Ten Fictional Games We Wish Were Real
The games cinephiles want to play.
Light Cycle battles
From: TRON (1982)
There's been a few merchandised games for TRON, famously two arcade games that came out in the first few years after the movie's release, the online adaptation of Space Paranoids, and a PC game called TRON 2.0, which came out in 2003 when it really seemed like the franchise was gone and forgotten. Though TRON: Evolution (out on December 7 for contemporary game systems) might reverse this trend, thus far no game has truly captured the visceral thrill of light cycle combat. Sleek, aerodynamic vehicles, sweet outfits, neon lights, and the open grid to criss-cross and zig-zag around. What's not to like?
From: The Wrestler (2008)
It's understandable that Randy "The Ram" Robinson would look back nostalgically on his golden years as a pro wrestling superstar. However, at times Robinson seems trapped in the late 1980s. He rocks out to the likes of Cinderella and Ratt, and when he sits on his couch and picks up a controller, he sticks with the 8-bit games of his heyday. In fact, the Ram is pretty clueless about the ultra-realistic games of the modern era; when he asks a neighborhood kid what the hottest new game is, the Ram stumbles over the title ("Call It Duty 4?"). Wrestle Jam (a fictional game similar to the NES title Pro Wrestling) is more his speed. Despite its garish colors, jerky movements, and repetitive soundtrack, it's a pixilated reminder that the Ram was once on top of the world. Plus, the 8-bit Ram can deliver his patented "Ram Jam" closing move without worrying about creaky knees or a bum ticker.
From: the Harry Potter series
Not just for injecting FX-heavy action set pieces into the Harry Potter movies, Quidditch is as close to an actual sport as you can get when you're talking about a game played by fictional characters on flying broomsticks. In fact, enough real-life "Muggle Quidditch" leagues have sprung up over the last decade that college-level tournaments -- governed by the International Quidditch Association, natch -- aren't uncommon. Not bad for a game whose ingredients include words like quaffle and bludger, a prize called the Golden Snitch, and the aforementioned broomsticks (not to mention the threat of bodily harm). Of course, real Quidditch seems pretty silly compared to its cinematic counterpart, but its existence speaks to just how strongly J.K. Rowling's creation has captured the public's imagination -- and just how badly some of us wish we could fly around and beat the tar out of each other.
From: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
If cricket looks too complicated (and frankly, a bit dull), try and figure out Wes Anderson's oddball hybrid of the English gentleman's game, baseball and hurdles ? as played by foxes, beavers and gophers. Actually, as Owen Wilson's Coach Skip explains, it's really quite simple: "There's three grabbers, three taggers, five twig runners and the player at whack bat. The center player lights a pine cone and chucks it over the basket and the whack batter tries to hit the cedar stick off the cross rock. Then the twig runners dash back and forth until the pine cone burns out and the umpire calls ?hot box.' Finally at the end you count up however many score-downs that adds up to and divide that by nine." Got that? See, easy.
From: Never Say Never Again (1983)
Forget Battleship, this is the game that movie producers should be developing for the big screen. "The game is called Domination," explains cartoonish supervillain Maximillian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer) to his opponent, James Bond (Sean Connery). "I designed it myself." In place of Battleship's dividing field we have a holographic globe of the world which brings up targets for obliteration in the quest for power. "Ve vill be fighting for countries, chosen at random by the machine," Largo continues. "Whoever hits zem first vis his lazer beam will score points." And who wouldn't want to zap entire countries, at least fictionally, while a robot vocoder commentates on the action? We could do without the electric shocks on the joysticks, though.