulHacker who is the only one who finds him BeautifulAllAlong, it is revealed that her training is in... what's this? ''VideoGame/{{Frogger}}''? ''VideoGame/{{Centipede}}''? Aren't these... ''video games''? How is ''this'' training?! But, as he is a TricksterMentor, this is shown to be just what they needed to give them the edge. Of course, playing is done by holding a Jakks Pacific TV Game, a self-contained AA battery-powered device with only composite inputs for televisions, up in front of a (shown from behind) laptop and saying "Look out for the ghost! Turn right! OH MY GOD!"
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' intentionally uses this trope, as Strong Bad seems to have an outdated understanding of technology. He regularly references Atari and NES-style games as if they were the latest thing. However, references to later systems such as the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis and the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}} have appeared in the series.
* Surprisingly, WebVideo/TheIrateGamer suffers a severe case of the fever. Any time he's shown using his controller he's ButtonMashing or swinging it around like he's dancing. This is notably bad when he uses an NES controller for games that are obviously not NES titles.
** This is especially bad when he mashes buttons to games such as ''VideoGame/MarioIsMissing'' and freaking ''Tetris''.
** Naturally, the WebVideo/ThirdRateGamer parodies this in the most exaggerated way possible; in addition to the above, the controller is ''always'' wrong (i.e. using a [=PS1=] controller for a Super Nintendo game), and sometimes not even a controller at all (i.e. a pair of headphones or the case for the DS version of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'').
* At the beginning of the ''WebVideo/TGWTGYearOneBrawl'', when WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic notices WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd, the Nerd is playing on a Nintendo DS, with background music from ''[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]]'', and sound effects from ''Pac-Man'' and ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''. Given that [[ThemeTune "he's the Angry Nintendo Nerd" and "the Angry Atari/Sega Nerd"]]...
** Webvideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's review of ''[[Film/ThePrincessDiaries The Princess Diaries 2]]'', Hyper Fangirl distracts the Critic with a {{WWE}} game downloaded on the Playstation 3. The title screen shown is from the Gameboy Color version of ''WWF Wrestlemania 2000'' and the music and sound effects are from the arcade game ''WWF Wrestlefest''.
* Invoked in a episode of ENN, where Jeremy Petter interviews a representative of Atari. When the rep shows him a commercial for ''VideoGame/{{The Witcher 2|AssassinsOfKings}}'', it shows Paul holding a keyboard like he's playing ''VideoGame/FretsOnFire'' while playing a RPG.
* In Webvideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd's review of ''Winter Games'', he outright mentions this trope. The controls were so frustrating and unresponsive that he says the only way to actually win is to just randomly push buttons and hope something good happens. He then jokes that any time you see characters in a movie mashing buttons and pretending to play a video game, they're not pretending, they're playing ''Winter Games''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'':
** The series defines video gaming as a favorite pastime of several characters, but all the games depicted on-screen are extremely old-fashioned. The only exception is a sophisticated [[MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame MMORPG]] called ''Everlot'', which is at the center of a whole episode's plot; scenes in the game are rendered in a [[ArtShift different style]] but not a noticeably primitive one.
** In some episodes, video game sounds are clearly from ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros''
** It should be noted that Ron and Felix discuss a game called [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Zombie Mayhem]], arguing which is the best out of two or three, which fits as ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' was still a way from being released. Funnily, the second game didn't have flamethrowers. ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' did, ''VideoGame/{{Resident Evil 3|Nemesis}}'' didn't. When Kim plays the game it appears to be more a [[HackAndSlash hack'n'slash]] style than SurvivalHorror.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "There Will Be Bad Blood" (aired in 2010) has Steve playing a very old-fashioned console.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' parodies this, with characters playing a dead ringer for the original Game Boy with ArcadeSounds... in the year 3000.
** Not to mention, the "Gender Neutral Pac-Person" arcade machine in "The Series Has Landed".
** In "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", Fry and Zoidberg are playing video games at Penguins Unlimited HQ. The sound effects sound like ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}''.
* Early in the first ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTimmyPowerHour'', Timmy is seen playing a video game called ''[[UltraSuperDeathGoreFestChainsawer3000 The Decimator]]''. It's in [[ArtShift 3D]] (foreshadowing the game's role to the plot, as it comes into [sorry] play in Jimmy's universe) but played on a "Game Buddy" (guess what handheld it is based on) and comes on a CD. Everything else in the screen is animated in standard ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' ThickLineAnimation. And speaking of the game itself, Timmy downloads the game's files into Goddard, turning him into a killer humanoid robot who blows things up to progress through levels (in both definitions, as he grows in size and consequently, takes on tougher subjects to a point where he indirectly menaces Retroville by targeting a factory).
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' features Danny playing a game called "Doomed", a game that's part ''Film/{{Tron}}'' homage, part {{F|irstPersonShooter}}PS, and still (just like ''Doom II'') uses the numbered level system. Not to mention the fact that it's a leveled online game ''which apparently gives the winner access to the entire Internet, despite being online in the first place'', making it the equivalent of a needlessly complicated firewall.
* The arcade game in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' episode "Diapers and Dragons" seems to be a sidescrolling platformer (from what's shown before we go into DeepImmersionGaming) with ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' style music (and the objective is, of course, SaveThePrincess). A bit more advanced than the usual Pac-Man Fever, but still, in 2003? (And, of course, the babies are able to play it quite well by hitting buttons at random, but if the babies ''couldn't'' achieve things babies normally can't by hitting things at random, it wouldn't be ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}''.) Of course, considering that [[NotAllowedToGrowUp no one ever ages in that show anyway]] (made absolutely ridiculous when baby Dil was conceived at the end of one season and born in the feature film released before the next season began -- but the babies are ''not'' one year older when the new season picks up), we might presume that it's ''not'' 2003, but rather 1991, when the show debuted. At best, that's the dawn of the 16-bit era. The second and third movie seems to signify the sliding timeline is in the mid-to-late 1990s by then. That makes their video games only a bit old by the 64 bit era but nothing too unknown.
* One egregious example appeared on an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretShow''. Everyone was buzzing about the popular new game system, "The Hand." It was simply a vat of "nano-goo" that users dipped their hands into, causing the goo to harden around their hands and turn them into portable game systems and controllers. Despite the ludicrously advanced technology the system is based on, it makes references to linear levels and only seems to play one built-in game. Single-game consoles weren't even made between the '70s and 2001, when Jakks Pacific introduced Plug and Play TV Games.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' season 1, episode 10 "Are You There God? It's Me, Dean" has Pete White playing what can be inferred to be ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'', due to the graphics on screen, realistic sound effects and Pete making references to doing "a drive-by mission for the Yardies" and being able to see player stats by pressing the Start Button... on what looks like a Nintendo 64 controller.
* ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' occasionally features Bloo playing a video game that looks and sounds exactly like the Atari game ''Asteroids'', and trying to beat other people's high scores. Somewhat justified in that the world of Foster's clearly isn't the world we know, but then again, Frankie has a modern computer and they do have their own versions of eBay and Website/YouTube.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'', Robotnik is shown fiddling with some machine controls while sounds from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'' are heard. Amusing considering the UsefulNotes/{{console war|s}} [[FridgeBrilliance of that time]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "M.I.A.", Goliath and Griff see a British teenager walking down the street playing a portable game; the sound effects in it come from the NES game ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfBayouBilly''. The trio are occasionally seen playing video games with rather primitive graphics, as well.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' plays with this, when a couple of school teachers make a ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto''-clone themed around Hank to make fun of him, which also seems to have online functionality. However, both of those could be easily explained as a ''GTA'' GameMod, but it's doubtful whether the creators were aware of that.
** The two kids in question were explained as to designing and making their own video games, so assumingly they did all this from scratch (in a matter of days), so it's likely the creators were totally clueless. It does reach a humorous pitch when Hank is more upset about inaccuracies in how they portray his own work; such as the grills that make up the scenery having incorrect logos.
*** The whole episode seems to run off of RuleOfFunny, since Peggy breaks Hank's addiction to the game by having the programmers make her character [[GodMode invincible]] and giving her the power to [[SelfDestructMechanism self-destruct]], [[EarthShatteringKaboom ending the game forever]].
** The episode plays around the controversy as well. Initially, Hank was upset about the violence present in the game but started to enjoy it once he found out that you can be a heroic vigilante instead of a ruthless criminal. If anything, they're aware of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'''s premise. Although, why the game developers are portrayed as hipsters is anybody's guess.
* In the RetroUniverse of ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', basically all games are pre-3D, generally being either Atari or Master System-style.
* ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum'': the only games seen in the show so far were arcade games and a digital pet, even though the characters have mentioned the Internet on at least one occasion.
* In the "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?" episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries,'' Edward Nygma has created a video game so popular that a ''multi-billion dollar theme park attraction'' is built based on it. When we see the actual game the graphics are only at UsefulNotes/{{Intellivision}} level. The gameplay is more akin to InteractiveFiction than a video game, and old school interactive fiction to boot. And this version of Gotham City is, if anything, TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture ... May have been intentional, since this would go with the [[AnachronismStew anachronistic style]] of the show's take on Gotham City, where it's clearly the present day and modern tech abounds, but people dress like it's 1930 and TV is broadcast in black and white.
* In "WesternAnimation/DanVs the Mechanic", Chris and Elise are shown playing a video game whose actual graphics are mostly off-screen. Later, when Chris is playing it by himself, he is clearly [[http://i.minus.com/jbuLX9xgiSLRFb.jpg holding the controller upside-down]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times", Milhouse wears a Power Glove that doesn't look quite like a Nintendo Power Glove.
** In "Waverly Hills, 9-0-2-1-D'oh", there is a Wii instead of the usual [[BlandNameProduct Zii]]. There is also ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' on the Xbox, though the console has the form factor of an Xbox 360, and the game appears to have the HUD of ''[[VideoGame/{{Halo2}} Halo 2]]''.
* ZigZaggingTrope on ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''. The male characters would frequently play video games in their downtime, which sported the same look as the animation in the show. In one episode, they were clearly playing ''VideoGame/FZero''. On the other hand, one episode had Robin playing a ''VideoGame/{{Galaga}}''-style shooter and totally flipping out because he beat Cyborg's high score.[[note]]Although this isn't out of character for Robin at least, since he ''is'' dangerously super-competitive.[[/note]]
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/StrangeHillHigh'': Mitchell is shown playing with a portable console with 8-bit graphics and chiptune sounds... and later in the episode, that console is referred in dialogue as ''a UsefulNotes/PlayStationVita'', of all things.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016'' has the girls playing a game called "Dragon Wizard Skateboard Fighters". The console they play it on is a mishmash of the UsefulNotes/Xbox360 and the UsefulNotes/{{Wii}}, and it doesn't have wireless controllers. Not much is shown of the game but it uses a point-system, the noises sound 8-bit, and the title screen is [[{{retraux}} very 80s looking]] however the customizing scene is drawn in the series' normal style. During the climax scene multiple 8-bit noises are used in the fighting, combined with "combos" and "Game Over" graphics.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/NewKidsOnTheBlock'', Biscuit plays a New Kids on the Block Video game. The graphics are fine, but it sounds like something from the early 80's. The controller looks like an NES controller, but Biscuit holds it in his left hand and pokes it with his right hand.
* One episode of ''Red Caps'' features the bad guy getting an amulet with the power of summoning videogame characters in real life. When he uses it against the heroes, the characters he summons are obvious parodies of Mario, Donkey Kong and a ''Space Invaders'' alien. And to add salt to the wound, the "Donkey Kong" parody is actually a pixellated [[TabletopGame/Warhammer40000 Space Marine]] colored in brown.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Hard to pull off a real life example, but: ''Webcomic/PennyArcade's'' stock promotional shot of the two creators deliberately invokes this trope, showing Krahulik and Holkins flailing around on a couch, pretending to play a game. Holkins is holding a PSP as if it's a controller and Krahulik is holding an Xbox 360 controller ''upside down''.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_QNdPcYzPw This]] news announcement about ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', on RAI (the Italian national broadcasting company), featuring a guy furiously mashing random buttons DURING THE TRAILER. Obviously, they're talking about the game in "Seduction of the innocents"-like terms, because [=GTA4=] doesn't have [=RE4=]-style interactive cut scenes.
* Being into retro gaming can make this trope TruthInTelevision. Playing older games has only become more popular with time thus it's not uncommon for people to play twenty or thirty year old games often. There are also a lot of {{retraux}} style games being made that invoke this.


* A ''VideoGame/DrMario'' ad shows a game played with a two player link cable, and some intense button mashing, possible on a harder difficulty.
* There's a battery commercial that features a kid playing what looks to be a (fictional) UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance fighting game against his grandpa, and defeating him over and over -- until his batteries start dying on him, allowing his grandpa to turn the tables. The notably true-to-life moment comes when we see the grandpa's character continuing to land sorta-registered blows even as his opponent falls, which seems to indicate that ''someone'' on the team, at least, was doing their homework.
* An ad for ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsBartVsTheSpaceMutants'' shows Bart playing the game, excitedly tossing around while moving around the gamepad. This may be possible. The gamepad, however, is closer to a Sega gamepad. Though the ad is for the NES version, the game is available on the Sega Genesis.
* In a painful to watch ad for ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', one player is alternating left and right on the D-pad while hitting A and B quickly. This is not unreasonable for the game.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Episode 28 of ''Manga/SgtFrog'' shows Natsumi playing a game that's obviously supposed to be the first ''Dobutsu no Mori'', better known in the states as ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing''. A much later episode shows kid Keroro playing what is clearly ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', and few episodes after that, we get one about the characters entering a RPG that is very clearly a ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' parody. That first one got spoofed in the dub, where Fuyuki asks what she's playing because he's never seen that [=GameCube=] game before.
* ''Anime/{{Shigofumi}}'' does a wonderful subversion of this trope. In ep 10, a young girl, obsessed with playing a very accurate -- though genericized, of course -- depiction of ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'', bonds with a thirty-something otaku, pondering the meaninglessness of his life after a cancer diagnosis, over the game [[spoiler: which the otaku, in fact, designed and programmed most of]]. The video game is shown to be a form of communication and a means to establish a friendship, rather than the hobby of pathetic shut-ins and socially maladjusted weirdoes.
* ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' gets around this through judicious ProductPlacement: the characters play real video games spliced into the animation, most notably:
** The then-latest ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' title, ''Guilty Gear: Isuka''. Ohno, the resident CosplayOtakuGirl, cosplays one of the characters. The opening sequence, in fact, features a clip of Sol Badguy performing a simple combo... and the music is timed to match the move. Be prepared to watch the exact same footage of Sol [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomping]] Jam over and over and over and over again, though.
** Saki and Kousaka also play a very realistically-depicted ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo'' match, complete with accurate in-game footage, as a plot point. Saki assumes from its colorful nature that it will be an easy-to-pick-up casual game, which it might be if played against an opponent of comparable skill level or a single-player mode with an intelligent difficulty progression. Instead, she plays against Kousaka, who has no concept of "going easy on the newbie" and [[CurbStompBattle destroys her]] with [[GuideDangIt advanced strategies]].
* ''Manga/LuckyStar'''s video games are often fairly accurate parodies of real games (unless you count ArcadeSounds half the time when the characters play any console games); unsurprising, since one of the main characters is a game {{otaku}}. The OVA goes one-up with an RPGEpisode rendered in full 3D with (of course) lots of snarking about various game mechanics. For an idea of how convincing it is, just go count the number of Website/YouTube commenters saying that they'd play it if it were real.
* Vaguely averted in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', where the LampshadeHanging is Nagi deliberately trying out an old ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' lookalike (which is probably older than she is) and lacks any nostalgia factor for the old game.
** The manga has a different ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' reference (Well, reference... more like [[RPGEpisode half of Volume 6]]).
* In ''Anime/CowboyBebop: TheMovie'' (which takes place in the future), the hacker Lee Sampson seems to spend a lot of time playing updated versions of old 1980s 8-bit games. However, this is explained by Lee, who voices contempt at modern games and idealizes the games from the early days of hacking.
** "[[{{Narm}} Will you... press my... reset button?]]"
* In a late {{Manga}} chapter of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', Ranma and his childlike teacher Hinako play what is obviously ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' on Hinako's Super Famicom, with Ranma's Ryu easily beating Hinako's Chun Li. This chapter was published circa 1994, during ''Street Fighter II'''s heyday; amusingly, several ''Ranma ½'' fighting games were also released during this period.
* ''[[LightNovel/KureNai Kure-nai]]'' has [[TokenMiniMoe Murasaki]] playing on (and breaking) a DS, and the game is shown to be ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]''.
* In one of the final chapters of ''Manga/MaiHime'', Nagi is shown playing a DS when the heroes confront him. He's even wearing headphones and using the stylus.
* ''Manga/GreatTeacherOnizuka'' is frequently seen playing a [=PlayStation=] (modern when it was made), and both made reference to ''VideoGame/WildArms'' and showed footage of ''VideoGame/ApeEscape''.
** He is also seen to be playing ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' in side-story "Shonan 14 Days" (which came out much more recently), even though [[ComicbookTime the story technically happens within the continuity of the original GTO, and thus should be even older than what he had as an adult.]] Onizuka also owns a PSP. Somehow.
* ''Manga/HanamaruKindergarten'' references ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' and ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' in the manga, and has Tsuchida-sensei playing a Nintendo DS. The anime (which has less leeway with copyrights) shows Tsuchida playing unnamed [=RPGs=] on a [=PlayStation=]-lookalike.
* ''Manga/HoukagoPlay'' makes numerous references to the games the characters play even when the title is not mentioned or played off screen. Made even better when they make references to obscure things like soundtracks. You can actually figure out the titles if you follow the clues.
* ''Manga/AChannel'' has a scene in the second episode where Run and Toru play an expy of ''VideoGame/MarioKartWii'' on two Wii Remotes. They appear to be using them accurately, even using the option to steer with motion controls. They also bother Yuuko by holding their remotes up to her head, but that's neither here nor there.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': "The School of Hard Knocks" has Joe play a battle simulator that resembles the battle system in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'', which was new at the time of the respective Japanese and American airdates.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has a character with videogame powers who plays with this Trope a bit. Though he plays really old-looking games and his powers usually activate as a bunch of pixels, he uses something that looks suspiciously like a PSP, and when challenged to do his best, he proves that he can, in fact, produce very detailed graphics and animation. It is also made abundantly clear that, to make his powers work, he actually has sophisticated knowledge of coding and computers.
* A few characters in ''Anime/{{Ano Hana|TheFlowerWeSawThatDay}}'' play a [[BlandNameProduct "Nokemon"]] game that's a clone of one of the first ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games (which came out many years before this anime). They comment on how ridiculously old the game is, though, and are apparently playing it for the nostalgia. It's on the Game Boy Advance SP and seems to be parodying ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue FireRed and LeafGreen]]''.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': In chapter 285, Evangeline is shown playing a video game. Said game is clearly ''VideoGame/SolomonsKey'', and she's playing it on an accurately portrayed Famicom.
* Doi from ''Manga/WanderingSon'' has a PSP if you look at certain panels. Anna and Maho are shown playing DS' and in an early issue Takatsuki has a UsefulNotes/PlayStation in her room.
* ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarukoSan'' has an episode that opens with Nyaruko, Cuuko and Hasta playing what is clearly ''Mario Kart 64.'' The game itself is never shown, but the controllers, and their shouts of "Who threw that shell?!" and "The banana! The banana!" make it obvious.
** The cast's console of choice seems to be the [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable PSPs]]; in one episode, Yoriko and Cuko are playing one of the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' games (evidenced by Yoriko's remark about using a sound bomb) and in another, Nyarko and Cuko are apparently playing ''Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus'' (since Cuko mentions "Endless Defense", a tactic from the VideoGame/GundamVsSeries regarded as unfair).
* ''Manga/SchoolLive'' is very up to date with its video games, though everything is a BlandNameProduct. The characters are shown owning and playing games like ''VideoGame/MadMax'' and ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}''.
* Nate, Eddie, and Bear from ''Anime/YokaiWatch'' are fans of a series called "Yolo Watch", clearly parodying the [[VideoGame/YokaiWatch franchise]] itself.
* ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'' occasionally shows the girls (especially Papi) playing ''VideoGame/WiiSports''. Later on, a piece of bonus art depicts an octopus girl playing (appropriately enough) ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}''.

* ''Magazine/{{Mad}}'''s "The Lighter Side Of" often features kids who are playing video games on consoles that vaguely resemble actual ones. However, one strip shows a girl eagerly grasping the controller while the disk door is open.
* {{Inverted|Trope}} in ''Comicbook/UltimateNightmare'': [[Comicbook/UltimateXMen Bobby]] is shown playing what looks like a current gen game on a regular old UsefulNotes/GameBoy.
* An issue of ''ComicBook/TeenTitansGo'' clearly has Robin and Raven playing a Nintendo 64 game. While not the newest of consoles it was just a few years old at the time

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Played with in the beginning of ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2''. While the graphics are every bit as advanced as the movie's animation ([[FakeOutOpening and intentionally so,]])[[note]]so much so that some UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}} and UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 games look slightly worse or merely ''as good'' a decade later,[[/note]] the "game over" screen puts retro sounding video game music with just the two words "GAME OVER". Also, the system being played is a UsefulNotes/{{Super Nintendo|EntertainmentSystem}} (albeit with the Super Famicom/PAL controller), which ''was'' more-or-less current [[AnimationLeadTime when writing began]].
* Disney's ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' plays with this, given the setting. The main character is from a faux Donkey Kong-era game, and a lot of the sound effects are classic arcade bleep bloops, but the crux of the plot involves visiting a variety of different Video Game worlds, at least one of which is basically ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}'' as a light-gun rail shooter. Ralph is even horrifically amazed at how much games have evolved since his own day, and of course it's played for laughs. The word "retro" is even mentioned, and is stated as "Old, but cool." The biggest difference between the movie's universe and the real world -- aside from video game characters being secretly alive a la ''Toy Story'' -- is that apparently arcades have never been displaced by home computers and consoles as the primary venue for gaming; hence, hot new titles continue to be released as increasingly high-tech cabinets. Arcade-only games even have their own TV commercials, which end with a plug for the nearest arcade that carries them.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Congo}}'', someone is playing ''Videogame/{{Doom}}'' on the PC. They didn't mess it up or anything.
* Wonderfully averted in ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'', which is expected since the film contains many VideoGameTropes. In an early scene, one of the characters can be seen playing a UsefulNotes/NintendoDS, with music from the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance version of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' faintly audible. ''A Link to the Past'' DID have a GBA port (it was originally on the UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem) and the trivia track confirms that the actor was actually really playing the game during that scene, as opposed to just pretending to play it. Later on, we see a FictionalVideoGame titled ''Ninja Ninja Revolution'', which actually looks like a believable arcade game, and is played in a fairly realistic way.
* Similarly, in Creator/SimonPegg's ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', playing ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters2'' (appropriately a UK-developed shooter game) on a [=PS2=] is depicted accurately, aside from a "Player 2 has entered the game" voiceover narration added for the audience's benefit. Admittedly, Simon Pegg is a [[OneOfUs massive video game nerd]], as any typical episode of ''Series/{{Spaced}}'' will show you. Its also likely that the "Player 2" quote was probably added as a joke for an early scene:
-->*Player 2 has entered the game.*
-->'''Ed:''' Haven't you got work?
-->*Player 2 has left the game.*
* ''Film/TropicThunder'' had Creator/MatthewMcConaughey playing Wii Sports.
* ''Film/ReignOverMe'' features ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' extensively. The original plan was to go with this trope, but the film's editor insisted on the aforementioned game, for character reasons.
** They did refer to it as "''Shadow'''s''' of the Colossus''", however.
* In ''Film/GoingTheDistance'', the main character is playing an old ''Centipede'' arcade machine properly, even correctly using the classic 80s "put a quarter on the machine console to reserve my turn" arcade etiquette.
* The film version of ''Film/NightWatch'' had the BigBad practicing for a coming battle by playing a fighting game with some sort of sword controller.
* The Mexican film ''Duck Season'' is very accurate in depicting two 14-year-old boys playing ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', with the TV even announcing "Slayer", the typical versus mode in the game, as they begin. The only unrealistic detail is the improbably frequent rate, based on the sounds, at which their characters seemed to die.
* The 2010 movie ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief]]'' has one of the characters playing ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' ''2'', on an Xbox 360, ''playing online with other players'', which is surprising, seeing that he lives in a forest full of mythical Greek god-children.
** Of course, this is also played straight in that he is playing it on a PC, with an Xbox control scheme, using a UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation3}}S3 controller, and plays by button mashing and spraying bullets everywhere. So yeah. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking And he "pauses" while playing online, presumably leaving the other players to kill him freely. With sound effects still in the background, no less.]]
* The 2009 movie ''Film/TheHurtLocker'' shows Eldridge playing ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' while he talks to the platoon therapist, complete with the actual game sound effects and video. The only trouble is that while the movie is set in 2004, Gears was released in 2006.
* The 1996 movie ''Film/{{Swingers}}'', featured the characters arguing over ''NHL Hockey '94'' on the Genesis. They even referred to the lack of fighting in that version of the game, but that's made up for by being able to make Wayne Gretzky's head bleed. Ironically the game they were playing was actually ''NHLPA Hockey 93''.
* In ''Film/{{Disturbia}}'', we see Creator/ShiaLaBeouf play a bit of ''G.R.A.W.'', complete with accurate graphics, sound, and on an Xbox 360, one of the systems this game was released on.
** This trope is still in play, since he's playing a mission from the single-player campaign, when he's depicted as playing on Xbox Live.
* The video game horror movie ''Film/StayAlive'' was quite accurate in its name-dropping, likely because they hired [=CliffyB=] of Creator/EpicGames as a consultant.
** Still, they managed to mix up two games, admittedly in the same series. Early in the movie the protagonist's boss is asking about beating the final boss in ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'', when he's actually describing the trick method of beating the final boss from the first game. This might have been done because such a trick only exists for the first game and the latest game in the series at the time was the fourth, so mostly this is nitpicking.
* While the game shown in the beginning of ''Film/{{Big}}'' was fictional, it was an extremely accurate representation of a common genre of game at the time the movie was made.
* ''Film/LostInTranslation'' has a scene set in an arcade game center in Japan; some of the games shown are ''Taiko no Tatsujin'' / ''Taiko Master'' and ''Pop'n Music''; someone does a ''freestyle routine'' on the ''Pop'n'' machine.
* In ''Film/FourChristmases'', a character is playing a game in one scene, and sounds from the classic ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' are heard... and then it is shown that he is playing with a Wii Classic Controller, meaning that he actually ''is'' playing ''Donkey Kong'' on the Virtual Console.
* ''Film/TheScore'' has the main character (Creator/RobertDeNiro) phone someone who is shown playing ''VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena''. At one point the kid pauses, so it's assumed that he's cursing bots, not humans (or the pausing would invoke this trope).
* The title video game in ''Film/SpyKids 3D: Game Over'' uses levels and has no apparent storyline, but does at least ''look'' like a 21st century video game with [=3D=] graphics and so forth. On the DVDCommentary, Creator/RobertRodriguez says he had his sons play a lot of video games for him as research. Needless to say, this made them think he was the coolest dad ever.
* ''Film/TheKingOfKong'' is a documentary about ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' world records. There were embellishments and inaccuracies with the overall story, but the game itself was described well.
* Towards the beginning of ''Film/{{Zathura}}'', the younger of the two brothers is shown playing ''{{VideoGame/Jak 3|Wastelander}}'', not only with the relevant music and sound effects, but also showing him controlling it properly (i.e., he was actually playing the game). No surprise - ''Zathura'' was produced by Sony company Creator/ColumbiaPictures, making this ProductPlacement as well.
* In ''Film/ThreeNinjas'' one of the main characters is seen playing ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' on an NES in his room. More impressively, he's actually playing rather than button-mashing, and has made it to level 5-1 (whereas most examples of real-game footage shown in fiction tend to come from the first ten minutes of gameplay).
* Creator/JimCarrey was actually [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxX0KG2DcYc taught to play DDR for this scene]] in ''Film/YesMan''. For the more savvy players reading:
** You can see him pull off some crossovers at 13 seconds in.
** He's playing an actual DDR song, and a Konami original, to boot ("Hana Ranman," aka "Flowers")
** He's playing on Expert difficulty, and has at least a 100 combo going when the camera shows the screen.
** Of course, Hollywood has a creative way of making sure some of this Trope still exists, but it doesn't make the scene (or Jim Carrey) any less awesome.
* Surprisingly, ''Film/{{Tron}}'' doesn't have much screen time for actual games to outright invoke or avert this trope. Everyone at Flynn's Arcade seems to be using their controls properly, and ''Pac-Man'' sounds are justified, since the film takes place in 1982. ''[[FictionalVideoGame Space Paranoids]]'' borders on invoking the trope, since its pretty obvious Flynn isn't really playing it, but keep in mind that those graphics are more advanced than anything else in the arcade.
* ''Film/BringingDownTheHouse''. George is seen holding a [=DualShock=] 2 controller and he's not mashing the buttons. Listen closely and you can hear sound effects from [[VideoGame/JakAndDaxter a certain game about an elf and his ottsel]].
* Averted in ''Film/{{Hitman}}''. When Agent 47 runs through the hotel, he enters the room where two kids play a modern console game. One of the games the movie is based upon, to be precise. Although played straight in that two kids are playing a single-player game.
* While there is an anachronistic 8-bit wrestling game in ''Film/TheWrestler'', it's used to demonstrate how the main character is caught up in the past, not because the writers think that's how all games are. The kid he's talking to even mentions ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'', and is clearly bored by the 80's fossil Randy keeps on playing. The game itself is fake, but not entirely: the director commissioned two programmers to create a playable NES game for use in the movie just to fully avoid Pac-Man Fever.
* The British horror-comedy ''Film/{{Tormented}}'' has the characters play ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 2'' at a party.
* There is a '''porn''' video where a girl is distracted by her boyfriend while playing ''Warcraft 3'' (with the proper sounds). Of course, this is a RealLife style video. Well, [[TheRuleOfFirstAdopters Porn always liked technology]]...
* When Columbus mentions in ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'' that he'd spent the two days before the outbreak playing ''World of Warcraft'' in his apartment, the shot on his computer is distinctly the game in question. Specifically, his character's in the Silverwing Flag Room in Warsong Gulch.
* Strangely, ''Film/RealSteel'' has an {{inver|tedTrope}}sion. Since this is set in the future, we see ads for the Xbox 720. However, all other advertisements we see in the movie have their current 2011 logos and slogans.
* In ''Film/{{Abduction}}'' we see Nathan playing ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2''.
* In ''Film/CoolAsIce'', we see Kathy's little brother playing ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' and various other NES games, none of which involve the usual wild controller-mashing.
* In ''Literature/SalmonFishingInTheYemen'', we see the British PM's kids playing ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureACrackInTime''. The footage is totally accurate, and you hear authentic EnemyChatter from the game... except it's from Dr Nefarious's MechaMooks while in the area you show you're actually fighting Argorians. (Admittedly, Argorian EnemyChatter [[CrowningMomentOfFunny would have probably upstaged any humor in the actual film]])
* ''Film/{{Super 8}}'': Amidst the chaos of the air force taking over their town, when the boys break into the school, Cary wants to retrieve his confiscated Mattel Electronic Football game. Justified in that it's 1979 and the medium was still in its infancy.
* ''Film/{{Joysticks}}'': All the games are real and portrayed as they actually existed at the time. ''Super Pac-Man'', a not particularly well-known game in the ''Pac-Man'' series, is actually played at a tournament (which may confuse modern audiences not familiar with this particular variation) before its real-life release in arcades, and ''VideoGame/SatansHollow'' was also played. Both games were developed in the US by Midway (''Pac-Man'' itself was made in Japan by Namco, but Midway developed a few sequels of their own), who sponsored the movie.
* Quicksilver plays ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' extra fast in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', and plays ''VideoGame/PacMan'' extra fast in ''Film/XMenApocalypse''. The implication seems to be his super fast speed is making the games go faster, though it would make more sense if the hardware or software has been modified beforehand to run faster and Quicksilver is playing sped up versions of the games.
* An early scene in ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'' has Duke and Roadblock playing a modern FPS on an Xbox 360 on shore leave, and Roadblock even lampshades how much better Duke is in real combat than in the game. Later, during the nuclear disarmament summit, [[spoiler: Zartan disguised as]] the president is shown playing ''VideoGame/AngryBirds'' on his cell phone with realistic movements and sound effects.

* In ''[[Literature/AlexRider Stormbreaker]]'', Alex gets a modified Game Boy Color (a Nintendo DS in the [[TheMovie film version]]) and cartridges that not only have the games themselves but also provide the modified GB Color with useful functions. Two of these games, ''[[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Nemesis]]'' and ''Bomber Boy'' (aka ''Atomic Punk'' in the United States), are actual Game Boy titles. Sadly though, Alex never uses the game parts of the cartridges.
** In ''Skeleton Key'', he gets a Game Boy Advance with a ''VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'' game that doubles as a Geiger counter.
* Creator/ChristopherBrookmyre regularly averts this trope, and several of his books not only mention various real life games, but also clan gaming, DS homebrew, and mods. Of course, his books will also contain nods to a number of games, as well as more general consideration of video gaming tropes.
* In the second ''Literature/DarkestPowers'' book (which was released in 2009), Rae is depicted playing ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' on a UsefulNotes/NintendoGamecube while at the facility. She complains that it is outdated and says the workers have told her they'll bring a UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} for her soon.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' was very current with its representation of ''VideoGame/TheSims'' as "''[[BrandX The Virts]]''". Sort of. It was actually a homebrew game accidentally discovered on a machine by Malcolm, presumably predating ''The Sims'' by a number of years. It was functionally similar though.
* In Episode Five of ''Series/{{Primeval}}'', Connor plays ''Videogame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', with graphics taken from the game, on an UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}}.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', in a bit of ProductPlacement, Jessica and Micah are seen playing ''VideoGame/HeavenlySword'' on the [=PS3=]; a game which, at the time of the airing, was yet to be released.
** Whoever wrote Hiro's blog (as a promotion for the show) talking about ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' knows exactly what they're talking about.
* In ''Series/{{Spaced}}'', Tim is clearly shown playing ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2''. Actual footage of the game is shown, he holds the controller normally, and actual sound effects and music from the game is used. The RPD lobby music from the game is even used for that episode's title sequence. In the commentary, Simon Pegg, who played Tim, says that he was actually playing the game even when the camera didn't show the screen, because he and director Edgar Wright were sick of the above trope. He also plays many other games, including ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 2'', ''VideoGame/TimeCrisis'', and ''Franchise/TombRaider'', which sometimes intrude into the 'real' world.
** In a display of doing the research, when Daisy said something while Tim was playing, Tim ''pressed the pause button'' before turning to speak to her.
*** Simon also missed his lines quite few times because he got too engrossed in the game.
*** However, before Daisy leaves to go to the shop, Tim is clearly at the start of the game, having not even reached the RPD yet. When Daisy gets back, Tim is at the end of the game, in the run-up to the final boss battle of Leon's scenario. Either Daisy took hours at the shop or Tim is just ridiculously awesome at Resident Evil (an expert player can blow through one of ''[=RE2=]'''s scenarios in about an hour and a half).
*** Also, Daisy has a go at ''Tekken'' one of episodes. She is convincing as a non/infrequent gamer who, in willing the character to obey her commands, embellishes each button-press by shouting "Kick!" and jerking the controller to the side.
* ''Series/Shameless}}''
** In the US version of ''Series/{{Shameless}}'', there is a scene where Ian, Mickey, and Mandy play ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' together. Not only do they show actually game footage, they use the correct controllers, sound effects, etc. Apart from some sound effects not corresponding to that the actors are actually doing, overall it is a pretty accurate portrayal. Hell, there's not even a hint of seizure on the actors' part.
** In its [[Series/ShamelessUK original incarnation]], the trope is played straight in the early seasons where sound effects from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' are used by games played on an Xbox. In the a later episode, Liam has been taken into care and the Gallaghers manage to track him down by using Xbox Live's voicechat service.
* Despite being released in the early 90s, ''Series/ParkerLewisCantLose'' was brilliantly in touch with video games. This mostly related to cameos (Mario games, mentioning ''VideoGame/AlteredBeast'', showing Sega and Nintendo logos in shops), but one episode focused a lot more on them dealing with Jerry's addiction to video games. While still having a lot of humour, it still took on the issue sensibly and intelligently, and ended in a way that showed that the writers had more insight into what video games were about then the vast majority of TV creators, then or since.
* Sitcom ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' includes a number of stereotypical geeks who play stereotypical games -- most notably, ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' and ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''. They slip up sometimes, but they do demonstrate they do their research.
** In episode three of the second season, Sheldon shows Penny the [[MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame MMORPG]] ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan'', to which she becomes addicted. The game as well as the behaviour of the players ("I'm AFK", level meaning character-level, enchanted armour etc.) is very well-depicted, with the RuleOfFunny exception that, at the end, the characters mouths' moved in sync with what the players spoke over their headsets.
** One episode opens with the guys preparing to assault the Gates of Elzebub to claim the Sword of Azeroth in ''World of Warcraft''. Neither the location or the sword exist in the actual game. However, when Sheldon gets the sword and teleports out of the dungeon leaving the rest to die to the enemies, he snarks "I don't know why you're surprised, I'm a night elf rogue, don't you read the character profiles?", and that race and the class ''do'' exist. Furthermore afterwards he asks if anyone wants to log on to ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' and have a swim in his new pool.
** In another episode, the characters are playing Boxing in ''VideoGame/WiiSports'', complete with look-alike Miis.
** And in yet another episode, Sheldon plays ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' on an emulator on his laptop. They even used accurate sound effects: when Sheldon pauses the game to talk to someone, they use the actual pause sound from ''Mario 64''. How many non-geeks do you know who know what an emulator is?
** On the other hand, playing ''Halo'' apparently consists of rotating the analog stick as quickly as possible while hitting buttons at random, though based on their comments and the sounds, they're playing some game called Halo that isn't part of the [[Franchise/{{Halo}} Halo franchise]].
** On the other end of the scale, in another episode Sheldon plan to play ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}''.
** Apparently Sheldon sucks at ''Mario Kart Wii''. This [[FridgeBrilliance makes sense]] when you remember Sheldon never learned how to drive, and his efforts on a simulator eventually involve him driving through a mall and crashing through store windows.
** In one scene, the boys are playing ''Mario Kart'', but don't specify or show which one. However, they're holding [=GameCube=] controllers and the music is distinctly Waluigi Stadium from the [=GameCube=]'s ''Mario Kart'' entry, ''Double Dash!!''.
** In another episode, Howard and Sheldon are shown to want to play ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur'' instead of working on their project of getting more women into the hard sciences. ''RuleOfFunny'' dictates that they both use female characters wearing very little in the way of clothing.
** Sheldon decided to drown his sorrows in a saloon in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' because a person like him wouldn't go near real alcohol. Not unsual as there are plenty of people out there who role plays in single-player open world games.
* ''Series/VeronicaMars'' has characters playing video games that are recognizable as ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' and ''VideoGame/MarioKart'', although they are generally button mashing and are playing ''Gears'' on an original Xbox, a feat no mere mortal could accomplish.
** A Season One episode took the research even further; in order to reveal the fraud of a couple of game programmers, Veronica lured them in with promises to see "the new Matrix Online" before it was released. When the episode was aired, ''VideoGame/TheMatrixOnline'' was both still yet to be released and also anticipated.
** It was distracting, though, that three people were gathered around, controllers in hand, to play what looked like a single/first person shooter. Also the fact that in the middle of the game Veronica was able to pick up a controller and start button mashing immediately.
* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' had an episode, "Down the Rabbit Hole", using ''VideoGame/SecondLife''. [[spoiler:Where an assassin uses the program to get to her targets.]] However, just like ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', some of the things shown on the show are misleading to what is possible to do in-game.
** Another episode involved the professional gaming scene by way of a murder connected to a ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 3'' tournament. Details they get wrong include pressing 'X' to shoot and somehow finding the game from a mini-disc extracted from a hard drive.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' featured an episode where the team was protecting a particularly Gibbsian preteen boy. To amuse him, [=McGee=] provided him with an accurately named UsefulNotes/NintendoDS. Only problem? Judging by the sounds, the kid in question was involved in an intense and gripping session of Pictochat. The DS was brand new however, putting it at the point where Pictochat got used before it is forgotten.
** ''NCIS'' was generally good with game technology. All (at the time of broadcast) current gen consoles and handhelds got namechecked.
** In an episode [=McGee=] sat in what is essentially the NCIS command centre, playing ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'' with the boy he was guarding.
** However, in an episode where a sailor is playing out his [=MMORPG=] in real life, Abby hacks the game to get his account name by storming the castle.
** One episode has the NCIS team question a Japanese kid who just saw the criminal they were chasing. When the kid says that the criminal escaped in a Kuruma, Dinozzo assumes he just meant car ("Kuruma" is Japanese for car) until [=McGee=] not only identified that the Kuruma is a specific car in the ''Grand Theft Auto'' games (specifically ''III'' and ''Liberty City Stories''), but also identified what real life car it's based on so they could put out an APB. The only flaw in this is that the car [[http://gta.wikia.com/Kuruma actually resembles more than one real life car]], which would result in an APB going after several different makes.
* ''Series/TheDeadZone'' got it right in a way that would have been remarkable if it hadn't smacked of blatant ProductPlacement. A Christmas episode featured as its B plot Johnny Smith's quest to get his son a copy of ''VideoGame/RatchetDeadlocked'', which is not only a very real game, but we see the game and its immediate predecessor ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal'' actually ''played'' in the episode.
* There is a brief but surprisingly accurate shout out to ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' in the fourth season of ''Series/TheOfficeUS''.
** Another episode features a storyline involving the employees at the Stamford branch playing the first ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty''. The actors were supposedly taught how to play the game before filming.
** They know enough about ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' culture to make snarky jokes about it:
-->'''Dwight:''' "There are no winners or losers."
-->'''Jim:''' "Oh, there are losers."
* Nicely averted in an episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}''. In order to get on the good side of another police officer, a detective heads to her house on Thanksgiving with the gift of a UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} that he got as seized property during a recent drug bust. He proceeds to play Boxing in ''VideoGame/WiiSports'' accurately with the woman's young cousins, using the punching motion controls and even getting too into it and having the kids complain about how good he was. It does however fall into cousin trope HollywoodLaw. Unless he got it at a police auction for a completed case, taking seized property anywhere is a ''big'' no-no, especially with him being a ByTheBookCop.
* One episode of ''[[Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody The Suite Life On Deck]]'' features several of the characters getting involved in a social MMORPG, similar to IMVU and the like; when footage of the game is shown, it's done in CGI, but not in a noticeably primitive way, and despite the lack of a HUD it could probably pass for a real game. There's even a ShoutOut to ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' at one point.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' has the eponymous character and his friend play ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar''; in another episode they play ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'', complete with [[ProductPlacement blatant]] [[StuckOnBandAidBrand name dropping]].
** The episode "Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer" was a mixed bag. The actual play of ''VideoGame/MissileCommand'' was realistic, but its knowledge of how the game worked was deeply flawed. The "killscreen" referred to by the characters is actually more of a NonstandardGameOver. And the programmer and company responsible for the game were portrayed as East Asian, whereas Atari and programmer Dave Theurer were both American.
* In Season 2 Episode 9 of ''Series/KnightRider'' ("Soul Survivor"), the main character plays the new-at-the-time ''VideoGame/PacMan''.
** ''Pac-Man'' seems to be a favorite of KITT's; in the made-for-TV movie ''Knight Rider 2000'', KITT complains to Michael in an early scene that he can no longer play ''Pac-Man'' due to his state of disassembly (to which Michael replies, "you're dating yourself, pal. ''Pac-Man'''s in the Smithsonian now.")
* An episode of ''Series/NewTricks'' had Jack Halford speaking to some college guys about the murder of an old flatmate of theirs. Throughout the discussion, they're playing a generic ''VideoGame/PointBlank'' clone on a Wii using the Wii Zapper. All the sounds, movements, etc matched up, although oddly enough the pub at the end of the episode just happens to have an arcade cabinet with the exact same game on it.
* In one episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', the team has to investigate a game that looks a lot like ''VideoGame/SecondLife''. Turns out that the killer they're looking for has made a replica of one of his earlier killings in said game. It's on the side of a lake, and they need to find the real world-cabin, so Olivia has to yell at the owner to [[{{Narm}} "Turn on the sun!"]] in order to determine which side of the lake. He actually hesitates before deciding between catching a serial killer and inconveniencing his players. Apparently ''[=L&O=]'' doesn't have Google Maps.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Threshold}}'', Lucas plays ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' in an unused conference room, having apparently brought his UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} with him to Threshold. Molly comes in and surprises us with her video game savvy by giving him a tip on killing Jackals. Apart from footage that shows what is clearly multiplayer action, the game is portrayed accurately.
** {{Hilarious|InHindsight}}ly, the ring in the first ''Halo'' orbited a planet called Threshold. So the guy in ''Threshold'' is playing ''Halo'', which takes place near Threshold.
* A Canadian TV show called ''Series/JPod'' (based on a book of the same name) was really good at inverting this trope. The series takes place at a game developer called Neotronic Arts (the developer is nameless in the book, but it's made clear by some dialog and descriptions that it's supposed to be Electronic Arts) where a small group of programmers are working on a skateboarding game (at the time the book was originally published, EA had announced that it was working on ''Skate''). Throughout the show, characters are seen playing an Xbox 360 (and properly, too. The game they're playing is ''Halo 3'', complete with split screen and everything), and there are multiple shots of a Wii in the background. Anytime the game the characters are working on is shown, the rough look of it is explained away by saying that it's still in development and it won't look like that when the game is finished.
* ''Series/TheITCrowd'' averts this in the episode "Men Without Women", which opens with Roy and Jen playing ''VideoGame/GuitarHero 2''. Music and sound effects from the actual game are heard, actual footage is shown and they appear to be playing correctly. Another character, Moss, incorrectly asks which "level" they are playing, although he later comments that he dislikes the game, so his ignorance may be excused. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f88zIt6kyA]]
** Another episode in series 1 shows Moss playing [[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]] correctly, with left hand on the keyboard and right hand on the mouse.
* In ''Da Series/KathAndKim Code'', a Vatican City version of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' is shown. It's surprisingly accurate, featuring a similar HUD and box-art, and appropriate sound effects. The graphics are also quite close, while obviously being fairly low-quality compared to the real games, they're nevertheless in the same style and about as good as you'd expect from a 10-second clip specially made for the show.
* Somewhat averted on a [[http://www.cc.com/video-clips/m6wy37/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-indecision-2004---behind-the-curtain clip]] from ''Series/TheDailyShow'' during their coverage of the 2004 Presidential election. While Rob Corddry is ''way'' too enthusiastic about it (and his controller isn't the one controlling the actions onscreen); they do correctly identify the game, ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', though muted, the sound effects are indeed from the game, and they even correctly identify the gun being used.
-->'''Rob Corddry:''' Where's your Alien Plasma Rifle now, [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch bitch]]?!
** He even correctly calls the enemies "Covenant Aliens".
* Mostly averted in ''Series/PackedToTheRafters''. Ben and [[TokenMinority Carbo]] are often seen playing ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' with each other, their roommate/s and visitors. These scenes are complete with accurate visuals and sound effects. On the other hand, they [[ProductPlacement suspiciously seem to play nothing BUT Gran Turismo]]. There's also an astonishing amount of button mashing for a racing game (mostly from other people who play it though).
* In Season 1 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'', Sayid and his friends play the [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 PS2]] port of ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'', possibly even preparing for ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', which would be released later that year (2004).
* An old ''Series/{{Taxi}}'' episode has Jim Ignatowski becoming addicted to ''Pac-Man'' after Louie has a game console installed in the garage. Several scenes show Iggy playing the game, with the actual music and sound effects heard. (Granted, this was circa 1980, ancient history from a gaming standpoint.)
* ''Series/TrueBlood''. Bill Compton occasionally plays a golf game on the Wii. It seems more or less correct.
* In ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' Lane's bandmates are often seen playing ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur 2]]'' on a [=GameCube=], and are actually playing the game properly.
* ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' has a group of characters playing ''VideoGame/RockBand'' in one episode, and are playing "My Own Worst Enemy", a song actually in the game. In another episode, one character is playing ''VideoGame/MarioKartWii'', using the Wii Wheel packaged with the game, and underturning it if anything (he could just be distracted by talking, though).
* In ''Series/{{Californication}}'', Hank Moody, his daughter and her boyfriend are often seen playing ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'', playing with actual controllers on actual songs with actual gameplay footage on the TV -- although the actors' movements might not match what's going on on screen.
* "The Frogger" episode of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' averts this trope in a different way. It's about the eponymous '80s arcade game, on which George had gotten a high score as a kid, and which he wants to keep as a memento. Aside from the fact that you can't enter initials on that game's high-score screen, the episode's portrayal is totally accurate... and totally worth it for the scene of George carrying the machine across a busy street, ''with appropriate sound effects accompanying''.
* In the ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' episode "Prodigal" Lucas plays a period-accurate video game with an appropriate controller. He does hammer the buttons, but his onscreen character is at least engaging in very repetitive and random actions so he may just be a terrible player.
* In "TOW Ross Got High" of ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Ross and Joey are playing ''[[VideoGame/TwistedMetal Twisted Metal 2]]'' on the ''[=PlayStation=]''; the game sounds correct and both of them use the controller accurately and not just randomly button-mashing. Ditto for Chandler playing ''VideoGame/CrashTeamRacing'', and when he stops playing to talk to Joey, his Crash character sits idle in the middle of a race.
** And in a more literal application of this trope, there's the episode where Phoebe gives Monica and Chandler a ''Ms. Pac-Man'' arcade game, and the three of them become completely obsessed with playing it and beating each other's high scores.
* Nicely attempted in ''Series/MrSunshine'', where they use the [[ProductPlacement Wii Wheel]] for ''VideoGame/MarioKartWii'', and argue that Yoshi is useless in Peach Beach, which has a grain of truth since it's full of straight-aways suitable for heavyweights, though the cart selection is probably more important. Pretty good for someone who in-universe doesn't play games much. Like with the ''Friends'' example above, this averted trope was probably helped by Creator/MatthewPerry being an avid gamer in real life.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' has an episode with a fictional game, with no Atari sounds and the screen obscured from view. A red glow comes from the screen when the player dies, suggesting that the screen turns mostly red, which is [[HaveANiceDeath pretty common]].
--> '''Niles:''' [[WrongGenreSavvy I'm assuming this is some advanced level]]?
--> '''Frederick:''' It's the tutorial. [[EpicFail I didn't know you could die here]].
* A 1999 episode of ''Series/TheSopranos'' has Tony playing ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' with AJ, and winning by covering his face with one hand while holding the controller in the other.
* In ''Series/GoodLuckCharlie'', Gabe and his mom play a BrandX version of Wii Tennis. Granted, there's not much noise to a Wii Tennis game anyway (just some bouncing ball sounds and cheering).
* ''Series/CoronationStreet'' varies wildly with this trope. Sometimes it features character endlessly button mashing (or even just hitting the same button over and over as fast as possible) while 1985 "missile" sound effects repeat nonstop from the offscreen TV. On a [=PS2=] controller. However, on a different occasion, David Platt was clearly seen playing ''VideoGame/{{Forza|Motorsport}}'' on his Xbox 360, complete with accurate handling of the controller, and showing the game running on the TV. [[DependingOnTheWriter Depends]] on the writer, it seems.
* An episode in the second season of ''Series/SevenDays'' begins with a young woman playing ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''. While the game was several years old by this point, that's still pretty good by TV standards. However, they still slipped up by showing it as an arcade game.
* In ''Series/BreakingBad'', Jesse is seen playing a version of ''VideoGame/{{Rage}}'' that only exists as an iOS version (which is an On Rails Shooter), and hes using a light gun to play it, which isn't even possible. Although he also plays ''Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing'', which is the actual game.
** Jessie also plays ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' with Brock. It could only count as a bad scene for the game's [[ObviousBeta Obvious Beta]] status.
* The ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "Contemporary American Poultry" has Abed score the study group a UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 and a copy of ''VideoGame/ModnationRacers''. This is even more impressive considering the game wasn't even out yet at the time the episode aired.
* In the first Christmas episode of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', while Peralta and Holt are [[ItMakesSenseInContext handcuffed together in a safe house]], they are playing the best thing they can play with one open hand: ''VideoGame/WiiSports'', specifically Tennis. During that brief moment, Jake says it's his serve, we are given a camera shot that shows the TV, and we get to see Jake serve and him and Holt volley the ball back and forth until Peralta misses and Holt scores. Like most aversions, we are also given sound effects.
* Surprisingly averted in ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' of all places. In one early episode, Jessica's friend Ethan is playing a ''VideoGame/SpyHunter'' arcade game. When footage of the game is shown it is perfectly accurate, complete with the player's hands making movements and the vehicle on screen matching them.
* Averted in "The Games Underfoot" episode of ''Series/{{Elementary}}''. It is about game named "Nottingham Knights" for the Emeryvision, which is an obvious reference to the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}} and ''[[VideoGame/ETTheExtraTerrestrial E.T]]''. The console looks realistic and the way the characters play the games is accurate as well.
* ''Series/HouseOfCardsUS'' has a couple nice scenes appealing to gamers in Season 3. Frank is inspired to hire a novelist who now does game reviews to write a reputation-restoring book about his marriage after reading his poetic and completely accurate review of ''VideoGame/MonumentValley''. And then the guy introduces him to ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'', also portrayed completely accurately until Frank dismisses it as "too much like my real life."
* ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'' uses gaming as its overall theme and the basis for its heroes' powers. While it does use HollywoodGameDesign and some anachronistic visuals and sound effects, those appear to be intentional design choices rather than ignorance about the medium - regarding the outdated visuals and sounds, the Rider designs have a 90's "extreme" aesthetic in general so retro gaming would fit right with that. The Riders' powers are {{Homage}}s ranging from the broad (e.g. Ex-Aid's genre is 2D platformers like the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' and ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' franchises; Brave has [=RPGs=] and his games reference ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasy'') to the much more specific (one early upgrade is ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' with the SerialNumbersFiledOff[[note]]The game is called "Drago Knight Hunter Z" and consists of a set of armor that has to be shared between the four heroic Riders, alluding to the game's co-op nature[[/note]] while the MidSeasonUpgrade for the military-themed Snipe is a blatant nod to the battleship game ''VideoGame/KantaiCollection''[[note]]It outfits him with battleship "armor" and puts an admiral's cap on his head[[/note]]). It also helps that the franchise's MerchandiseDriven nature gives it ties to a real-life game developer, Creator/BandaiNamcoEntertainment,[[note]]Bandai produces the ''Kamen Rider'' toyline[[/note]] meaning production has easy access to both people with first-hand experience in the industry and the rights to include actual Namco games and hardware on occasion - its first crossover movie even has ''VideoGame/PacMan himself'' as a guest star, a UsefulNotes/WonderSwan is occasionally seen in a FlashBack, and tie-in materials give the Riders powerups based on Namco classics like ''Pac-Man'', ''VideoGame/{{Xevious}}'', ''[[VideoGame/RBIBaseball Family Stadium]]'', ''VideoGame/TaikoDrumMaster'', and ''VideoGame/{{Galaxian}}''.
** There is one noticeable goof, however: a FlashBack shows the main character playing ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 7'' in 2010, a good five years before it actually came out. Rather than an actual mistake, it's more likely that Bandai Namco wanted to [[ProductPlacement advertise the then-upcoming console port of the game]].
** In a case of what is decidedly NotAnExample, the aforementioned crossover movie's plot involves the movie's villains spreading an epidemic of a literal Pac-Man Fever.

* Ironically, the {{Trope Namer|s}} ''Music/PacManFever'' is an aversion, given the fact that 1) the sounds in question ''are'' from the video games in question, 2) they were, in fact, new at the time of the album's release and 3) the lyrics clearly show that at least one of the band members has intimate knowledge of them.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Because Bill Amend is OneOfUs and a major gaming geek, this is often parodied or averted in ComicStrip/FoxTrot (it once featured a comic parodying webcomics like ''xkcd'').
** In one strip, Andy (the mother) demands to see the video games that Jason and Peter play. Her first response is, "why is [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry that monkey]] [[GoombaStomp jumping on someone's head]]?"
** Not to mention the ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/9/9/ guest strip]] he did after PAX 2009.
** Early strips featured both Jason and Peter playing ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', Jason bringing a Game Boy on a family trip, and the release of the SNES. Also, one sunday strip has Jason attempting to get a copy of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'', and he regularly plays ''{{VideoGame/World of War|craft}}[[strike:[[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft craft]]]]Quest''.
** Also Jason's LongList of then-recent game releases (complete with TakeThat at the then-still-VaporWare ''VideoGame/DukeNukemForever'') in a later strip.
** Jason goes into denial about wanting to play Franchise/TombRaider because it featured a female heroine. (In the nightmare that follows, Lara Croft introduces him to ''VideoGame/MsPacMan'' who asks if he remembers her, causing Jason to nervously protest that he only played ''that'' game because it was the only one they had at a pizza parlor.)
** One comic was about ''VideoGame/StarcraftII''. ''The week it was set to come out.'' I tip my hat to you, Bill Amend.
*** It also mentioned its long release cycle and lampshaded ComicBookTime simultaneously. Jason said he'd been waiting eleven years to play ''Starcraft II'' - but because he's only ten years old, he started waiting while he was in the womb.
** Another one involved the Xbox 360's Kinect, demonstrated why you shouldn't play it with mosquito bites, and even included a fake achievement in the game Jason was playing.
** One that deserves special mention: Jason pretending he's shooting VideoGame/{{portal}}s at his sister in real life. The portal gun has the same orange/blue light that shows the last-fired portal in the game. [[ShownTheirWork Goddamn]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Digital Unrest'' has had a couple of cracks at this trope: [[http://www.digitalunrestcomic.com/index.php?date=2008-05-12 Here]] and [[http://digitalunrestcomic.com/index.php?date=2007-06-18 here.]]
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' makes lots of references to gaming technology that does not (yet?) exist in the real world, such as the UsefulNotes/PlayStation4, [[VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution Mosh Mosh Revolution]] ("Tohya, what's a mosh?") and a RobotGirl accessory for DatingSim games.
** Early in the strip's run (2001) characters are seen wearing [=PlayStation=] 3 paraphernalia, including a jacket with the line "Live in your world, Die in mine." parodying a Sony ad campaign of the time. Said character has been updated to feature a [=PlayStation=] 4 jacket. Sony developers in both cases were talking about developing said sequel consoles right as the current consoles were about to be released.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20081122.html this strip]] from ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob''. Bob just isn't a very "state-of-the-art" kind of guy.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/TheGuild'', consisting largely of references to a game similar to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' (by a writer who [[OneOfUs was addicted to it for several years]]) obviously averts this for the most part. It seems like it falls into this trope, though, with Tinkerballa, who's constantly playing a UsefulNotes/NintendoDS with old-school ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' sounds.
* WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd, where some shots show him using the controller while also showing the screen, usually to point out how delayed or confusing the controls are in a game.
** Also parodied in the ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' episode, where the ninja can play well because he can press the buttons really fast, and never stops ButtonMashing while playing the game. Although, this example seems to suggest that he's not ''randomly'' button mashing, he's pressing the right button at the right time, it just ''looks'' that way because the game is so hard and requires reaction times that quick.
** The Nerd also parodies this in the "AVGN Games" episode, released in 2013, where he says he was first alerted to a game based on himself back in 2008. The reason it took him so long to finally review it was because that's how long it took to load on his Commodore 64 (though when another game crashes on him later, he's forced to admit that it's just a joke, and he's really playing on a modern Windows PC). He also plays a smartphone game where he is a GuestFighter on an old rotary dial phone.
* WebVideo/AgentsOfCracked - Swaim mentions emulation and Night Trap, and is shown playing ''VideoGame/MetalSlug''.
* WebVideo/JonTron parodies this in almost every review, frequently using the wrong controller to play the game, putting the cartridge in wrong (like putting the cartridge in sideways, throwing the cartridge at the console and missing, or standing the cartridge up and trying to plug the ''console'' into it, etc) and whenever the console is shown, it's frequently a bizarre mish-mash of incompatible parts. The last part reaches its zenith in his ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' review, where he apparently plays the game on an SNES with a the box for ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' in the cartridge slot, and a Gamecube controller taped to the controller port.
** His review for DinoCity starts off with him trying to figure out which console it's played with, trying to use it on a DS, a [=PS3=], a PC's CD tray, a wireless router and a dishwasher (three times) before realizing it's supposed to go with the 'SMBS'. Then he plugs the cartridge in upside down.
* Also parodied by the WebVideo/ThirdRateGamer, where he's frequently using the wrong controller to button-mash his way through the game, and sometimes it's not even a controller, like when he starts playing ''VideoGame/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' with a pair of headphones.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''
** The episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" revolves around the real-life [=MMORPG=] ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', complete with plenty of gameplay footage (part of it was {{Machinima}}). Blizzard lent a lot of assistance to make the episode (they're apparently big ''South Park'' fans, but then again who isn't?) The episode, however, has many intentional inconsistencies compared to the real game -- although, in a [[{{Defictionalization}} reverse example]], Blizzard actually put [[http://www.wowpedia.org/Slayer_of_the_Lifeless some]] of the content from the episode into the game after the episode aired. Of course the fact that the gameplay footage is considerably more sophisticated than the ''South Park'' animation adds to the fun. Not to mention that their teacher is trying to teach them about computers using a lesson plan from the '80s.
** Not to mention the ''VideoGame/GuitarHero''-themed episode, which depicts Stan and Kyle as being the first ever to reach "one million points!" Viacom appears ashamed of this clip.
** Episode 1214, "The Ungroundable", had the kids playing the PC version of the recently released ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: World At War''. It also included a reference to the "Flak Jacket Glitch", where a player using the Flak Jacket perk, which normally reduces damage taken from explosives, could not be insta-killed with either the combat knife or bayonet.
** In "Whale Whores", the boys are seen playing Music/LadyGaga's "Poker Face" on ''VideoGame/RockBand''. At the time, the song was not available as DLC. In March 2010, four Lady Gaga tracks were released: not only including Poker Face, but a version with Cartman on vocals for DLC.
* Played with in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''. Near the end, Arthur and company are playing a video game that touts itself as one of the best ever -- up to and until the actual gameplay. SEE! 16-bit graphics that would look primitive on the early SNES! HEAR! 8-bit early NES-style music! WITNESS! Gameplay that would make ''VideoGame/{{Action 52}}'' look fun! The general consensus among the characters is obviously along the lines of "what am I looking at?!"
** In the episode, "D.W's Stray Netkitten", D.W plays an online game which looks like a VERY accurate depiction of [=WebKins=], complete with the real-life stuffed animal that you buy in order to take care of your pet online.
** Arthur in general is bad at this. It has many pop culture {{Shout Out}}s but the games never seem to get past the late 16-bit era at best.
* The depiction of games on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' throughout the show's run have usually been ''close'' to current, although the show's long history means that the early seasons would appear to suffer from this trope if viewed today.
** The game played by Bart and Homer in "Moaning Lisa" (1990) is similar to ''Mike Tyson's VideoGame/PunchOut'' (1987).
** "Bonestorm", as depicted in "Marge Be Not Proud" (1995), is named after ''VideoGame/BloodStorm'' and parodies ''Franchise/MortalKombat''-style games. [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] and {{Franchise/Sonic|TheHedgehog}} also appear in the episode.
** However, it stumbles into the trope ''[[RuleOfCool spectacularly]]'' in "Yokel Chords" (2007). Therapist Dr. Swanson attempts to gain Bart's interest with the popular video game "[[UltraSuperDeathGorefestChainsawer3000 Death Kill City II: Death Kill Stories]]". (Bear with me here...) Swanson and Bart {{button mash|ing}} furiously, both swinging their controllers side to side like an angry chimpanzee (Bart's tongue is out, too), playing what is apparently a fighting game. A martial artist and cyborg fight each other for a bit, and both are dispatched by a sudden ninja attack. A missile then comes down and nukes the area. An announcer then says "You have destroyed all human life on Earth. Level 1 complete."
** TheMovie goes the other way: Homer plays ''Grand Theft Walrus'', in a bar, ''on an arcade machine''. ''In Alaska.''
** Another episode had Lisa becoming addicted to "Dash Dingo", an obvious homage to ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' which was released at the height of that series' popularity on what was clearly a [=PlayStation=]. Like in ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot2CortexStrikesBack'', the hero is given instructions on gathering crystals via giant floating head.
** And then there was an RPGEpisode, with many of the townsfolk playing it. They had plenty of jokes like how silly it is to accept quests from strangers, Bart being a kid IRL but [[ADarkerMe really powerful in the game]], Moe wondering why he is paying $15 a month for this, etc. Granted, there were also departures from realism, but they were not greater then the show's usual departures from realism of [[MundaneFantastic the "real" town]] in comparison to real life. Overall, the depiction was pretty accurate and faithful, even complete with a {{H|eadsUpDisplay}}UD accurate for [=MMORPGs=]. What's strange though, is that people in real life knew who each other's avatar equivalents were, perhaps because their avatars were identical to their real-life selves and even their personalities (like Moe being the ButtMonkey).
** And then there's the 2007 game, ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsGame'', which is an affectionate parody of several well-known [=IPs=], and for the most part avoids TheProblemWithLicensedGames (fortunately).
** In "Million Dollar Maybe" Lisa buy a "Funtendo Zii" for the old people's home, which was a pretty accurate depiction of the actual console.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''
** In the "Chicken Ball Z" episode it is easy to recognize the game Billy was playing on his handheld by the sound effects -- it's ''VideoGame/WarioLand II'', probably one of the later levels, based on the music. Billy calls it something different, of course, and no visuals are shown.
** "Opposite Day," the first episode to air before Cartoon Network officially picked up the show, has Billy and Mandy play an expy of ''VideoGame/MarioKart64''. They seem to be using their controllers accurately, and the controllers resemble those found on a real Nintendo 64 (albeit with four prongs instead of three). Suffice to say, Grim is the only one that has trouble figuring it out.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls''
** In one episode the Mayor is playing what is clearly ''Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', or a near parody, (albeit so badly that he "accidentally" kills his own fairy), which was a fairly recent release at that point. He's also holding what is obviously the Nintendo 64's iconic controller. Although If he killed [[TheScrappy Navi]], he may not be so bad at the game after all. In addition, the music playing during this scene is a slow, atmospheric piece using Nintendo 64-style MIDI and sounds like it could've actually been in an ''Ocarina of Time'' dungeon.
** Played straight in "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever", Blossom seeks out the other two after a long-since abandoned game of hide-and-seek and finds them using [=N64=] controllers to play... ''VideoGame/{{Pitfall}}''.
** In one scene a TV screen displayed a picture and played noise that was more or less pulled directly from one of the TV's in the [=GameCube=] release of ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing''.
** The opening of another episode saw Ace of the Gangrene Gang playing (and losing) a ''Powerpuff Girls'' FightingGame that, although fictional, was depicted in a fairly realistic manner.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'', the games that periodically threatened the characters were generally believable and fairly current for the time, though they generally used NoCelebritiesWereHarmed versions.
* ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum'' does use ArcadeSounds, but surprisingly, it's {{justified|Trope}}; the only video games or other forms of interactive electronic entertainment seen in the series (so far) are a virtual pet and an arcade game. The latter's status as a homage to old-school ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' makes its use of Atari 2600 ''Donkey Kong'' sound effects even more appropriate.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' once featured an episode about a machine that allows people to enter inside a game of their choice, so Sheen obviously gets inside an ''[[ShowWithinAShow Ultra Lord]]'' game. While the episode took some liberties for RuleOfCool, it actually manages to look like a real game of the time, including the portrayed life bars which get special effects as the characters power up, floating words pointing out P1 and P2, and even a start screen complete with "Start Game / Options".
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' features Judy talking in an online avatar-based chatroom similar to IMVU, accurately predicting technology that ''would not exist until many years later.'' This probably was for the sake of ViewerFriendlyInterface, since it wouldn't be nearly as interesting to watch lines of text silently scrolling up the screen.
* Largely averted in ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko''. This is not surprising, since the relationship between kids and video games is [[WordOfGod a big inspiration for the series]]. The fictional video games discussed in the show are realistic for modern games (though rarely seen on-screen). However, the "penguin cup-and-ball" game played by Jean-Pierre Delmas do use ''Pac-Man'' music but here it's more of a shout-out.
** One episode featured Odd playing ''Tetris'' on what clearly looked like a Game Boy. It's even mentioned by name! It comes back later in the episode as an actual part of the plot.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' showed Robin playing an online game that used the same animation as the show. Granted the game became part of Joker's plot, it also allowed [[MythologyGag an appearance of his future persona Nightwing, in his high collar costume]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' has Steve's [[BlandNameProduct X-Cube]] game system with these kind of graphics, but considering the system is supposed to be the expensive new thing, this is presumably a parody.
** Some of the featured games of the show (''Beetman'' notably) tend to have animations and graphics akin to the NES at best. However, one episode shows Steve and his friends (later Jeff and Haley too) playing a fantasy MMORPG. While the game isn't shown much in the "real world", the in-game scenes appear as [[AnimationBump a more stylized version]] of the rest of the show.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': the end of one episode had Peter accurately playing ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'' on an Xbox 360. And he has no idea how to play, which is played for hilarity - he gets taken out by a sniper[[labelnote:*]]who, incidentally, appears to be [[TheCameo a then-current member of Infinity Ward]], judging by his in-game name[[/labelnote]] while he is busy mashing the A button and hopping in place, and then he blows up a car, himself, and a few teammates with a grenade while trying to hide behind it.
** Older games have also been referenced accurately in the works of Creator/SethMacFarlane, due to his AuthorAppeal for the age in which he grew up. ''Tetris'', ''Super Mario Bros.'' and even ''UsefulNotes/ColecoVision'' have been portrayed faithfully in his shows.
* When ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' does a video game parody they usually do it correctly, only taking liberties for RuleOfFunny. At times they can stretch it a little too far, but even then it's obvious that the creators have done the research.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'' had a game developed for Harvey to test where the graphics were so high-tech all the characters would look like people Harvey knew.
* Most of the video games on ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' are accurate for their time. In some episodes Bobby can be seen playing a Nintendo 64 or [=PlayStation=]; in one he is clearly playing one of the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''
** The episode "Game Over" has the eponymous character and his sister playing a spoof of ''VideoGame/PrimalRage'' (which was only about two years old at the time). Later, when Dexter receives the Atari 2600-looking game ''Master Computer'', he describes it as "a really ''old'' video game" that he'd already played and beaten years earlier, then proceeds to list the reasons why the games sucks to Dee Dee, citing stuff such as "No multiplayer, one mode of play[[note]]Both of which are blatantly contradicted moments later, showing him playing against Deedee and the computer, indicating it has both singleplayer and multiplayer (He may have been referring to online multiplayer)[[/note]], vertex graphics, that the guys don't even bleed". When he gets transported into the game, it has several {{Shout Out}}s to ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' and ''VideoGame/PacMan'', with a bit of ''Film/{{Tron}}'' thrown in there for good measure.
** A Season 3 episode has a short scene with college students playing what appears to be ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'', complete with one of them referring to another player as Yoshi.
* The ''Series/MuppetBabies'' episode "It's Only Pretendo" has the babies playing lots of different video games, they are done in a DeepImmersionGaming style, but they are all clear references to real NES games like ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'', ''VideoGame/{{Frogger}}'', Nintendo Track and Field, and an AdventureGame.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' zig-zags this with BMO, a sentient robot who doubles up as a games console. The games he plays are very primitive, but it's unclear how much of this is down to the post-apocalyptic setting or BMO himself (he strongly resembles an original Game Boy). He's shown playing ''VideoGame/SuperHexagon'' at one point, so the staff can't be ''that'' out of touch.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is renowned for its lovingly detailed depictions of real game consoles. One especially nice touch is when Peridot creates a laser gun controlled with a Nintendo 64 controller, and when Steven says he's having trouble using it (on moral grounds), she misunderstands him as having problems with the analog stick and says "Then use the D-pad."
** Steven himself owns a Gamecube (called a Dolphin in universe, the original codename for the system) and [[https://i.redditmedia.com/qs2TcaAvEMdjEC32Bv0pZbHwtUlSOWsMsarM4EnLszE.png?w=404&s=fd1e8467c60b6a449bc62d407428ec27 has some games based off real ones.]] This is an outdated console given the 2010s atmosphere of the series, but that's completely understandable given Steven's unique situation (being a gamer is not likely a part of his identity so he'd have no reason to upgrade hastily).
** Sour Cream owns Gameboys, [[http://66.media.tumblr.com/2fb8817977d6e7899a31f3b1c166785d/tumblr_nvhspg4mFl1uwt9qlo1_1280.jpg including the Advanced]]. But in this case, he uses them as part of a DJ setup to play chiptune-style music.
** [[https://i.redditmedia.com/zGqilWkMc2FIu6WNYYit8xwzVQe9xRoGagjLC2TvBeQ.png?w=1024&s=439693d2d7c04ed148f274f48309aaf8 Connie meanwhile seems to have modern 2010s]] games on her laptop like parodies of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'', ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'', and ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' with a program that resembles Steam.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' plays with this from time to time. Examples include some of Lincoln's games including a CaptainErsatz of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' on what appears to be an N64 cartridge and a survival horror game played on a pair of modern VR goggles that appears to have Intellivision-quality graphics.