Video Game Industry & Culture: How do video games influence other cultural forms?

How do video games inspire other cultural forms, such as the Wreck-It Ralph movie? How did it effect how the story was told?

The 2012 movie Wreck-It Ralph centered around the story lines of different video game characters from various games, such as Wreck-It Ralph from Fix-It Felix, Jr, Sergeant Calhoun from Hero’s Duty, and Vanellope von Schweetz from Sugar Rush. The movie also includes well-known video game characters, including Bowser from the Mario franchise, Doctor Eggman and Sonic from the Sonic franchise, and the ghost from the Pac-Man franchise. There are also many references to other video games in the movie.

When asked about the inspiration behind the movie, Director Rich Moore said, “I loved the games that were based around characters, because they reminded me of little cartoons. And I loved just imagining what the scenario is that I’m watching here. Why is Pac-Man running through a maze followed by ghosts? What is it about? What is the story here?”


In this example, video games have created new and original storylines for movies. The movie creates an entire universe within videogames, where the characters interact with one another. The movie shows scenarios such as a game going out of order, a game getting unplugged, and the relationship between the player and the characters within the game.


The Wreck-It Ralph movie also demonstrates the difference in video game graphics, from 8-bit arcade style games to more modern 3D graphics. In an interview, Rich Moore described the Fix-It Felix Jr. game as “8-bit,” Hero’s Duty as “very gritty,” “modern,” and “detailed,” and Sugar Rush as “very whimsical, and anime and classic Disney animation all crunched together.”


The image above shows how video games have even impacted the animation styles used in movies. Instead of just using one, the Wreck-It Ralph movie incorporates different styles throughout the movie. This gives characters the freedom to enter different worlds and universes.

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