Video games have long been known as realms of the impossible. Even the most low-level ESPN commentators will refer to a particularly great performance by a player by saying something like "Those are video game numbers!" The difference is that an athlete like LeBron James is a real person, and Zelda is still a fantasy that will never come true, James, you loser.
But lo and behold, some gamers have found new ways to defy reality. You may remember the surprisingly intricate Mario Kart verite, but are you familiar with ...
5 Japanese Live-Action Pac-Man Is Performance Art Meets Goodfellas
One of the first games to thrive in both the arcade and console realms of the video game kingdom, Pac-Man is either a simple addictive diversion or a haunting allegory for man's struggle to navigate the maze of existence, ever pursued by the ghosts of his past.
Because Japan is the bedrock of both video games and pop-culture fever dreams, a Japanese television show attempted to recreate a game of Pac-Man in real life, using actors dressed as Pac and his colorful ghost adversaries. It's like an experimental theater troupe that even Portland thought was too weird got trapped inside an arcade machine.
Starring a mime, giant Kinder Surprises, and your own relentless nightmares.
In the game, when the ghosts close in on Pac-Man, that's the end for him, no matter how much theoretical Vitamin C he's managed to consume up to that point. For some reason, the producers of this show decided that the best way to represent this element of the game in reality would be to have the ghosts whip out baseball bats and beat the living snot out of Pac-Man, like they're Joe Pesci and Pac-Man is anyone else in a Joe Pesci movie.
"Hey, Blinky. Blinky, hurry up, will ya? My mother's gonna make some fried peppers and sausage for us."
Unfortunately, the YouTube video doesn't source which show this is from, so whether or not they made a followup piece in which Ms. Pac-Man grieves over Pac-Man's bloody corpse frustratingly eludes us.
4 A Giant Angry Birds Game, With Pumpkins For Birds
As disappointing as it will be when the Angry Birds movie turns out to not be a long-lost Hitchcock sequel, we have some good news to tide the world over until its release. Like Kevin McCallister with no burglars to brutally torture, Sam Beards used his technical ingenuity to bring the third-most-beloved bird-based iPhone game to life.
In the game, you fire the titular angry birds from a slingshot into hastily-constructed shelters housing green pigs, following a vague plot about rescuing eggs. It's basically what George Orwell would have come up instead of Animal Farm if he pounded half a dozen Red Bulls and had an IQ that could only be represented in fractions.
Sam uses pumpkins instead of birds, because a) PETA, probably and b) pumpkins tend to explode better than birds. Beards propped up the pumpkin pigs on bales of hay and wooden planks, and fired the angry bird pumpkins across the field from a giant slingsh-- holy shit, is that a cannon!?
"I am become death, destroyer of gourds."
The whole thing kind of feels like a whacked out origin story for a whacked out sci-fi Sleepy Hollow reboot.
One Hollow's not so sleepy anymore.
The moral of this story is that if we just allow the children of the world to operate insane giant pieces of machinery, you can save that sweet $1.99 you would have wasted in the Apple store.