Fictional Video Games / Consoles Thread

Inspired by @Gaagaagiins 's All of the Times in The Sopranos where someone is playing a videogame’s Thread i’ve decided to start a thread in which fictional games or consoles are shown in movies/tv shows/ cartoons / anime manga etc

I’ll start:
Kero playing a fighting game - Cardcaptor Sakura (1998)

This one is probably inspired by a Saturn / SNES


I have a big collection of these! One of my favorites is from one of the sillier episodes of Elementary, where someone gets murdered to keep up the value of a legendary recalled game.

You only ever see a screenshot and the box art of the game the mystery is about, but there’s another game for a pseudo-Atari console that Holmes has to beat to get info from the recurring hacker collective and it turns out Watson dominates at it because she used to play it as a kid.

The artist who created the game sequences put the whole thing on vimeo (which it turns out still exists) and aside from the sequence at the end, it feels surprisingly almost believable as a game from the Atari era.


I’m rewatching The Bear and the restaurant has a cabinet for a game called Ballbreaker. This is a pretty solid one because they use it in the plot of an episode (drumming up business with a tournament) but also explain why it’s only popular enough for a niche tournament at a small restaurant by saying it’s like a too-violent for America lost Polish arcade game and that it’s also an innovative scrolling beat em up / fighter combination.


I remember this episode! As a T.O., i got to see the other side of venue stuff.
Nice one.

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Modchip to make it play CD-Rs, no doubt.

In the very first scene of the 2020 Hardy Boys show they play a made up game that looks like a sort of Rastan Saga clone, but then has adventure elements. Just funny that it clearly looks like a 16-bit game but they play it on an Atari VCS.



I always wanted Drake & Josh’s GameSphere



The Simpsons S7E11 Marge Be Not Proud has some all-time classics:


Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge




Do y’all want to look at examples from inside actual video games, too? Here’s the retro console in the original Katamari Damacy, which reminds me of Famicom clones.

Katamari Damacy_SLUS-21008_20230515225630


@samderboo That one is a mix of the NES, Famicom, and PC Engine, which you can really tell if you look at the game that goes with it ^^

Isn’t that so cool
I have more examples from games too
Nontendo 4DS from Rusty’s Real-Deal Baseball

This treasure from Part-Time UFO
I love the fake Famicom boxes they made for the Splatoon minigames

And lastly, the Game & Watch 9000 from Wario Master of Disguise, which allegedly has 50 screens that when unfolded “take up as much space as a timeshare condo”


In Star Trek III some extras are briefly seen playing a Red Baron looking vector game over some kind of holographic table. Must be horrible to play a flight sim from a fixed camera angle…



Season 10 Episode 05 of Murder, She Wrote has a real all-timer VR plot where Jessica’s helping with some last-minute QA on a VR mystery that she wrote the script for. Very strong Psychic Detective / 7th Guest vibes from the fake gameplay footage, plus you get to see Angela Lansbury miming gameplay in a very 90s VR getup.


Here’s another type of fictional video games: Games made up by magazines, for fun (and sometimes more dubious reasons).

Like this review for “Orient Express” in the April 1983 issue of Electronic Fun with Computers and Games, which kind of predicted point-and-click adventure games several years before they were a thing. My favorite detail is that the writer apparently didn’t know Poirot is Belgian, so the French national anthem plays if you win.


They even added a fake reader submission by one Ernest Frimbo in the hints section, to make the illusion “perfect”:

Funnily enough, apparently some other magazine fell for it, even though the screenshot was pretty obviously made up even in the age when many mag screens were still more like an artist’s interpretation of the game. Here’s an actual(?) reader submission in the December issue about that:


Ran out of time while writing the last post, but the whole “another magazine thinks its real and plagiarizes the fake review” story reminds me of a funny old story among German magazines of the 90s.

There was once a title called “Nasty Zone” that appeared in a list of upcoming N64 releases in a magazine called N-Zone and then also in a list in the mag Total! (which was a license of the UK mag but had independent editorial staff and content) - only the title was made up by the former. I guess the names of the fake game and magazine should have given it away. The developer of the game was also listed as Haip Software - standing for the editor in chief’s name Ha(ns) Ip(ppisch) (he actually made some C64 games years earlier under the Haip Software name).

The story could just have ended there, OK embarrassing case of bad fact checking on the part of the Total! mag, but the N-Zone guy tried to spin the silly case of one faux title in a list as this big plagiarism scandal…

… and the other mag, just decided to take the piss out of the whole affair and made up this mock preview with mock screenshots where they implied the game was so terrible that they convinced the dev to just cancel it and do something useful with their time instead.

They also had this silly photo story (they did those a lot) showing their research and manufacturing process, with the N-Zone going into a copier and the Total! coming out of it.


ballbreaker graphics were done by a guy I (we?) know called Diego Garcia. He also made Casual Birder, the one game both frank and I played on the Play Date. The Bear: Ballbreaker - Diego E. Garcia

@roamunit I love this era of “game graphics” in which folks were like - sure, we’ll have completely realistic computer graphics. it’ll be just real people. BUT!!! the resolution will be absolutely terrible.


In the Netflix feature Bandersnatch, a young man is making a game for the ZX-Spectrum.

I never had or played that system, but I feel like they did a decent job of recreating games from that era. The part that stands out to me is the color palettes of the fake games you see.

And apparently you can play one of the fake games featured in the movie on a ZX-Spectrum emulator, or real hardware too, I imagine.

While looking for pics of this thread, I found an article featuring someone who is currently working on trying to recreate Bandersnatch. Crazy stuff!


Very recent example: The 4th episode of X-Men '97 has parts that are presented as a 2D brawler/fighting game, made by well-known pixel artist and animator Jon Davis.


There’s a older thread on this subject. It needs editing so maybe we can just redo the posts in this thread rather than merge them. Press F for Fake (a thread of fake games)


Grandma’s Boy, raunchy comedy from 2006 about a frustrated QA guy who happens to develop a whole triple A game all on his own in his free time. While “his” game, Demonik was technically an actual project in development at Terminal Reality, that was never published, so in a way I guess it turned out a fictional game. Oh and also the multiplayer mode they play in the movie was completely fake.


But the movie also features a completely bs game called Eternal Death Slayer 3. Seems that not everyone was on the same page what it was supposed to be though, cause when the QA people play it it’s a 1 on 1 fighter (mock up also made by Terminal Reality and contains some modified characters from BloodRayne 2) but when the sociopath loser programmer genius antagonist is “developing” it, it’s a barely functional open world type environment with some dude in a suit who loses his head as a bug. There’s also a QA issue report mentioned that doesn’t vibe with either version, about elves on level 2 and dwarves on level 4 or some such nonsense.


They also have a ton of posters of real games around the dev studio, alongside “funny” ones like these.