Sudden Videogame Moment

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    That moment when, in a live action film, anime, comic strip or other non-video game medium, one suddenly gets video game graphics for a scene. Can be either meant as a self-ironic joke, a would-be profound comment, or for purposes of narrative distantiation. If it's Played Straight, it's Watching a Video Game.

    Doesn't count if the characters are actually playing a video game: It becomes a Show Within a Show with the occasional Deep-Immersion Gaming sprinkled on. When done accidentally, it's Conspicuous CG. See also: Medium Blending.

    Examples of Sudden Videogame Moment include:

    Anime & Manga

    • Happens frequently in Pani Poni Dash. This is Studio Shaft, after all.
    • Also Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
    • Oh, so many times in Lucky Star.
      • When Konata describes her rescuing Tsukasa from a foreigner, she is depicted as a character in Street Fighter II, defeating an opponent who looks like Guile on Ryu's stage.
      • Konata says that when she races, she visualizes herself winning. What do we see? Track and Field, complete with someone using increasingly effective methods of pressing the buttons quickly.

    Kagami: That's some old-school visualization you've got there.


    Comic Books

    • Scott Pilgrim gradually becomes more and more assimilated by its video game moments as it progresses.

    Fan Works

    Films -- Animation

    Films -- Live-Action

    • Yi Yi: When the neighbor's boyfriend murders her lover, the scene is played as a videogame fight.
    • The Street Fighter scene in the Jackie Chan City Hunter movie.
    • Meet the Spartans has a sequence which parodies Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, complete with jerky movement and weapon pickups. You have to give them credit for averting Pac-Man Fever...
    • The scene in Shaun of the Dead where Shaun is shooting at zombies trying to come through the broken picture window in the Winchester. Set up as an Ironic Echo of an earlier scene involving a FPS video game.
    • Not so much outright video game graphics, but in The Incredible Hulk, the title character uses several moves from the video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, such as turning a car into a pair of boxing gloves.
    • Doom was originally supposed to be entirely shot from the first person perspective of a Space Marine fighting monsters. Instead, it got one scene near the end which was done like that. And it was the best scene in the film...
    • Uwe Boll did this in House of the Dead, with questionable results.
    • The Hong Kong zombie flick Bio-Zombie has a climax where the main character shoot their way out of a mall filled with zombies, filmed as a light gun-style shooter—complete with "RELOAD!" graphics.
    • The (hilariously awful) made-for-TV movie Max Knight: Ultra Spy's climax is rendered in the Half-Life engine to simulate the battle in cyberspace.
    • The Travel Montage in Top Secret ends with the streets of East Berlin turning into the maze in Pac-Man.
    • In Superman III, the scene where the computer is launching missiles against Superman looked and sounded like an Atari video game, and was actually animated by Atari Inc. (then owned by Warner Bros.). Atari did plan to release a Licensed Game based on the movie, but it was never finished.

    Live-Action TV

    • Seinfeld has a bit where George is trying to get a Frogger arcade machine across a car filled street, which is filmed to look like Frogger.
    • One of the April Fools' episodes of The Drew Carey Show had a scene filmed in The Sims.
    • Spaced
      • Tim and Daisy have an argument that's interspersed with clips from Tekken 3. Every time Tim or Daisy makes a verbal attack, Paul Phoenix or Nina Williams respectively land blows in the game. In the end Daisy wins and Nina's victory animation is shown. Daisy then turns and does the same action for a "Daisy Steiner wins!" screen complete with HP bars, voice-over and pixelated videogame-like graphics.
      • There's also Tim's speed-induced (and later, Twiglet-induced) conflation of Resident Evil with Real Life, and even repeats a line from from a Cutscene we saw earlier. (This episode inspired them to make Shaun of the Dead.)

    Video Games

    • Almost a meta-example: in Law's ending in Tekken 5, the cutscene briefly switches into a round of Tekken.
    • Likewise, Amy's ending in SoulCalibur IV ends with her shoving Raphael over the edge of a stage and a big "RING OUT!!" appears on the screen, just like would happen in a real match.
    • No More Heroes
      • In the second game, whenever Travis takes a job, it is presented as an 8-bit video game, as are the training segments.
      • The first game also features a dream sequence presented as a top-down shooter.
    • Another meta-example occurs in Yume Nikki, where one of the protagonist's dream worlds is presented in the manner of an 8-bit RPG.
    • Rather after the fashion of the No More Heroes example, Little King's Story features a mock 8-bit intro to the boss fight with King TV Dinnah.

    Web Comics

    Web Original

    Western Animation

    • Megas XLR had quite a few moments when the status screens in Megas resemble video games. This is par for the course, obviously.
    • In the pilot movie for Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo being chased by a giant monster through a junkyard suddenly turns into a Pac-Man pastiche, complete with music.
    • Futurama
      • Special mention goes to the "Anthology of Interest II" episode, whose middle segment is one long series of Sudden Videogame Moments.
      • Also, on "Fear of a Bot Planet", two robots are building a wall with Tetris-like bricks. When they fill up a gap, most of the wall disappears, as in the game.
      • One of the segments in the season six episode "Reincarnation" depicts the Planet Express crew in the style of an 8-bit video game.
    • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Atlantis Squarepantis" has a scene in which the characters are shrunk to microscopic size and are viewed as 16-bit graphics.
    • South Park
      • "Hot Catholic Love": A quest through the treacherous hidden passages of the Vatican is depicted as a game of Pitfall!.
      • Then there's the episode centered around World of Warcraft.
    • Cyborg attempting to get through an ancient battle in Teen Titans turns the screen into Frogger.
    • In the Kick Buttowski episode "Battle for the 'Snax", Kick's attempts to lead a crowd to Gunther's restaurant features a progress bar on top of the screen, and a graphic reading "Angry Crowd!" flashing near the end.
    • When Buster and Plucky are tunneling out of prison in one episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, they amuse themselves by recreating Pong and Pac-Man using their glow-in-the-dark eyes.
    • Drawn Together has a few, mostly involving Wooldor. In one, he's in Dig Dug, digging his way out of a grave, Kill Bill 2 style. In another, he's the dog in Duck Hunt.
    • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer gets angry at a Mario lookalike and behaves like Donkey Kong. In another episode, Homer attempts to put all the stuff bought at a garage sale into the car -- Tetris-style!
    • Happens less often than you might think in Wakfu considering that it's based on a video game.