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4 Commonplace Technologies That Every Movie Still Gets Wrong

#2. Unrealistic Cell Phone Screens

Cell phones are one of the more ubiquitous pieces of technology of the modern age. What began as a trend among America's wealthiest coke dealers has turned average people into junkies who have forgotten what life was like before cell phones and their more impressive and better looking younger brothers (smartphones) took over their lives. We all have one. We all know what they look like. The chances are pretty good that that the people who make TV shows and movies have them, too. It's a wonder, then, why anytime a phone screen is shown it seems like some dude from the graphics department runs off to Bermuda with what's left of the budget, and he was the only who had ever used electronics in the post-microwave era.

Here's a phone from a really shitty movie from 2009 called Echelon Conspiracy. Note how the on-screen text has a font and clarity similar to a pop-up ad for boner pills ...

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The lower half doubles as a video slot machine for the compulsive gambler on the go.

In Arrow, there's not much difference between Google Maps and footage of AC-130 precision bombings ...

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And on How I Met Your Mother, the graphics department decided that the giant screens we watch shows on are not big enough to read a text on an iPhone, even when the shot is so close to Neil Patrick Harris' hand, that channel-flipping homophobic palm readers prayed for his soul at the mere glance of his love line.

But none of these come close to being as shitty as the phone screens on Dexter, where every incoming call is a Jeopardy! category ...

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... and every text message is a "Final Jeopardy!" answer.

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"Your answer: 'From Quinn.' I'm sorry. The correct answer was 'Mongolia.'"

But They Have to Do It Because...

People won't be able to read the tiny text on a screen, even though we live in the HDTV era and that tiny text is actually 47 inches long. It can be argued that it's also to protect the intellectual property rights of the company that made the phone, but that theory is obliterated by giant company logos no one cared to cover up.

#1. Video Games That Would Be Unplayable in Real Life

Now and again a show or movie will weave a video game into its plot. Sometimes the game is real, sometimes it isn't. But almost all of the time the simple fact that this plot now contains a game acts as a harbinger of the horrors to come: nonsensical footage of the game in action.

In an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the gang gets hooked to a PC game that might be a Facebook game, but it takes up the whole screen and browser games don- You know what? It's easier just to say that the game makes no fucking sense.

It can be played on a PC...

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... and with absolutely no graphical downgrade ...

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... can also be played on a smartphone. The faces on the characters are stylized replications of their respective in-show characters. In order to do that the developers who made the game would have had to custom render their faces into it, which means they'd need to do that for everyone who plays the game. That's an incredible amount of work. None of us are worth that shit.

In this article, John Cheese talked about an embarrassing chase scene from CSI: New York where a blue fox on a hover board is chased by a generic white man with a jet pack, and it all took place in the MMO Second Life and in your mind during your last aneurism. What he didn't mention are the few minutes that led to that chase, when a member of the CSI team takes part in a series of in-game gladiatorial battles.

During the fights, the camera cuts to a new angle approximately three times a second. In a lot of games -- MMOs in particular -- there's no such thing as a camera cut; just a lot of third-person ass and neck. If a game actually played that way you'd vomit and quit just after telling some poor kid from Milwaukee that you violated his mom.

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Quick, he's attacking you, in this first-person shoo-

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Oh, sorry, not first person, now we see him from behind while you kill him ... for whatever reason.

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And now a shot of the crowd? Why?

The Big Bang Theory doesn't exactly get the nerd seal of approval for its portrayal of geeks, and this clip, wherein Penny plays Age of Conan, really takes their suck up a few notches.

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Motion sensors inside your microphone will know to tilt the head of your avatar if you tilt your head, because the writers of this show have never played a video game.

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And if the player wants to stroke her chin condescendingly, press and hold "B."

If the technology to have in-game avatars understand language and immediately perform gestures appropriate for the words spoken by the players, every Halo deathmatch you've ever participated in would have included a moment where a Master Chief rage-screamed homophobic slurs while pointing to a non-existent TV, which would be followed by the genetically modified super-human Spartan solider cowering in fear as his father pummeled him with a belt. Then you'd watch Master Chief type an angry status update.

But They Have to Do It Because ...

They're trying to tell a more dynamic story, so they bend the rules of video games until they're a mangled, useless heap of digital bullshit that resembles nothing that can be found in a real game. Only then is their totally rad and hip reference to modern technology ready for the screen.

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Luis Prada

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