“The game is called Bloodthyrster X,” the nerd-coded detective explains, twisting in their ill-fitting suit and furiously shaking an upside-down Xbox controller while their colleagues stare aghast at a TV screen looping a three-second clip of shoddy CGI ultraviolence. “The objective is to run over babies in your minivan while shooting cops and other players. It’s taking over the dark web… and IRL.”
You don’t need me to tell you that fake video games appearing in TV shows and movies are typically absurd and terrible. But just because something is bad, doesn’t mean it’s uninteresting. Having watched dozens of movies and episodes with fake video games, I’m going to celebrate a few over the coming weeks. Some daft fake games have neat ideas, some shows portray their fake games in an interesting way, and some fake games are even quite good. Let’s start now with Deadware, an unknown horror movie which does a great job recreating something a bit bad: a spOooky haunted browser game from 1999.