Video Games That People Have Made Reality

Most video games are inspired by something you can actually do in life. For instance, want to play a real-life Minecraft? Work in a mine! Grand Theft Auto? OK, bad example. But then, there are some things that are so weird and awesome that real-life can't possibly compare, and that's when life decides to imitate art. Like in the case of ...

Pokemon Land & Pokemon Gym

Let's just get it out of the way: Pokemon Go. Now you don't have to keep thinking it. You good? Awesome! Now, just like your favorite grandparent, Japan's Pokemon Land theme park is long-dead. It was created back in 2005 as Pokemon: The Park because, well, what else would you call it? Like in the games, you could ride a ton of different Pokemon and explore the Pokeworld. Can you imagine, though, what it would be like to play Pokemon Go here? Despite the fact that it's everything you ever wanted when you were eight, it only lasted a handful of months before closing. It did open again the next year, but then it was gone forever. Hope you caught them all before it was too late.

Of course, since it's Pokemon, one theme park just wasn't enough — it had a spiritual successor, as in a real-life Pokemon gym. Sadly though, lacking a gym leader, or the license to let anyone actually battle anybody, it was basically a Pokemon game-centered arcade. Hey, at least we have Pokemon Go!

Candy Crush

Possibly four of you don't know what Candy Crush is, so here's a quick explanation: you know that game your relatives keep inviting you to play, that's basically Bejewled but with candy? The one you constantly reject and then rant on Facebook about? That's the one.

Ever play Candy Crush and wish you could eat the candy? Probably not, assuming you're not an evil, flesh-crawling demon. (If you are, that's cool; you do you.) For the non-Eldritch among us, gasp in horror as you learn that a candy maker in London has decided to go ahead and actually recreate the candies from everyone's least favorite game. The makers decided that wasn't enough though, and began creating candy versions of the characters (there are characters?) from the game. While you can arguably play the game with the candy — and their equally edible candy-character brethren — unfortunately the candies will not disappear when you line three up. But you can fix that, can't you?

Mario Kart (Tokyo)

Capitalizing on our strange human desire to dress as weird characters and do outrageous things, Tokyo, Japan opened a Mario Kart-themed go-kart rental service. Unfortunately there are no shells or power ups here. You rent a costume, dress up as your favorite character, and ride around in the Mario-themed karts. That alone sounds neat, but it's where you drive that makes it go from "huh?" to "huh!?!?!?" See, you don't drive around in a lot, or inside a warehouse, or even in a parking lot. It's not set in a closed part. No, you rent the car, and costume, and then drive around Tokyo. Like, the actual roads and streets of Tokyo. Dressed as an Italian plumber. Because Tokyo is super, super weird.

Mario Kart (SXSW)

It's not just Japan that got in on the real-world Mario Kart craze. South by Southwest (SXSW) is a convention for gaming, movies, TV shows, and other non-sporty things. To take that crucial step beyond merely dorky, and into ungodly realms of nerdness, Nintendo teamed up with Pennzoil to create — hold up, the oil company? Yep, in an effort to promote their new, more environmentally-friendly oil, Pennzoil teamed up with Nintendo to create a Mario Kart track. But, unlike Tokyo, the powerful pair wasn't content to have a mere themed kart race. No, they hacked the cars. See, in the game, there are power-ups that help you out or hurt others, so the companies created a race track that used RFID chip technology and virtual reality to make a track that appeared normal, but affected the players like they were actually in the game. Wreck-inducing turtle shells and slippery banana peels for everyone!

Unfortunately this was a one-off ... until, at least, Universal/Nintendo's new theme park opens up. Then, who knows?


In an attempt to — like God — mess with those weaker than us, scientists designed an actual, real Pacman board with single-celled organisms taking the roles of Pacman and the ghosts. Because why, when given power over other life, would we use it for anything other than to make a video game?

It's called "Protozoan Pacman" and you can watch what's basically an eggheady "Let's Play" at the link above. It's played on a board smaller than anything the naked eye can see, and forming the pellets are food that the single-celled "Pacman" is attracted to eating. The official idea is that, by using this game, scientists can both study how single-celled organisms work, and help make science more interesting to the layperson. But c'mon — who do these braniacs think they're kidding? Like us, they just want to play video games at work. Or, perhaps they have something else in mind. Because mad scientists cannot live on Pacman alone, the group is busy remaking other classic games using these living creatures and ... OK, we're going ahead and calling it — this is how the zombie apocalypse begins. Eventually, these eggheads are going to teach the single-celled organisms about zombies and contagions, and the organisms are going to take one look and go, "Yeah, sounds good," and that's how the world ends — not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with Protopac.


Ever been playing a racing game and thought, "Man, I wish I was actually on the road"? Well, as with a wish from literally any story, your wish is granted, just in a confusing and silly way. Meet Garnet Hertz's Outrun. For those of you not born in the '80s, Outrun was an arcade racing game with a huge car-shaped cabinet, so you can pretend to go 180 mph and crash into walls dozens of times over, rather than actually do it and rack up a gnarly fine and/or prison sentence. One man looked at that and thought, "Yes, that should be on the road."

Despite the fact that putting a giant electronic screen in your face is the one thing you should never do when driving, Hertz's car keeps the screen and uses a camera in the front to auto-translate the real-world into an 8-bit video game. Because, you know, why not? Aside from destruction of property and manslaughter charges.

Super Street Fighter

What would make Street Fighter better? A lot of actual fire? Sounds good to us! Welcome to Super Street Fire. You read that right — Fire. Like the actual game, it features two "players" fighting each other. Unlike the actual game, this involves real people shooting fire at each other. To do it, you have to perform a complicated gesture — just like in the game. Unlike in the game, however, this will make flames shoot out at your opponent and. Real flames. Someone decided to take karate, throw out the rules, and add fire. Ever dealt with fire? It hurts.

Somehow this game — played at, appropriately enough, Burning Man (you know, the place infamous for all the drugs) — has not resulted in countless post-modern hippies dying of flame-related injuries. Not yet, anyway. You can only outrun a Hadouken for so long, after all.

Silent Hill

"Halloween Horror Nights" is Universal Studios' annual Halloween-themed event. It takes place around the end of September, when the entire park is turned into a huge haunted house, with smaller haunted houses based on different movies and shows that were made/popular around then. One year, HHN featured a house for the creepiest game ever made, Silent Hill.

You can check out the video above, but suffice it to say, it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the game series ... although you can't actually attack anyone who jumps at you. Or, you're not supposed to, at least. Also unlike the game, you normally aren't doing it half-drunk with a huge crowd in front of you and behind you. But that doesn't make it any less horrifying — there's truly nothing more Silent Hill-ish than walking around a creepy, fog covered world, dodging the blades of Pyramid Head and the wrath of faceless nurses, and weep-yelling, "What the hell just happened?!" once you leave.

Patient Zero (based on every zombie game ever made)

Man, zombies suck. Don't you ever wish you could just blast them apart? Of course you do! You're a human, which means you want to kill that which you cannot kill. To sate your bloodlust, give Patient Zero a try. It's a game that features multi-player cooperation and competition, blood-thirsty zombies, guns, a solid story, hosts of NPCs, and — oh yeah, it's all in real-life. Not only that, but the environments are designed to react to your guns — you can shoot out lights, hit toxic barrels, etc. You even level up and get achievements.

It is literally a real-life videogame. And, just like non-real-life video games, it comes in installments, featuring new maps and updated storylines! Unlike real video games, however, it can actually hurt you. Yeah, if you want, you can equip a belt that will really physically hurt you when you play. Or, you can just stick with Resident Evil, and only hurt yourself when you throw the controller down in frustration and it crushes your toe.