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Small Reference Pools: Video Games
  • To most people, Pong was the first video game ever made. Never mind that the nebulous origins of video games date back even farther, or that there was a console before the Atari 2600.
  • Super Mario Bros., often merged with Donkey Kong. It's wholly possible to meet people who think they're the same game. And good luck finding anyone who knows that there was a Mario Bros. arcade game before there was SUPER Mario Bros., or that Donkey Kong arcade had not one, but two sequels.
  • Any action-adventure game is almost automatically deemed a clone of The Legend of Zelda.
  • Halo
  • Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The latter is considered a cash-in of the former.
  • Dance Dance Revolution
  • Any arcade game that was wildly popular in the 1980s. Specificaly, the ones you see the most often are Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Frogger.
  • If the subject is censorship, expect Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat to show up.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog, known among non-gamers only for the classic Mega Drive/Genesis titles, and chances are if a classic Sega game is brought up, you can always expect Sonic the Hedgehog to be mentioned, and a few other significant Sega classics like Golden Axe or Columns if they're really, really on the ball.
  • SimCity, The Sims, and their spinoffs
  • Tomb Raider. The only thing that non-gamers know about the game series is that it features a certain very busty heroine.
  • Doom; in fact, people used to call the First-Person Shooter genre "Doom clones". Mostly because there was a short period after its release where almost every FPS was a Doom clone.
  • Pokémon: Anything after Gen 1 will rarely be featured, also the anime's characters are better known than those from the games, so parodies are MUCH more likely to have "Ash and Pikachu" than "Red", and will have Pokémon Speak and be blatantly Merchandise-Driven. If not to the anime or to some nonexistent hybrid of the anime and games (Super Smash Bros. says hi), then references will inevitably be to "Pokémon cards".
  • Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. Remember the aforementioned "Doom clones" example? If you're a first-person shooter, let alone a 'modern' or 'near future' shooter, expect to be called out as a Call of Duty clone.
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Dungeons & Dragons or a Brand X version thereof—Sometimes this is assumed to be the title of a video game, by people who have heard the name and have no idea that tabletop roleplaying games exist.
  • World of Warcraft—The preceding Real-Time Strategy games do not exist.
    • Real-time strategy games in general probably don't exist, but if one does, it is almost certain to be Warcraft, especially since its MMO spinoff became such a huge success.
  • Pitfall. Few non-gamers might know the game's name, but the basic image of a stick figure-like man swinging on vines over lakes and pits seems to be rather familiar to people in general.
  • If you're lucky enough to find a work that references a fighting game, it's Street Fighter or Tekken. Otherwise it's a generic anime-styled combo-fest. Mortal Kombat, too, if people remember that it's a fighting game and not a gore simulator.
  • If you're lucky enough to spot a JRPG reference, it's going to be either Dragon Questnote  or Final Fantasynote .
  • For landmark puzzle video games, Tetris will always be the go-to reference point, and sometimes Dr. Mario or Puzzle League will be mentioned.
  • If a western Role-Playing Game is at all referenced by a non-gamer, expect it to be either The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion or more recently, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Also, it's not rare for non-gamers to be familiar with the names Oblivion and Skyrim, but to have never heard of The Elder Scrolls in their lives.
  • As aforementioned, the common connotation of video games is that of eight-bit Atari/NES games or gory M-rated shooters.
  • When you ask a random gamer what are So Bad, It's Horrible video games, people will usually think about E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 (yes, there are multiple games called like that), Superman 64 and occasionally Pac-Man for the Atari 2600, but do not expect them to know about any other terrible video game ever made.

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