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Small Reference Pools: Video Games
  • Pong
  • 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.
  • Mario Kart
  • Any action-adventure game is almost automatically deemed a clone of The Legend of Zelda.
  • Halo
  • Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The latter is already considered a cash-in of the former.
  • DDR
  • 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 FPS genre "Doom Clones". Mostly because there was a short period after it's release where almost every FPS was a Doom clone.
  • Pokémon, 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".
  • Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. Remember the aforementioned "Doom Clones" example above? 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. This has even come to include Doom.
  • 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 RTS's 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, its not uncommon for non-gamers to be familiar with the names Oblivion and Skyrim, but to have never heard of The Elder Scrolls in their life.
  • As aforementioned, the common connotation of videogames is that of Atari/NES games or gory M-rated shooters.
  • If you mention Fighting Games, chances are the only specific example given will be either Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros..

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