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Playing With / The Most Dangerous Video Game

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Basic Trope: A video game turns out to be actively malevolent.

  • Straight: Hell Slaughter, a popular new video game at a local arcade, haunts players in their nightmares and kills them with heart attacks.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: If it looks like the player is going to win the game Hell Slaughter screws with their targeting sight.
    • Hell Slaughter can cause players to catch colds.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • The video game Angel Savior has the power to cure terminal illnesses and remove suicidal impulses.
    • If you get an extra life in the game, you get an extra life in real life!
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    • A MMORPG was planned to use sentient AI to control all NPCs for realistic interaction. The AI was driven to self-deletion after it learned the game's premise, since it doesn't want to deal with millions of Trolls for years.
  • Subverted: A rash of mysterious deaths appears at first to be linked to Hell Slaughter, but it turns out a deranged Media Watchdog is killing people to strengthen his case that video games are evil.
    • What appears to be a dangerous SkeleBot 9000 is actually a holographic projection from a video game: something which appears dangerous is actually a harmless game instead of the other way around.
  • Double Subverted: The Media Watchdog was driven to kill by a malevolent force inside the Hell Slaughter machine.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Hell Slaughter is killing people! No, the victims are proven to have already been suicidal. But how do you explain their hearts being torn out? A serial killer is responsible, using the rumors around the game as cover. However, he was driven to kill by the game! Actually, he was crazy to begin with and the game only provided him with an impetus...
    • Hell Slaughter while disturbingly powerful is more amoral than malicious. While it can kill people based on their actions in game (certain bosses can kill you for real and takes Video Game Cruelty Punishment into reality) it also rewards and even heals and saves the lives of its players. This means despite the danger to someone in desperate enough straits things can only really go up. However it isn't a mere tool. While it tolerates being off for purposes such as maintenance, the arcade being closed, or relocation it has a temper. Do not attempt to unplug it while a game is playing or interfere with a game in progress. Do not attempt to rob or vandalize it or wherever it is placed. And don't place food or drink near it.
  • Averted: Hell Slaughter is unquestionably an incredibly, perhaps gratuitously violent game, but no one experiences any ill effects from playing it (apart from an intense need to throw up after seeing someone's intestines explode for the 200th time).
  • Enforced: The work in question was produced by Media Watchdogs as part of a smear campaign to turn the public against the game industry.
  • Lampshaded: "Why can't the world-destroying force of evil stay on the other side of the screen for a change?"
  • Implied: A Hell Slaughter arcade cabinet is frequently seen in the background before teenage characters snap and murder someone and incidents in psychotic murderous outbursts among teenagers has been noted to be on the rise lately.
  • Invoked: A character consciously avoids playing video games precisely because they're afraid of running afoul of an evil one.
  • Exploited: A serial killer themes his killings after a popular video game, intending to use it as a scapegoat.
  • Defied:
    • The arcade owner has seen one too many late-night movies where deaths occur in the wake of a violent video game coming to town, and so buys Let's Play With The Pink Fuzzy Bunnies instead.
    • Whatever or whoever created Hell Slaughter didn't wanted to risk placing his plan to kill a lot of people in the hands of such things as Metacritic giving it an 8.8 score, so the game is either never made or it is made but it doesn't has the "murder" method — that goes into a porn film, or a Facebook page, or maybe into the subliminal waves of the local reality shows.
  • Discussed: "Don't play it you fool! Hell Slaughter will kill us all!"
  • Conversed: "The scene where the video game turned evil creeped me out." "Why did he keep playing it, then?"
  • Deconstructed: As soon as the arcade owner suspects that Hell Slaughter is killing people, he has the arcade machine taken off the floor and destroyed - possibly exorcised, for good measure.
  • Reconstructed: Hell Slaughter is a demon who's taken the form of an arcade machine. It doesn't take kindly to the owner's attempt to destroy it: the next day, Hell Slaughter is back on the arcade floor, and the arcade owner is found dead from mysterious causes.

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