TV shows have done plots about anything and everything over the years, and video games have proved no exception.
Going back a little before the turn of the century, gaming has made a step into the mainstream, and our culture has reached the stage where icons like Mario, Lara Croft, Crash Bandicoot and Master Chief would be recognisable to most people.
This means that you don’t need to be a hardcore fan to understand the world of video games, or to appreciate when they’re used as part of a great episode of television. However, a lot of these do feature little Easter eggs and winks for those who know the titles inside out.
It’s clear that some of the show runners are massively into games as well, with an extra touch of attention paid to these stories to bring them to life.
Some of these episodes use the games as simply a plot device within the story, while others dive in completely and construct entire narratives around the virtual world. Either way, they turn out some of these shows’ weirdest episodes when they get into full swing.
10. American Dad - OreTron Trail
OreTron Trail comes from the most recent season of American Dad, and as the title suggests, features the classic game Oregon Trail. However, as is becoming increasingly common for Stan and the rest of the Smith family, it doesn’t fully deliver on its potential.
The crux of the episode is Roger considering his mortality, especially in relation to the rest of the family. His species has a much longer life than humans, so he contemplates what life will be like without them. This culminates in him faking his death, and living as an outlaw.
After a year-long time skip, all of the family but Steve have moved on from Roger, with the Smith boy having suspicions over the alien’s death. They’re eventually reunited, and Roger admits he did not cope well without them.
This leads to him trapping the Smith family inside Steve’s Mac, where their only escape is to complete the Oregon Trail.
By this point though, the episode is already near the end of their time in the game, which could have been a great way to explore their characters, but it's rushed and played for laughs. After a montage of deaths, the eventually escape, but it could have been much better.