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The 5 Most Baffling Celebrity Appearances in Video Games

#2. Britney's Dance Beat

THQ

Britney's Dance Beat makes you pretend to audition to be a backup dancer for someone else. That's not a game, that's machines training children to consider silicon-mining a promotion. It doesn't even let you pretend to be the celebrity, making this the first celebrity game officially worse than a copy of its own soundtrack and a hairdryer pretending to be a microphone.

THQ
BRITNEY'S dance beat. Not yours.

You're not Britney, and you don't even get to dance. In 2002, dance games were doing well, with huge arcade machines and home dance mat peripherals, but Britney's Dance Beat is dedicated to disappointing in every possible way, making players tap on a regular controller instead. You spend your time watching a hand sweep around a circular clock face so that you know when to press some buttons. It's less a simulation of dance stardom than data entry.

THQ
No, you can't interact with EITHER of the TWO Britneys. You're the poorly lit chick blocked by a cloud of shapes.

That's the whole game. It could have been the first DDRPG, leveling up from innocent Mouseketeer to jailbait superstar, drug-addled headcase, and auto-tuned has-been Fembot. Instead, your highest hope is her permission to hang out near the back of her stage and try not to embarrass her. If you do well, your big payoff is watching a much worse version of a music video that's already been played on every television monitor in existence while you tap buttons like a Drinking Bird with delusions of grandeur. The game has five songs and all the interaction mechanics of a rotary telephone.

#1. Gallagher's Gallery

American Laser Games

Gallagher, who made millions of dollars by smashing fruit, got a video game in 1992, and in it you don't smash any fruit. Gallagher's only skill is winning fights with inanimate objects. And even then you suspect he had to practice. American Laser Games missed the chance to invent multimillion-selling Fruit Ninja two decades early despite that being their only sane option. Instead, they released Gallagher's Gallery, taking a one-note comedian and muting his only note.

American Laser Games
Make sure you mention the space-saver design. Kids will want to know about that.

The game alternates shooting levels with Gallagher sketches, and both utterly destroy words randomly pulled from a dictionary. You blow away cafeteria food ...

American Laser Games

... an electric lamp ...

American Laser Games

... a fishbowl with the fish still inside ...

American Laser Games

... and that's just to prove that you're ready to take out an airplane.

American Laser Games
Just like Gallagher?

Congratulations -- you've funded cruelty to animals and taken to terrorism because the watermelon dude told you to. Fail and you face the harshest punishment of all: Gallagher jokes. "Why, you couldn't hit the ground with a hat!"

American Laser Games
"I brought all of this from home, if that wasn't obvious."

Worst of all, you can't shoot Gallagher. Even though he's the final boss.

American Laser Games
The game's logo was cruelly false advertising

He's trying to smash a watermelon with his giant sledgehammer. You must stop him by shooting the hammer out of his hands, just as any worthwhile human must prevent any Gallagher routine by any means possible, but Gallagher himself is immortal. A mind-ruining horror concept kicking the shit out of anything Lovecraft ever wrote.

American Laser Games
You don't lose when this happens. You lost when you started playing.

Gallagher has since ensured this wasn't the worst thing he's ever done by devolving into a racist, sexist, bitter, xenophobic nutjob. He's Fox News with produce. But American Laser Games knew that if we could stop him, human productivity would stop too. No one would ever work again; we'd be shooting simulated Gallaghers all day, every day, forever. Instead, we're stuck watching something we hate laugh at things that aren't funny. They replaced the Duck Hunt dog with something even more annoying, so Gallagher's Gallery isn't just the worst video game with a celebrity: It is the worst anything ever programmed.


Jason attended a Gallagher show as a kid and has been in therapy ever since. Further his suffering by sending him pictures of watermelons over Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

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