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Fictional Games In Movies We Want To Play In Real Life

There's no form of entertainment quite as diverse or enjoyable as gaming. The medium comes in so many different shapes and sizes that there's always something for everyone: there are virtual reality games to be played solo, multiplayer games for as many people as you can convince to join you, board games for parties, video games for long-distance fun, laser tag for the everyday thrill-seekers—you get the point. There are so many different kinds of games available that you'd be hard-pressed not to find something to your liking—unless, of course, your choice of game isn't exactly real, yet.

As plenty of movies have shown us, there are tons of games that both technology and reality in general have yet to afford us the ability to play, no matter how fun they may seem on-screen. Here are some amazing, fictional thrills offered to our imaginations by filmmakers, that we wish we could play in real life.

Ready Player One's OASIS

Considering our planet's grim trajectory and the rising threat posed by global warming, Ready Player One's uninhabitable yet overpopulated global wasteland might very soon become our reality. Similarly, the giant, globe-spanning virtual reality simulator that all of RPO's population plays for a glimpse at a better life might also not be too far off in our own futures. So, ahead of the movie's release (based on the book of the same name), let's see what makes Ready Player One's VR life simulator OASIS so cool.

First, and most obviously, there's the lack of IP protection. Every franchise you ever loved is in OASIS: Halo, Overwatch, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, Street Fighter, you name it. Want the orcs from World of Warcraft to go to war with programs from Tron? OASIS has you covered.

Secondly, there's the insane scope of OASIS. The game is literally a world unto itself, with billions of lifetimes' worth of unique, engaging content that no one human could ever fully explore. You'd never have a slow weekend again, if modern VR was at this level.

Thirdly, and arguably most importantly, is the visceral nature of OASIS. It's so life-like and immersive that players can spend their whole lives in-game without feeling a hint of artificiality. That's the mark of a good game. And, while real VR headsets aren't quite at where Ready Player One's are, they're headed in the right direction. In short, there's definitely hope for a real-life OASIS VR experience in the not-too-distant future.

Ender's Game's battle room

Who isn't a fan of laser tag? It's awesome. Now, imagine you could play laser tag ... in zero gravity. The whole experience just got exponentially cooler, didn't it? Well, that's the schtick of Ender's Game, a movie/book where the titular protagonist spends most of his time floating around in a zero-g arena playing laser tag with other kids.

These matches of laser tag happen in the "battle room," which is a giant glass orb attached to a space station. Within that orb are tons of floating blocks, which operate as both obstacles and cover for players. Players use cover to avoid opponents' pistol blasts, which freeze whatever part of the body is shot—on friend as well as foe. This means you can shoot someone until they're completely paralyzed (but keep in mind that their momentum will stay constant thanks to zero-gravity). The objective is simply for one player to get through the other side's goal ring.

With a premise that cool and a rule set that's so simple, it's not hard to see how popular this game would be, were it executable in real life.

Gamer's Society

In the movie Gamer, there's a scene that details a game called Society, which involves players controlling human avatars. Those avatars are real people. Think of it as The Sims, if you were manipulating a real human instead of a little bundle of quirky pixels. That's Society's gimmick.

If you're wondering why anyone would subject themselves to total control by another person, the movie's explanation is short and simple: money. Avatar players get good money in exchange for their time as virtual slaves. The risk comes in the form of whether or not they'll survive their time as a slave in order to reap the rewards afterwards. While the movie takes this premise to its sadistic, logical extremes, what with players trying to murder each other via real human avatars, a super watered down version of Society in real life could serve as a fun and educational game with the potential to teach people to be nicer to one another. Imagine some major, overarching rules were imposed on a commercial release of this game in real life. If the gamemakers banned illegal or harmful activities from Society's parameters, the game could act as a cool (and lucrative) dating simulator, socialization tool, etiquette trainer, you name it! There are some serious practical applications nestled away within this game's core concept.

Harry Potter's Quidditch

Considering Quidditch has been turned into a real (well, not in the way you'd hope) sport with its own International Quidditch Association, there's ample evidence to support the notion that most everybody wants to play this fictional game badly. And really, what's not to love about it? It's got all the essentials of a good sport: magical brooms, flying Ferrero Rocher chocolates, dapper uniforms. Not to mention it's a lot like soccer (football, for our European friends), in that there's a constant stream of on-the-field action that never lets up. It's a high-octane, breathless competition from start to finish. All around, a great fictional sport.

Real-life Quidditch, as it stands, only has one of the aforementioned benefits going for it: continuous action. Beyond that, the cool uniforms, gravity-defying brooms and sentient golden snitches remain trapped within the confines of the Harry Potter novels and movies. Someday, when we get hoverboards and retrofit them into broom molds, that might change. Until then, keep throwing gold-painted tennis balls around with a broom stuck between your legs while you pray for the future of science.

Her's ultra-weird AR adventure game

In Her, a movie about a lonely guy who falls in love with his home's operating system, protagonist Theodore Twombly (yeah, names don't get much cuter than that) routinely visits a fun little augmented reality game that turns his living room into an adventure game. It's called Alien Child.

While Alien Child starts off video game-y enough, what with a quiet, space-suit-clad hero exploring a beautiful watercolor world, the game quickly takes a turn for the weird when Theodore encounters a little white blobby boy with a bad attitude. This petite Pillsbury Doughboy-esque bugger greets Twombly by cussing him out, giggling, flipping him off and then running away. It's hysterical. What makes the whole thing even funnier is that he dynamically reacts to Twombly's comments, meaning the two have entire sparring matches in between the regular adventure portions of the game.

Alien Child is augmented reality at its finest, and you can bet video games will only get better when hyper-interactive, room-transforming games like this become a reality—especially if said games have as much personality as those shown off in Her.

Star Wars' dejarik

Like most hardcore Star Wars fans, we've been wanting to get our hands on a real-life version of dejarik for some time now. After all, it's the only board game we've ever seen a wookie and droid play together (meaning it's very inclusive), and it remains one of the few pieces of Star Wars lore that hasn't already been turned into a real-world consumer product. While models of the board game have been put on the market and a few very loyal fans are trying their darndest to make proper dejarik a reality, the fact of the matter is that this holographic, chess-like game has yet to exit the realm of science fiction. Still, even though we're a ways off from having the tabletop competition of the future in our living rooms, it doesn't mean we can't admire how cool it is. Seriously, can you imagine going to a public park and, instead of seeing old men playing chess, seeing everyone flinging little holographic Star Wars monsters at each other? It'd be awesome.


Ever wanted to fight rhinos and crocodiles with your bare hands, swing from vines like Tarzan, outrun monsoons and fly helicopters through exotic rainforests? Well, so do we. Unfortunately, that's not a possibility, as Jumanji is not a real supernatural entity. Yes, reader, it's true: there's no magic board game/video game cartridge that will suck you into a fictional jungle so that you can live-action roleplay all of your wildest Indiana Jones fantasies—but hey, we can dream, right? After all, that's what this list is for. We really wish Jumanji was real, if for nothing else than that last point. Can you imagine slamming on Indy's iconic hat, grabbing a lasso and swinging into Jumanji's jungles as a real adventurer? It'd be awesome—well, except for the bit where you're trapped in the game until you win or die. Overlooking that one minor pitfall of the game's design, Jumanji would undoubtedly be the world's most exciting fitness training/jungle simulator game, were it real; not to mention it'd make for one hell of a four-player co-op adventure with friends over a long weekend.

Tron's game grid

Tron is an arcade game like no other. While the initial version of the game was just that—an arcade machine, to be played at arcades—the evolved version was a neon-drenched trip inside the machine, digitizing players and putting them directly into the world they'd previously only explored from the other side of a screen.

For players inside of "the grid," the cool name for Tron's digital playground, there are tons of things to do: you can go clubbing, set up an isolated mansion, or if you're feeling daring, enter the "game grid." The game grid is arguably the coolest part of the whole Tron mythos and definitely the portion of the game we most wish was playable in real life. In it, you can get into epic gladiatorial laser-frisbee matches and, more importantly, light cycle battles. Light cycles are slick, black motorcycles that materialize from a little baton you hold like a handlebar. Each bike leaves a thick trail of either neon orange or blue light in their wake and the goal is to cut off opponents (players of the opposite color) with said trail. Think of it as a giant, life-sized, motorcycle-equipped version of Snake. Yeah, it's that cool. The second we, as a species, learn how to zap ourselves inside of virtual environments, constructing Tron's game grid should be our first priority.

Wreck-It Ralph's Hero's Duty

In Wreck-It Ralph, video game antagonist and titular character Ralph abandons his own game in order to find his true place in the gaming universe — a journey which eventually lands him inside of Hero's Duty, a gritty, sci-fi first person shooter. It's got everything an action gamer could ever want: crazy sci-fi guns that shoot lasers, swarms of robotic beetle enemies, a dope neon-drenched color palette. The only issue? Even though it's a completely practical setup for a real-life video game, it sadly only exists inside the confines of Wreck-It Ralph. While Disney did, at one point, have a very underwhelming browser version of the game available as a promotional material for the movie, no one's yet to capitalize on Hero's Duty's true potential. Just imagine it: the intense sci-fi supersuit FPS action of the Halo franchise mixed with the visuals of Tron, both sprinkled with a dash of Metroid's environmental and design aesthetics. It's a three-way match made in heaven by the gaming gods! Really, if Disney ever gets its interactive division's act together, this should be a game idea they develop into a fully-fledged property ASAP.


Zathura, from the 2005 movie Zathura: A Space Adventure, is basically the interstellar variant of Jumanji. Just like Jumanji, there's a board game, kids play it, they get transported to another world—you know the drill. However, instead of Jumanji's smelly, bug-infested jungle, Zathura takes players somewhere way more exciting: the final frontier. This isn't just any other space adventure, either, as Zathura throws all kinds of sci-fi thrills at its players, including, but not limited to, robots and giant alien lizards. Basically, the game is crazy. And, not only is it absolutely bonkers, but it's also relatively easy. Think about it: if a few kids could survive the adventure without a scratch, some grown adults definitely could—while probably having a way more fun time while they're at it. Heck, imagine entering the game decked out in Master Chief armor or Samus Aran's Varia suit. You could live-action roleplay being a space bounty hunter. How cool would that be? While Zathura's supernatural "trapped 'til you win" twist might be a bit of a negative, given how much it contributes to the game's rather steep barrier to entry, a version of Zathura that isn't quite so stern about its rules would be tons of fun in real life.

Scott Pilgrim's Ninja Ninja Revolution

Early on in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Scott and his then-girlfriend Knives Chau go to an arcade and unleash their inner ninjas on a crazy game called Ninja Ninja Revolution. As the title alludes to, Ninja Ninja Revolution riffs off of Dance Dance Revolution, only with the added benefit of incorporating martial arts. In the film, Scott and Knives can both be seen doing the standard foot taps of DDR, but things spice up substantially when the fictional curveballs of NNR kick into gear. All of a sudden, the game demands ridiculous backflips, ninja runs and all other sorts of stunts from its players, somehow teaching them martial arts in the midst of an otherwise normal Dance Dance Revolution session. Not only does this game look like an amazing way to work out, but it also looks like a great bonding exercise for couples and friends. Seriously, the level of ninja-coordination Scott and Knives have is incredible. We need this game in arcades around the world, stat!