#1 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

While going through some channels this morning I noticed this scene from a movie (don't know wich one didn't stay to find out) where 2 guys were playing Halo 3 multiplayer, when a character stands in front of the screen they pause the game but what is shown is not the game's real pause screen instead a still image of the split screen gameplay, so was that just a video running in the background of Halo 3 split screen multiplayer(?). I always wondered why do some movies and tv shows go out of their way to not use "real" videogame footage to show characters playing videogames , is either a fake videogame or a game that doesn't "exist" for example Ponky Pong an arcade game from and episode of the series Bones (they made the flash game later for the official site of the series but it wasn't a commercial release before) , background videogame-y noise placed with a game that clearly doesn't correspond to said sound or just videogame-y noise without showing whatever the characters are playing sometimes using generic thrid party controllers.

Wouldn't be easier for those in charge with the scenery to use a videogame and step it up for scene? ( have someone put Halo 3 on a 360 and set a split screen match, have the characters play the game) mordern games have pretty self explanatory menus to use ( press start - multiplayer - local game/split screen) even the actors can do it. Some movies/tv shows do show the actual footage of the person playing the game in real time or at least it looks like it, like Adam Sandler playing Shadow of the Colossus in Reign Over Me, sometimes they use camera work so you can't tell if they are acutally using real time or some pre-recorded footage ( Seth Rogen playing a PS2 Mortal Kombat game in the 40 year old Virgin) . Isn't it harder to record footage of gameplay finding a storage unit/format that plays the video the footage in whatever videoplayer or console the set design team has than just using the game?, the actors don't need to know the controls or anything after all they're just doing "playing videogame" motions with the controller (moving their bodies from side to side , moving all the sticks , pressing whatever buttons) and the regular viewer doesn't really pay attention to what's going on in the game, the attention is focused on the dialog not on the activity they're doing.

So is there any particular reason for doing this? other than "whatever who cares?" because is such a small detail, even though it seems like extra work to me, I'm curious what do you guys know.

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#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (35802 posts) -

Because fuck gamers. That's why.

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#3 Posted by Hamst3r (4435 posts) -

I think it a lot of cases the TV isn't even on during filming. All the video game stuff is added in post production. They fake device screens all the time, even for seemingly simple things like someone getting a text message on their phone.

#4 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -

I guess it has to do with rights. They don't want to step on any toes, so they go the safest route. In some movies, they've even got their own consoles, mobiles, or what have you.

#5 Posted by YI_Orange (1123 posts) -

I heard somewhere that they how stupid their use of videogames is and it's intentional, sort of like a running gag among themselves.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -

They do use real games. Which is to say, they pretend they're playing a sizzle reel or a cutscene, because the publisher wants people to think it looks that good.

#7 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5043 posts) -

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

#8 Posted by FengShuiGod (1478 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

I heard somewhere that they how stupid their use of videogames is and it's intentional, sort of like a running gag among themselves.

Yeah, sometimes this happens, kinda like the Wilhelm scream.

#9 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

#10 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Because of FOX. Those fuckers are ready to jump at anything that has video games in it...including video games.

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (35802 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

I heard somewhere that they how stupid their use of videogames is and it's intentional, sort of like a running gag among themselves.

That's part of it. The guys behind The Big Bang Theory originally wanted to show people playing video games more realistically, but somebody involved with the production decided that waving the controller all over the place and mashing every single button possible looked more exciting. The coconut effect, if you will.

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#12 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5043 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

But it's easier to just put the video over the screen they are supposed to be watching than it would to have to fix the way the screen looked.

#13 Posted by MikkaQ (10263 posts) -

I assume most "TVs" in shows and movies is a green panel they key footage onto. Filming a screen looks like ass, it'ms justbsimpler and looks better to fake it. It also draws attention away fromt he game since that's almost never the actual focus of the scene.

#14 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Yeah I didn't not considered rights and such I guess is more important to have the Coca-cola logo on screen than having the Halo 3 (or whatever game) cover on a shelf for a scene.

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#15 Posted by mscupcakes (612 posts) -

Sometimes it's worse with real games, like playing RAGE with a lightgun in Breaking Bad.

#16 Posted by stryker1121 (1323 posts) -

In an episode of Breaking Bad last year they had a scene of Jesse playing Rage (this was before the game was even out). But they turned it into this lame light-gun game to emphasize the drama of what was happening w/ the character at the time.

#17 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

But it's easier to just put the video over the screen they are supposed to be watching than it would to have to fix the way the screen looked.

still doesnt explain why they dont use real video games most of the time

#18 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1908 posts) -

Most likely it has to do with money. I assume the producers would have to pay the game companies to use it. Though, if I were a game company I'd pay them to use my game as it's pretty good advertising.

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#19 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

This page on TV tropes has some relevant links.

#20 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5043 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

But it's easier to just put the video over the screen they are supposed to be watching than it would to have to fix the way the screen looked.

still doesnt explain why they dont use real video games most of the time

Well if you have no picture for the actors to see why would they be playing the game themselves? Then you have to think about other things. If you're gonna have to put a game or any brand product for that matter in your movie/tv show/whatever then you would have to get the rights to use it. Mythbusters cover the labels on their computers as well as beer cans. For the movie "The Road" they had to film the same scene multiple times where the main characters find a working soda machine. Each time using different soda machines until eventually coke or pepsi (can't remember which) agreed to let them use their product for the film.

Sometimes you also have to think about when the show or movie was filmed. Maybe the movie was filmed a year ago and it's finally being released, well having a game that's a year old would be a bit weird. What can they get that requires advertisement so it will be easier to get the rights. Then you got why games are shown weird. If they are put in a film or tv show and are products on sale or soon to be on sale they will pretty much act like advertisement. Not necessarily showing you how the game is played but how good it looks while being played if that makes sense.

Then you have the actors playing it in exaggerated or wrong ways for dramatic/comedic effect. Characters jumping and waving around because it looks more exciting. Then you got the situation in Breaking Bad where Rage was played like a light gun shooter because they wanted to do something dramatic with the characters.

There you go, don't treat me like a fucking idiot.

#21 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

But it's easier to just put the video over the screen they are supposed to be watching than it would to have to fix the way the screen looked.

still doesnt explain why they dont use real video games most of the time

Well if you have no picture for the actors to see why would they be playing the game themselves? Then you have to think about other things. If you're gonna have to put a game or any brand product for that matter in your movie/tv show/whatever then you would have to get the rights to use it. Mythbusters cover the labels on their computers as well as beer cans. For the movie "The Road" they had to film the same scene multiple times where the main characters find a working soda machine. Each time using different soda machines until eventually coke or pepsi (can't remember which) agreed to let them use their product for the film.

Sometimes you also have to think about when the show or movie was filmed. Maybe the movie was filmed a year ago and it's finally being released, well having a game that's a year old would be a bit weird. What can they get that requires advertisement so it will be easier to get the rights. Then you got why games are shown weird. If they are put in a film or tv show and are products on sale or soon to be on sale they will pretty much act like advertisement. Not necessarily showing you how the game is played but how good it looks while being played if that makes sense.

Then you have the actors playing it in exaggerated or wrong ways for dramatic/comedic effect. Characters jumping and waving around because it looks more exciting. Then you got the situation in Breaking Bad where Rage was played like a light gun shooter because they wanted to do something dramatic with the characters.

There you go, don't treat me like a fucking idiot.

woah, chill the fuck out dude.

yes, i know all that, and you're absolutely right about that, but with a fairly small amount of effort you could easily get publishers to allow their games to be seen played in scenes of tv shows and movies. its been done before. i believe dance central and the kinect appeared on smallville before that stuff was even out.

plus its good for the show/movie when its an actual game. it makes the scene feel more authentic and you're less distracted by it, cus i sure as fuck know whenever i see an obviously fake game in a scene it tends to distract me.

#22 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

@Anwar: Oh man... This is one of my favorites even though there's no game footage at all.

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#23 Posted by WilliamHenry (1200 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

But it's easier to just put the video over the screen they are supposed to be watching than it would to have to fix the way the screen looked.

still doesnt explain why they dont use real video games most of the time

Well if you have no picture for the actors to see why would they be playing the game themselves? Then you have to think about other things. If you're gonna have to put a game or any brand product for that matter in your movie/tv show/whatever then you would have to get the rights to use it. Mythbusters cover the labels on their computers as well as beer cans. For the movie "The Road" they had to film the same scene multiple times where the main characters find a working soda machine. Each time using different soda machines until eventually coke or pepsi (can't remember which) agreed to let them use their product for the film.

Sometimes you also have to think about when the show or movie was filmed. Maybe the movie was filmed a year ago and it's finally being released, well having a game that's a year old would be a bit weird. What can they get that requires advertisement so it will be easier to get the rights. Then you got why games are shown weird. If they are put in a film or tv show and are products on sale or soon to be on sale they will pretty much act like advertisement. Not necessarily showing you how the game is played but how good it looks while being played if that makes sense.

Then you have the actors playing it in exaggerated or wrong ways for dramatic/comedic effect. Characters jumping and waving around because it looks more exciting. Then you got the situation in Breaking Bad where Rage was played like a light gun shooter because they wanted to do something dramatic with the characters.

There you go, don't treat me like a fucking idiot.

woah, chill the fuck out dude.

yes, i know all that, and you're absolutely right about that, but with a fairly small amount of effort you could easily get publishers to allow their games to be seen played in scenes of tv shows and movies. its been done before. i believe dance central and the kinect appeared on smallville before that stuff was even out.

plus its good for the show/movie when its an actual game. it makes the scene feel more authentic and you're less distracted by it, cus i sure as fuck know whenever i see an obviously fake game in a scene it tends to distract me.

Are you a producer/publisher? How do you know how easy it is? For all we know, its not worth the hassle for TV/Film producers because of the money and legal rights they have to go through. If it really was as easy as you think, then why are there so many fake games being used?

And I get that an obviously fake game can distract you, but honestly, how many people will that really bother? Five percent of the audience at best?

#24 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5043 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Clonedzero said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

You ever recorded your Tv while it was on with a camera, or anything with a screen for that matter? It looks like shit.

yeah, that'd be impossible to fix in post...

But it's easier to just put the video over the screen they are supposed to be watching than it would to have to fix the way the screen looked.

still doesnt explain why they dont use real video games most of the time

Well if you have no picture for the actors to see why would they be playing the game themselves? Then you have to think about other things. If you're gonna have to put a game or any brand product for that matter in your movie/tv show/whatever then you would have to get the rights to use it. Mythbusters cover the labels on their computers as well as beer cans. For the movie "The Road" they had to film the same scene multiple times where the main characters find a working soda machine. Each time using different soda machines until eventually coke or pepsi (can't remember which) agreed to let them use their product for the film.

Sometimes you also have to think about when the show or movie was filmed. Maybe the movie was filmed a year ago and it's finally being released, well having a game that's a year old would be a bit weird. What can they get that requires advertisement so it will be easier to get the rights. Then you got why games are shown weird. If they are put in a film or tv show and are products on sale or soon to be on sale they will pretty much act like advertisement. Not necessarily showing you how the game is played but how good it looks while being played if that makes sense.

Then you have the actors playing it in exaggerated or wrong ways for dramatic/comedic effect. Characters jumping and waving around because it looks more exciting. Then you got the situation in Breaking Bad where Rage was played like a light gun shooter because they wanted to do something dramatic with the characters.

There you go, don't treat me like a fucking idiot.

woah, chill the fuck out dude.

yes, i know all that, and you're absolutely right about that, but with a fairly small amount of effort you could easily get publishers to allow their games to be seen played in scenes of tv shows and movies. its been done before. i believe dance central and the kinect appeared on smallville before that stuff was even out.

plus its good for the show/movie when its an actual game. it makes the scene feel more authentic and you're less distracted by it, cus i sure as fuck know whenever i see an obviously fake game in a scene it tends to distract me.

Well that depends. There aren't as many people who recognize that stuff and would be bothered by it than there are people who just do not care or wouldn't know. A pet peeve of mine is the use of video games in other media such as films and tv shows since they make it look so stupid but for most people probably not. So why not just do the easier thing?

As for your example it doesn't look like the guy from Smallville is matching up with anything the "natal" (heh, remember that name) is doing.

I have one for different language speakers since the audio in the game is different.

I meant to put a no hard feelings in there.

#25 Posted by Clonedzero (4038 posts) -

oh man, did anyone see that episode of NCIS where there was those guys on a navy ship using like weapons computers to play a generic MMO, the sword fought or something for REALZ.

as a gamer, i found that episode extremely offensive.

#26 Posted by Grimhild (720 posts) -

@AngelN7 said:

@Anwar: Oh man... This is one of my favorites even though there's no game footage at all.

Hah!

I've always loved that guy ever since I saw him in Airheads.

#27 Posted by Village_Guy (2480 posts) -

I think there are two reasons.

1. Legal rights and money - this one seems pretty self-explanatory.

2. Because the majority of the people who make the TV shows / movies doesn't care, they just want something that look like a video game, so that your average low-intelligence person who don't know about video games, can look at the screen and say: "dats wone of dem vidja gaems!", and then never pay attention to the "video game" again and continue following the rest of the TV show / movie.

#28 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5043 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

I think there are two reasons.

1. Legal rights and money - this one seems pretty self-explanatory.

2. Because the majority of the people who make the TV shows / movies doesn't care, they just want something that look like a video game, so that your average low-intelligence person who don't know about video games, can look at the screen and say: "dats wone of dem vidja gaems!", and then never pay attention to the "video game" again and continue following the rest of the TV show / movie.

I don't think intelligence has anything to do with recognizing a video game. Just a lack of interest in video games. Unless it was so blatantly fake like some VR shit was going on they might think that it is a slight exaggeration. If you told me how to play chinese checkers and you purposely fed me misinformation I wouldn't be able to tell you that you got something wrong.

#29 Posted by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

Parks and recreation uses real video games like mario kart, halo and forza motorsport....but with nobody actually playing the game :p

#30 Edited by Cubical (637 posts) -

Oh man I wish my fucking unix system looked like this in 1993 99% of my fucking cpu power would be running the damn OS.

Nobody fucking used those 3d file systems in 1993 and that was not a SGI workstation and the thing never left Beta stage.

Fuck I wish playing ps1 was that damn bad ass in real life so I could have lived out my fantasys back in 1995 then when you do and its not as good as your fucking fantasy would be like sex then you dont want to do it again.

#31 Posted by Hunter5024 (5506 posts) -

@Anwar said:

Some multiplayer FF8 sounds better, right?

Hmm... FF9 definitely had multiplayer where each person controlled different members of the party during a battle. Final Fantasy 8 might have had the same thing. I'm gonna go shoot myself for defending Charlie's Angels now.

#32 Edited by EXTomar (4445 posts) -

It is sometimes cheaper to make the special/video effects department to whip together a video that looks like a video game than it is to get the rights to "real" video games.

#33 Posted by TMBaker (230 posts) -

I must admit this got a giggle out of me:

#34 Posted by pyromagnestir (4195 posts) -

@Vinny_Says: I don't remember any of that. What did they use them for?

I love these clips. The idea that Joe Montegna knows who Niko Bellic is tickles me and so does the idea of a Skyrim joke for all the ten's of people who actually play Skyrim and watch NCIS.

#35 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

It does seem like TV is getting better with it the more we yell at them. So that is a good thing. I gotta admit, I laughed at the Niko Bellic one badly. Also I know that there IS a Adam Sandler movie which treats Shadow of the Colossus with respect surprisingly.

#36 Posted by NTM (7234 posts) -

Not only that, but there are a lot of times in film when they're either not even using the right controller (like in the 40 year old virgin they're playing Halo with an N64 controller I believe), or they're not pressing the buttons correctly. I mean, who would have thought you could play Call of Duty well just by tapping either X, the triggers, or the game pad excessively?

#37 Edited by EthanielRain (755 posts) -

Don't really have anything to add here, but I wanted to say that I think Shadow of the Colossus in the movie Reign Over Me is the best use of a video game in a movie itself. Not only is it true to the game, but it's a perfect microcosm of the movie. One scene:

Colossus!

#38 Posted by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -
@AngelN7 said:

@Anwar: Oh man... This is one of my favorites even though there's no game footage at all.

I seriously laughed out loud when I saw this one on TV. Well played, Criminal Minds, well played.
#39 Posted by SgtSphynx (1230 posts) -

@Red said:

This page on TV tropes has some relevant links.

How the fuck is Grandma's Boy not on that page? That movie revolves around playing and making video games, among other things like smoking weed.

#40 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

My favorite is when they play a game on the wrong console, like Mario with an Xbox controller.

#41 Posted by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

@pyromagnestir: When they go camping, Tom has a TV in his tent full of crap from skymall :)

#42 Posted by pyromagnestir (4195 posts) -

@EthanielRain: Oh man! That's great!

@Vinny_Says: Oh right! That was a great episode, perhaps I shall rewatch it.

#43 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1552 posts) -

Every time a real game shows up in a movie, I can't help but feel like it's a weird cross-promotion, so I think I actually prefer the ghetto, faux-games found in most movies over the nagging suspicion of backroom ad deals.

#44 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3720 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

I heard somewhere that they how stupid their use of videogames is and it's intentional, sort of like a running gag among themselves.

I'd hope this is actually true. The worst part is also the "pew pew" sound effects. It's screaming GET IT THEY ARE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES YOU KNOW WHAT THOSE ARE RIGHT!?!?!