Interestingly, Serial Experiments Lain did something like that. In one of the early chapters of the series, there are several teenagers stuck in an online shooter called Phantoma without even being logged on to their computers, and confusing random people with enemy NPCs as a result. One of them commits suicide, while the other one murders a little girl.
This was obviously intentional, given how one of the main themes of the series was the ever-growing disconnect with reality that most Wired developed. It's not about the violence, it's more about the reality itself and its perception.
And subverted in that the "real world" is not all that real either.
Subverted in Paranoia Agent. The detectives are interviewing the suspect for the Shounen Bat assaults. The boy seems convinced that he is living in the world of an RPG he played, and all the people he assaulted were, to him, the enemies controlled by the Big Bad that needed to be cleansed with his magical, holy sword. In the end it turns out that the kid wasn't the real Shounen Bat, he was just an attention seeker.
Mamimi from FLCL spends half the second episode playing Fire Starter, a handheld video game with the objective of "burn down a demon-infested city while dodging the cops". (She spends another quarter hanging out with Naota, and the last quarter starting fires). But being Mamimi, she's incredibly whacked anyway, so the game's probably not really to blame.
Subverted in Pure Trance: some of the games that are mentioned are "Connect the Bowels" (kind of appropriate since most of the characters are nurses), "Throw The Baby Around", and "Real Fight", a fighting game that uses "ordinary things like scissors and razors as weapons (not for children)".
A running gag in Minami-ke is a bad Soap Opera called Sensei and Ninomiya-Kun. The two youngest daughters own a copy of the show's video game which runs the gamut from fighter games to platforming to zombie survival horror (complete with co-op) leading to many deaths of Ninomiya-Kun.
Scott McCloudexplains his reason for writing the Affectionate ParodyDESTROY!!: "I first heard people complaining about a Marvel comic called SuperBoxers and claiming that it was "nothing but senseless violence from beginning to end." I thought this sounded cool, but was disappointed, upon acquiring a copy, to discover that SuperBoxers included a plot, characterization, and other distractions. It wasn't PURE. DESTROY!! was my attempt to get it right."
Although a gamer from the old generation, Lewis Trondheim suggested such videogames in his stories: Danger Trash III, Deathfighter III, Maximum Blood XVI or Excreminator.
In Grandma's Boy, the video game in development is Eternal Death Slayer 3.
In the Spike Lee film Inside Man, the leading bank robber sees one of the hostages, an African-American boy, playing a GTA-like game of plotless violence with racial overtones. He's not happy. It should also be noted that the graphics on the game are pretty good for a handheld device.
Clockers has Gangster, which appears to be some kind of proto-GTA played via VR helmet and supposedly made by Sega.
In the Robin Williams film Toys, the General Ripper antagonist sees children playing violent games at an arcade and has the bright idea to use the children to fight wars by remote control, in the style of Ender's Game.
General: (very heavily paraphrased) What happens when you hit the UN trucks? Kid: You lose points. General: That's ridiculous. (blows up every vehicle on screen, UN trucks included)
Zabulon's prophetic video game in The Film of the Book of Night Watch is a pretty gory example, involving among other things people pulling out their own spines like katanas and hitting people with them.
The Swedish So Bad, It's Good 1997 crime/detective movie Beck - Spår i mörker, a gang of teenagers who live in the underground tunnels beneath Stockholm run around armed with swords and knives and decapitate random people on subway platforms and trains at night. It's quickly revealed that they do it to get the most frags, and that they are inspired by the game Final Doom (the script writers probably did not know that a version of Doom actually existed by that name), and in the end the gang's underground hideout is raided by the police, and you clearly see the game Marathon on their computer screens.
The mind control game central to the plot of Gamer is called Slayers.
In Mars Attacks!, a bus driver catches her sons cutting school to play a shoot-em-up game, stops the bus, and hauls them in, yelling at them, whereupon the passengers (who are all middle-aged women) clap. Later, though, it turns out that playing those games taught them how to shoot and they mow down several alien invaders with their own laser guns.
The video game Adam Sandler's character's kids play at the beginning of Grown Ups involves slaughtering people on a cruise ship with assault rifles and chainsaws and you get bonus points for pushing old ladies off the ship.
In Ride Along, Ben is a fan of an ultraviolent Modern Warfare clone whose online multiplayer is composed of players of varying degrees of maturity, with gamertags like Assface and Ballsdeep. Ben's own gamertag is BlackHammer. The fact that his knowledge of guns comes entirely from video games bites him in the ass when his girlfriend's cop brother James takes him to a shooting range as part of a police ride-along; it turns out that being a top-level FPS gamer does not mean that one knows howto fire a gun. Though his knowledge of the exotic military weaponry featured in the game does come in handy for tracking down Omar. Also, Assface warns Ben and James when he hears Omar's goons break into Ben's home over his Xbox Live headset.
Dave Barry's Money Secrets includes a passing reference to Death Killer of Fatal Murdering II: The Slaying.
Dave Barry's column "Silent Night, Holy %*&?c" features a cartoon of a boy asking Santa for a "Nintendo Super Android Mario Mutant Amazon Slime Leech from Hell(TM)."
CSI: Miami went to town with the trope. A not-GTA-honest game was essentially a nonstop synaesthetic rollercoaster of violence, robbery, murder and rape (though only on bonus rounds), causing easily influenced youngsters to mimic these acts point-by-point while shouting "9000 points, bitch!" The protagonists got lines like "It'll all be very real soon" and "So he played <dramatic pause> to death." (YEEEAAAAHHHH!!!) Also notable for gamers giving their nicks as their names in interrogations, total ignorance of sites like GameFAQs... you get the picture.
The writers apparently also haven't played any game since 1984, or perhaps ever, since the game in the episode had no save feature. That's right, a game in the 2000's with no save feature. How very realistic.
That explains the Take That that World of Warcraft placed in its recent Cataclysm expansion: an NPC called "Horatio Laine" is investigating a murder in Westfall, and another NPC calls him the dirtiest cop he's ever known.
Unlike most examples of this trope, the crimes are not really blamed on the game itself, but on the suspects, who are portrayed as people who have trouble separating the game and reality, or simply don't care about the difference. The game is distasteful, and the guy who made it is obstructive because he wants to protect his company, but that's about it. They even portray an obsessive player who poopsocks himself to death, and it's clearly his own fault, not the game.
Computer game CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder had an "episode" where fictional game "Gut Wrench 3" was central to the plot. And yes, fictional game was a FPS, was that bloody, and yes, murder imitated game's poster. Although in subversion the murder had nothing to do with the nature of the game, real motive was boss cheating one of his employees out of their promised bonus. Resemblance to poster was there to throw suspicion at somebody else.
3 Dimensions of Murder itself fits this trope. In name, at least.
Served as an important plot point in The District episode "Something Borrowed, Something Bruised." Complete with flashes to and from reality and screams of "It was only a game!" The goal of the game is to beat an unarmed bystander to death.
Killer Instinct (no relation to the Fighting Game), episode "Game Over." Constantly used the phrase "murder simulator" and went downhill from there. The game in question was a Grand Theft Auto clone called Murder One: San Francisco.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit featured a subversion in one episode. A boy obsessed with a console RPG was suspected of killing another child, and the game itself was held responsible when evidence found at the scene was heavily reminiscent of the events and setting of the story. However, after playing through the entire game the detectives realized that he was imitating the game's "rescue the princess" storyline, and had actually tried to help the child by replicating the actions that restored the princess. There was a later episode with a straight version of the trope with a GTA clone, but "the game made them do it" was the defense and the prosecution quickly set to tearing that defense apart. Another episode revolved around a clone Second Life, where the rapist used the game to track down his victim. However, the detectives turn the tables and use the game itself to find the necessary evidence to convict the felon.
And while still on the social MMO topic, NUMB3RS actually avoided this trope when they did an Alternate Reality Game with a video game component that stuck to fairly standard fantasy violence. And they ran the game in the show as an actual Alternate Reality Game. And the show wasn't an Author Tract about video game violence. And on the whole was pretty cool.
Law & Order did an episode where a character kills someone because the game "made him crazy". The game was actually called Blood, which is the name of a real shooter, this one however was described as basically killing random people for no discernible reason and was supposedly of Halo-like fame. Also if memory serves the killer wrote a Fan Fic about his gameplay experience using...wildly inaccurate slang, and describing what can only be called the deformed offspring of Quake and Pac-Man. "9000 points bitch!" indeed.
Aveted, where at least two of the protagonists are gamers themselves. One case is solved because one of these has played GTA 3, thus knowing which real-life car a teenager referred to when he named the ingame equivalent.
There's an episode where two navy crewmen who played an MMORPG 'Immortals', a fairly transparent World of Warcraft parody, ended up dueling with swords, and one of them kills himself out of disillusionment with the game. Early eps of the series seem to have a Nerd Culture Is Evil Vibe going. Makes you wonder why they bother doing all this investigative stuff when they could just walk in and arrest the guy with the biggest knowledge of sci-fi/comic books.
Played straight with regards to the game Fear Tower 3 which involves shooting zombies in the head to kill them... and then shooting the brains that crawl out of the bullet holes to kill them. And apparently it's on 30 million computers. The same episode had a flagrant version of digitized Gretzky Has the Ball when McGee claimed a character held the highest scores in multiple MMORPGs... which generally don't have scoring systems. Unless one counts player-versus-player rankings.
Avoided in The Office (US) season 3, when the members of Jim's new office play Call of Duty as an office team activity. The developers themselves were impressed by the hilarious Noob mistakes Jim was making.
And again, where Jim finds Dwight's character on Second Life. Dwight's Second Life has his own Second Life. He also flies, a feature Dwight finds very liberating.
In Kamen Rider Ryuki, Shibaura Jun (Kamen Rider Gai) creates a fighting game that gradually makes the players so obsessed with the game that they start re-enacting it in live-action, to the death.
Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode featuring a 24th Century version of such a game used as part of an attempt to take over the minds of the crew and thus the Enterprise as a whole. Data and Wesley successfully resisted the "lure" of the game, the latter resorting to what can only be described as video-game inspired tricks to lead the mind-controlled members of the crew on a merry chase through the rest of the ship while Data worked on an antidote for the addictive qualities of the game. And then he got to kiss Ashley Judd.
This is a bit of a subversion as the game itself was entirely non-violent, and consisted of herding red discs into funnels. Indeed, the game is described as "practically playing itself"; if you try to not win, it makes you win anyway. The episode suggests that the game's rewards are literally orgasmic.
An episode of Tekwar: The Series featured a Tek video game where the point is to kill cops. The game was designed to convince the players that they were still in the game even after they stopped playing, causing them to kill cops in real life.
In an episode of the CBBC series Stupid! one character is playing a game called Killing People 3.
Gutwrencher 1, a classic arcade game on The Middleman, is so violent, it's banned in 17 countries and is the only arcade game ever to have been condemned by both Tipper Gore and the Dalai Lama. And it's the game that leads to Wendy and Tyler's first hookup.
Trying very hard to forget the episode of Touched by an Angel entitled "Virtual Reality", where a good student immediately turns bad after his cousin introduces him to "Car Jack 2000: Millennium Mayhem". Rife with Pac Man Fever when the game shouts out "2000 points" every time someone is run over, as well as have having an evil CG monk lead the characters in a prayer to the video game.
Killman 4 in the German show Polizeiruf 110 which consists based on the in-game sounds heard in the episode of air raid alarms and shooting children as a child soldier. Yeah.
Referenced in Two and a Half Men where Jake and Kandi are playing an unnamed violent video game. Alan walks in and remarks, "My word, this game is violent." To which Kandi replies, "It has to be. You can't negotiate with zombies!" Touche.
X-Play has Johnny X-treme's X-treme Adventure, a game that will PUNCH YOUR BALLS OFF TO THE MAX! This is a TV show about video games, so this one is entirely tongue-in-cheek.
The George Lopez Show subverts this in one episode. Max mentions playing a Grand Theft Auto rip-off, and Angie and George don't want him playing it. George then says that he doesn't want Max playing it because he doesn't want Max to beat his high score.
Rizzoli & Isles gives us "Virtual Love", wherein a man is murdered with a Viking spear engraved with the name of his character in the game "Vikings of the Realm" on it. Apparently their characters go to LAN parties in full Viking regalia, complete with real weapons (one of which the Killer of the Week uses to kill another victim).
Just look at this atrocity! There's hoodlums, thugs, and skanks / And chronic-tokin' gangstas running hookers down with tanks / There's nudity and blood and guts and chainsaws cutting people / And that's just in the new updated 3-D Tetris sequel!
The strip sometimes uses the names of real games— for example, Carmageddon, which is an actual game.
Sometimes the names of Jason's games combine the names of two violent real games; in one series of strips, he was playing something called DukeQuakum, and in one strip, Paige complained that he was playing PrimalInstinct. (Not because she thought it was too violent, but because he was hogging it, and she wanted to play.
Not to mention "World of Warquest," and Jason's rather extreme addiction thereof. However, all of this could be an Affectionate Parody as Bill Amend, the creator, is quite the avid World of Warcraft player as well.
It then brilliantly subverts it by introducing "Nice City", a game where the player just hangs out not killing anything at all. Literally. Peter has to reset after stepping on an ant.
One news report in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines involves a "Senator Limperman" railing against violent video games such as Rape and Pillage and Abe Lincoln Teaches Killing. (He's also upset about a crude Take That directed at him in another unnamed game).
Super Viking Shark Panch Corpse Ride Mega Extreme 9000 lampshades this trope by name, despite being of the rhythm genre. It involves punching sharks in the mouth while riding a corpse to the beat of music.
That said, Grand Theft Auto V does have a parody of this sort of game with Righteous Slaughter 7, the Modern Warfare-meets-Postal FPS that Jimmy is seen playing in his room, which is packed with every stereotype about violent video games (and their fans) rolled into one. Weapons include syringes filled with VDs (which earn the player an "Infected!" bonus) and a literal shit on a stick, the player is able to literally rape his opponent's corpse after killing him, and never is less than a quarter of the screen painted red with blood. The game's website (viewable on the in-game internet) and advertisements take the parody further, making fun of the Cash Cow Franchise nature of the Call of Duty games. Jimmy himself hasn't been turned into a psychopath by it, though that's not to say that his actualbehavior is any better.
In the same game, there are also advertisements on the radio for Pride Not Prejudice, a Deep South-themed FPS that (going by the ads) is utterly draped in neo-Confederate apologia, in a parody of the perceived right-wing tilt of many shooters. Unlike Righteous Slaughter 7, though, we don't get to see this game in action.
Thanks to the metafictional narrative around BLOODCRUSHER II, the game is both a fictional example and an actual game!
One Strong Bad Email throws a few gag titles up: Blood Bleeder, Head Chopper II, Scab Wars, and Blistergeist. There is the strong suggestion that these games would be really fun to play. It also pokes fun at the Moral Guardians' alternative, because Homestar can only play Clapping Party: no, it's not like DDR, it's just clapping... This is, of course, a one shot joke, and most of the games that Strong Bad plays and enjoys aren't evil whatsoever, varying between Sundae Drivin' and Thy Dungeonman, which is also a real game playable on the site.
In another email, he mentions a preference for R-rated movies, apparently independent of factors such as "quality" and "not a waste of moneyosity". So it may not be a statement of the entertainment value of the games (except insofar as even ET The Extra Terrestrial would be an improvement over what Homestar's allowed to play) so much as another one of those factors that blurs exactly how old these characters are (when's the last time you automatically equated violence with quality? Probably when you were eight).
Played for Laughs in Freefall: Sam wants to use the ship's computer to play a game called Quake Nukem and the Heretics of Doom in Castle Wolfenstein 3D.
Gunnerkrigg Court plays this one for laughs on this page, where Antimony's first (and judging by her horrified reaction, last) exposure to video games is one of the Grand Theft Auto titles. (Though Word of Tom clarifies that Annie did give video games another chance after that. She was impressed with Shadow of the Colossus, as was Renard.)
In the Jack arc "Two for You", the character Evan mentions a game entitled "Killing Killers and the Killers Who Kill Them" (a play on the book title "Lying Liars and the Liars Who Tell Them").
A User Friendly strip during the Hot Coffee scandal (where it was revealed you could hack GTA: San Andreas to unlock a minigame where you had consensual sex with a woman after a long courtship, outraging moral guardians somehow) listed a number of these games as healthy entertainment, then condemned a title named Boobies as morally corrupt.
The show has mentioned such games repeatedly and featured them at least twice in the early seasons, once with Super Slugfest, which might have been played straight, once with the hottest new beat-em-up Bonestorm, which really wasn't. Later addition: Death Kill City 3: Death Kill Stories. 3 guesses what it's based on.
Also, "Disembowler IV: the game where condemned criminals dig at each other with rusty hooks."
An issue of the comic featured Bart sneaking out to get the new game, "Violent Stick-Men 3D".
The Simpsons being what it is, even Rod and Todd's favorite game, "Billy Graham's Bible Blasters", is a ridiculously over-the-top FPS. "Second Coming! RELOAD! RELOAD!"
In Daria (particularly the fanfics), the title heroine and her best friend love playing the video game 'Cannibal Fragfest'.
Ben Tennyson, the titular hero of Ben 10 is so enamored of the video game "Sumo Slammers" that he has abused the Omnitrix to get at it and even in it.
This trope wouldn't be complete without a mention of the "Vampire Piggy Hunter" series in Invader Zim.
A particularly Anvilicious episode of Pepper Ann, "GI Janie", was about this. Pepper Ann's aunt was asked by someone to do a study on the dangers of video games, so she borrows Pepper Ann's system and plays it continuously for "research". As she plays the game (called War Monger) more and more (which looks like a simulation of the Vietnam War), she starts to think she is actually in the game, which looks like Vietnam veteran flashbacks. In the end she declares that videogames are dangerous because they blur the line between reality and fiction.
The episode "Grand Theft Arlen" features Hank playing a GTA-esque game (probably a Game Mod of San Andreas) known as "Pro-Pain". ("Oh God, I just stabbed a parking attendant. Where's the button to turn yourself in?") It's actually based on his life, being made by a couple of college students to make fun of him. Sort of subverted in the Hank ends up enjoying (and even getting addicted to) the game when he finds out the benefit of the Wide Open Sandbox is that you can choose to do good deeds (like stopping robbers) rather than having to be a criminal himself. Also the game isn't a nation-wide hit but a local fad, only really popular around Rainey Street. (see Rule of Funny)
Another episode has Bobby mention a video game called Face Kicker 3, but it's just a footnote to the main plot (a sensitive liberal turning the Boy ScoutsExpy into a bunch of touchy-feely wimps). When the scoutmaster gets mad at Bobby for showing the game to his kids, Bobby muses "Making all these faces explode can't be good for me."
Spoofed on Robot Chicken with Codename: The Abortionator (Seth Green originally wanted to call it Nun Raper). Highlights include: "Shoot your parents! Urinate on the homeless! Kick a puppy! Make sweet, sweet love to your hot cousin! Or your hot cousin's mentally disabled friend! Take out your aggression the old-fashioned way: with a motor vehicle! Extra points for family members!" "Rated Tfor 'teen'!" Strangely, the DVD commentary for the episode has Green state how he believes this trope is real and bemoans that there are hyper-gory games being marketed to young kids.
The South Park episode "Towlie" introduced a Fighting Game named "Thirst for Blood" for the Okama GameSphere, in which Stan cuts off Carman's face and eats it, among other thing. It would later re-appear in the form of an arcade cabinet in several later episodes.
One episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron mentions a game Jimmy and his friends wanted to buy called Doom Bringer II but the cashier denied their purchase because the game was "for mature players only due to violence, exaggerated mayhem, and old lady kicking."
One episode of Gasp featured Gasp attempting to beat Fred's high score on a video game called Death Race Mutant Zombie Exterminator XV.
Death Race is considered the first controversial gore-fest game, as you drive around running over suspiciously human-looking "Gremlins".
Mortal Kombat is infamous for its blood and fatalities which, combined with Night Trap, resulted in the creation of the ESRB.
The Doom franchise isn't itself an example, but it's a common inspiration for this trope. The third entry in the series has a playful jab at the series' reputation, containing a very silly playable Mini-Game in an arcade machine called Super Turbo Turkey Puncher 3.
The Brutal Doom mod brings the original series very close to this trope. There are other improvements, like tweaking enemy behavior, adding secondary fire and reloading to weapons, and generally making the game harder, but the main draw is the drastic increase in blood and gore and the addition of extremely messy fatalities.
The Wii game MadWorld does its best to live up to this trope, being a pretty obvious commentary on games such as Manhunt and the western media's reaction to them.
The Postal series built its reputation around this.
The Battletoads arcade game, when you think about it. The finishers are gorier, the end level score result is called "Korpse Kount" (probably a nod to Mortal Kombat), and there is a little more adult and dirty humor. The only reason this game probably passed the Moral Guardians' radar was because games like Doom and Mortal Kombat were taking all the heat during the '90s.
Carmageddon, where the point is basically to destroy other cars and run pedestrians over. When Moral Guardians objected, they added a mode that replaced all the pedestrians with zombies.
The upcoming top-down shooter Hatred, in which you play as a mass murderer going on a rampage. It seems to be designed as a throwback to the "glory days" of games like this in the '90s, particularly Postal, while the logo for the game is done in a font very similar to that of Doom.
alternative title(s): Hollywood Game Violence; Ultraviolent Video Game; Ultra Violent Game Within A Show; Ultra Violence The Game; Ultra Violence64; Bloodsoaked Carnage Brothers; Violent Video Game; Absurdly Violent Video Game; Stupidly Violent Video Game; Hollywood Video Game Violence; Video Game Ultra Violence; Gore Fest Chainsawer3000; Super Gore Fest Chainsawer3000; Stereotyped Violent Videogame