“Finish him!” “Save the princess!” “Time is running out!” Video game designers excel at creating high-stakes environments. And television has earned some laughs depicting the obsessive players who heed these calls to action. Here are some of the memorable ways television shows have turned video games into life-or-death situations.
George holds the high score on the video arcade machine at a pizzeria that’s going out of business. “I’m never gonna have a child,” he tells Kramer. “If I lose this Frogger high score, that’s it for me.” To preserve his legacy, George needs to move the machine without cutting power. A birds-eye view reveals his Frogger-like dance across a busy street. Do you remember how the story ends? (Ouch.) Lonnie McDonald, who reigned as Joust champion of the world in 1982, took a different approach. Between 2011 and 2013 McDonald rolled the 9,999,999 score on 100 Joust video arcade machines, including The Strong’s example, and registered his initials at the top of each list.