Video games are no longer the domain of pimple-faced teens slurping a Massive Gulp of Mountain Dew in their bedrooms. Everyone is a gamer now, including several characters from your favorite television shows.
But who are the best TV characters at hammering out the Contra code or pulling off a well-timed Hadouken finishing combo? We gathered up 15 of our favorite TV gamers, as you'll see in the list below.
Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) used Second Life to create a fantasy version of himself, like a chump. Dwight recreated his own life down to the detail of him playing Second Life in the game (Second Second Life), except he can fly. That's how you do it. (Sidebar: Did you know there's a The Office game? It's weird!)
14. Dave, Code Monkeys
Code Monkeys was a show on G4 that wasn't very funny, but it was steeped in gamer culture in a way that no scripted show was before it started in 2007. It followed the employees of a video game company and was animated in an 8-bit style.
You would think it would be Sheldon (Jim Parsons), who counts video games as one of his many obsessions, as the Big Bang entry on this list, but it's actually Penny, since she's a natural who gets super into it super fast.
12. Fry, Futurama
Like Penny, Fry is a video game natural, thanks to his lust for violence.
Remember that episode where the staff of County General couldn't stop playing Doom II? That was funny.
10. Mordecai, Regular Show
Mordecai and Rigby both love video games, but Mordecai is better at them, as we learned from the episode "Death Punchies." They've played video games many times on the show, as 23-year-old slackers would in real life, too.
Before Chuck Bartowski (played by real-life super gamer Zachary Levi) became an accidental spy with the power of the Intersect in his brain, he was a typical 20-something guy who played Gears of War all the time. His 'stick skills came in handy in real missions, and gaming — including classics like Missile Command — seeped into major storylines in the show.
"You can't log off of your own life," Codex said in 2007. That line is even more relevant now. Cyd "Codex" Sherman was the central character of Felicia Day's MMORPG sitcom, which was one of the first web series to break out of the YouTube ghetto.
In a Season 1 episode, Tony and Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) played Mario Kart, because while Tony is terrible person, he's not the worst dad. It was one of the sweetest moments between the mobster and his son. Later in the season, he took away A.J.'s Mario Kart privileges when he got caught stealing communion wine. Video games made Tony Soprano a better parent (admittedly, that's not saying much).
6. Milhouse van Houten, The Simpsons
Jesse uses video games like many of us do: as an escape from the stresses of real life. But unlike most of us, first-person shooters make Jesse have flashbacks to the time he shot Gale Boetticher (David Costabile) in the face. Poor, sweet Jesse.
The British cult comedy that launched the careers of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost covered all things pop culture, including the vidyas. When not obsessing over movies or TV shows, Pegg's Tim could be found multiple times sitting on the couch while stoned playing games like Resident Evil 2.
3. The kids from Nick Arcade
Why no love in the nostalgia game for Nick Arcade? This video game competition was way, way, way ahead of its time. It was eSports before the internet. So what if it was terrible? Legends of the Hidden Temple was terrible, too, and it's getting a movie!
This dude got so into this one incredibly realistic video game that he devoted his entire life to beating it. That's dedication.
1. Kenny, South Park