Avoiding video game adaptations, here we’re looking at films that have been inspired by both real and imagined gameplay.
Games have formed the basis for a number of films over the years. Of course, video games have inspired lots of movies. Some have turned out quite well (Resident Evil) and some have turned out quite badly (Street Fighter). Similarly, films have inspired some great video games over the years. But it isn’t all about computer or console-based gameplay. Games, including boardgames and popular children’s playground games, have even inspired movies. Here we’re looking at films that have been inspired by both real and imagined gameplay.
Inspired by the schoolground game of tag, where one player is chosen to be “it” and must try to tag others to take them out of the game, this 2018 movie from first-time feature film director Jeff Tomsic takes the concept and gives it an adult spin. In fact, the story is based on facts following a piece published in The Wall Street Journal about five friends who, once a year, get together to play the game.
Game Night features a bunch of friends getting together to play various boardgames every week. But when a real life mystery begins to unfold, they’re caught up in a game that puts their lives on the line. All done with tongue firmly in cheek, the film stars a fun ensemble including Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman.
One of the great films about poker, Rounders sees Matt Damon’s poker ace head back to the Texas Hold ‘Em table to bail his best friend out of money troubles. It’s a movie that’s been boosted by the popularity of the online casino where poker has complemented other table games, bingo and slots to create a multi-billion dollar international industry. And whether you’re playing real money poker games or bitcoin video slots, Rounders reminds us of the thrill of casino games.
Inspired by video games but not by a specific one, Tron might have aged when compared to today’s detail-rich high-definition first-person shooters and virtual reality platforms, but this 1980s cult classics is a great example of “games” in film. The adventure begins when Jeff Bridges‘ computer game developer is sucked into his own game and must battle various challenges to avoid being eliminated and ultimately killed. He discovers a way to get back into the real world and must use his understanding of the game environment to survive.
The original Jumanji saw Robin Williams’ character emerge from a magical boardgame after years of being held prisoner inside it. Teaming up with a brother and sister, the trio must find a way to finish the game in order to halt the destruction it is causing in the real world.