Our whole life is a video game: 20 films about gamers

The creators of gaming universes have shamelessly kidnapped potential viewers from filmmakers in recent years. To remind avid gamers about the existence of the good old cinema, directors shoot catchy fancy films about computer games, and sometimes the result is visually impressive. So interesting that players are ready to put their native gamepads aside for a while.

Main character (2021)

The average guy wakes up every morning, drinks coffee, puts on a blue shirt, and goes to work at the bank. On the way, he meets the same people uttering duty phrases. Life is calm and predictable until an office worker meets the girl of his dreams. Beauty informs him that they are in the game, and he is a minor character on whom nothing depends. The guy decides to change his fate, turning from a standard NPC into the main character of the computer world.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Free Guy

Genre:
Fantasy, Action, Comedy, Romance

Actors:
Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age Limits :
16+


Cicada 3301: Hacker’s Quest (2021)

The list of films about gamers continues with an American novelty of cinema that opens the door to the gloomy darknet. During the change of polite bartender Conor Black, one of the customers crosses the line. The guy decides to teach the rude man a lesson by hacking into his bank accounts. Entering the darknet, Conor becomes interested in the strange Cicada 3301 folder and finds out that the file belongs to a secret organization. Only the best hackers are taken to the mysterious company, and the selection process resembles a cool quest. Together with his friends, Conor is trying to complete all the tasks, not suspecting that intelligence agents are already on their trail .

Original title:
Dark Web: Cicada 3301

Genre:
Action, thriller, comedy

Actors:
Jack Kesi, Conor Leslie, Ron Funches…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 4.9

Age limit:
16+


Mystic Quest: Raven’s Feast (TV series 2020 – 2021)

The eccentric head of the game design studio Ian Grimm decides to create an addition to the most popular computer game in the MMO genre, where he will become the main character. The boss considers himself a great artist , referring to his subordinates as his own retinue. However, not everything is so smooth in the “Kingdom of Denmark”. The main ideologist of the team is hopelessly behind the trends, the testers constantly find bugs in the game, and the relationships in the team are far from ideal.

Original title:
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Rob McElhenney, F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nikdao…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.7


Akimbo Guns (2019)

The action of a foreign film about a deadly esports takes place in an alternate future. Bored programmer Miles Lee Harris accidentally wanders into the forum of an underground survival game where opponents engage in deadly duels. The guy does not want to join the players, preferring to be an outside observer, but the business owner sends thugs to him, punishing him for trolling on the Skizm forum. Miles, armed against his will with pistols, becomes a target for the seasoned huntress Nyx.

Original title:
Guns Akimbo

Genre:
Action, thriller, comedy

Actors:
Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Mark Rowley …

Country:
UK, Germany, New Zealand

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Dead pixels (TV series 2019 – 2021)

Benevolent Meg does not stand out among colleagues at work. No one suspects that communication in real life makes an exemplary employee feel sad. Meg’s real passion is the virtual world of a 3D video game, and she is accompanied by two loyal friends in regular battles on the Internet. Friends are willing to go to great lengths to complete new levels, and addiction leads to funny situations.

Original title:
Dead Pixels

Genre:
Fantasy, comedy

Actors:
Alexa Davies, Will Merrick, Charlotte Richie…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.4

Age limit:
16+


Ready Player One (2018)

Continues the list of the best movies blockbuster about a video game with a hidden surprise. By the middle of the 21st century, the world has been swallowed up by a global crisis, and poverty and overpopulation have become companions of humanity. The only outlet is the OASIS computer game, where people escape from pressing problems. The creator of the entertainment passed away a few years ago, leaving a legacy to whoever solves his puzzle messages. The key to wealth is hidden in the virtual world, so thousands of fans go in search of the coveted Easter egg every day.

Original title:
Ready Player One

Genre:
Fantasy, action, adventure

Actors:
Tai Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn …

Country:
USA, India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.4

Age Limits :
12+


Black mirror. Bandersnatch (2018)

Young programmer Stefan is working on a video game that will challenge gamers with intricate challenges. The hero of a science fiction film is financed by a large company. The development process is overly complex. As the deadline looms on the horizon, Stefan’s story will branch out several times. From that moment on, the viewer will decide for himself – who is worthy of life, and who is better left to die.

Original title:
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Genre:
Fiction, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Finn Whitehead, Craig Parkinson, Alice Lowe…

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Man of the Future (TV series 2017 – 2020)

A movie about a computer game is a hilarious, highly rated comedy about the adventures of a loser. Josh Futturman works as a cleaner, lives with his parents, and in the evening masters new levels in a video game, destroying biotics. No one has yet been able to complete the quests to the end, but one day the guy reaches the final. At the same moment, the characters of the game appear in his room, asking Josh to save the world of the future. If he managed to defeat the biotics on the computer monitor, he will be able to repeat his feat in reality.

Original title:
Future Man

Genre:
Fiction, fantasy, action, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Josh Hutcherson, Derek Wilson, Eliza Cup…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.7

Age Limits :
18+


Nerve (2016)

Modest girl V dreams of going to university at the faculty of arts, but she does not have the means to pay for her studies. A friend invites her to take part in an online game that is generously sponsored by anonymous observers. Participants receive unusual and risky tasks, very well paid. Vee agrees, unaware of the horror ahead of her.

Original title:
Nerve

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime, adventure

Actors:
Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Sparta (TV series 2016)

A Russian film about players playing a dangerous computer game begins with the tragic death of a teacher . The teacher jumped out of the window of an elite St. Petersburg school, and the investigation is entrusted to Captain Kryukov. The teachers praise the graduating class, but the cop begins to suspect something is wrong. Kryukov is eyeing the leader of the guys and a strange game called Sparta. The case is moving slowly, because none of the parents wants to make contact. They are sure that entertainment is absolutely harmless, and a series of accidents is an unfortunate coincidence.

Genre:
Drama, detective

Actors:
Alexander Petrov, Artem Tkachenko, Alisa Lozovskaya …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Pixels (2015)

The aliens accidentally get a “time capsule” with records of arcade games, launched into space from Earth, and they take the video for a declaration of war. These are the same popular video games from the 80s that the aliens are using to invade. People need to gather the best gamers for battle in order to repel the space invaders. Home theater installer Sam Brenner teams up with old buddies to train young fighters.

Original title:
Pixels

Genre:
Fiction, Action, Comedy

Actors:
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan…

Country:
USA, China, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 5.5

Age Limits :
12+


Video Game High School (TV series 2012 – 2014)

A multi-part film about e-sportsmen will take viewers into the near future. Virtual battles have become the most popular and sought-after competition, and the winners get the opportunity to study at a prestigious school. Brian Doheny beats a star contestant in a first-person shooter at an international competition, and from that moment on, the teenager’s life changes dramatically.

Original title:
Video Game High School

Genre:
Action, comedy

Actors:
Josh Blaylock, Ellary Portefield, Joanna E. Braddy …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6


Best Player (2011)

Gamers are seriously excited, because a large-scale tournament on the famous “Black Hole” has been announced. An impressive amount is at stake, so the number of participants is growing rapidly. Young Chris and experienced player Quincy join the ranks of the players, who become bitter rivals. For the sake of victory, they are ready for any meanness, but a well-thought-out plan quickly gets out of hand.

Original title:
Best Player

Genre:
Comedy, family

Actors:
Jerry Trainor, Jennette McCurdy, Amir Talai…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 5.9

Age limit:
6+


Tron: Legacy (2010)

A worthy place in our top films about computer games is occupied by a sequel to a movie about the cyberverse. A quarter of a century ago, Kevin Flynn created an alternate reality and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Years later, his son Sam receives news from the virtual space and goes in search of his father, who has become a hostage of his own offspring.

Original title:
Tron

Genre:
Fantasy, action, adventure

Actors:
Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
12+


Gamer (2009)

Computer genius Ken Castle has successfully combined reality TV with video games. A new entertainment called “Killers” is gaining incredible popularity among representatives of the criminal world. The next participant is John, unfairly sentenced to life imprisonment. In case of victory, the man will receive freedom, but winning the competition is not so easy.

Original title:
Gamer

Genre:
Fiction, Action, Thriller

Actors:
Gerard Butler, Amber Valletta, Michael C. Hall, Kira Sedgwick …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 5.8

Age Limits :
18+


On the Game (dulogy, 2009 and 2010)

After winning an eSports tournament, a team of gamers receives discs with the latest game. At launch, each participant in reality transfers the virtual abilities of their character. The guys become the best racers, shooters and fighters. The manufacturer still has a lot of disks, so the appearance of cyber soldiers remains a matter of time. The finale of a fantastic film about gamers and games is impossible to predict – the heroes need to find the entire circulation to destroy copies, but part of the team is tempted to create an army of their own kind.

Genre:
Action, fantasy, adventure

Actors:
Sergey Chirkov, Marina Petrenko, Pavel Priluchny …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Online gamer (TV series 2009 – 2020)

Young Eron can be envied, because he has a prestigious job, a house and a beloved girlfriend, Beck. The guy considers computer competitions the lot of losers who run away from real problems into the virtual space. Everything changes when, before leaving, Beka gives Eron a prefix so that her boyfriend does not get bored in her absence. A few days later, the guy forgets about everything, completely immersed in exciting quests.

Original title:
The Online Gamer

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Eric Pumphrey, Linsey Bartilson, Davan Firinn …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.1


Ben X (2007)

European cinema about video games will clearly demonstrate how quickly the lines between reality and the fictional universe are blurred. Ben suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, so any communication outside of his native walls requires extraordinary efforts from a high school student. The surrounding people openly mock the mentally ill young man, but everything changes when he discovers the amazing world of virtual battles in Archlord.

Original title:
Ben X

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Greg Timmermans, Laura Verlinden, Marike Pinoy…

Country:
Belgium, Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Stay Alive (2006)

A group of teenagers enthusiastically play a game based on the story of the bloody Countess Bathory. The Hungarian aristocrat dealt with beautiful girls in sophisticated ways. Soon the guys notice that the main character is penetrating into real life, starting to kill the participants. Teenagers die the same death as their characters, so the surviving friends try to survive in virtual reality at any cost.

Original title:
Stay Alive

Genre:
Horror, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, detective

Actors:
John Foster, Samira Armstrong, Frankie Muniz…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 5.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Avalon (2001)

Ash makes a living completing tasks in an illegal team game while remaining a lone fighter. An uncommunicative woman acts with cold calculation, confidently achieving her goal. The next mission is the return of the gamer Murphy from the ghostly level. He must be killed in the game so that the guy comes out of a coma in the real world. Ash travels to the mysterious Special-A level, but her own return is in jeopardy.

Original title:
Avalon

Genre:
Fiction, fantasy, action movie, thriller, drama

Actors:
Malgorzata Foremniak, Vladislav Kowalski, Jerzy Gudeiko …

Country:
Japan, Poland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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