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Mad Magazine - Video Games in Real Life

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Hey all. I finally found a copy online of one my favorite MAD Magazines parodies from back in the 80's.


In this parody, MAD Magazine created a series of "video games" based on real life. Actually, many of these are do-able on the Atari 2600!








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they look hilarious! actually the photos resemble more to game and watch games but either way they look funny :P

i remember i had an issue of 99 or so here in greece where they had more 3d-ish "games". i would scan them but noone would understand... but i guess the greek version was just translated from the US issues.

anyway thanks for the scans Devin :)

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As a kid, I thought quite a bit how these could be made into real games - especially when I learned to program.


  • Walk-Don't Walk - Exactly how LS_Dracon said!
  • Subway Rush Hour - Definitely a button masher. Another approach would to have you control a "sweeper" that pushes them in. Naturally, they would be like herding cats.
  • Insult the Intelligence TV Commercial - This one could be really fun. The human player would naturally be able to move up and down. The TV could have two moves: push right and the T.V. glows like it is going to fire - and right to fire. It would be a game of guessing - kinda like a psychological game.
  • Big City Doggie Do - Q-Bert-ish?
  • International Terrorist - The game is quite simple. It might be fun if the terrorist side and try to fake-out the Guard.
  • Rich and Famous Crook - Doesn't seem feasible.
  • Professional Hockey - Oh yaaaa... good 'ole beat 'em up!
  • Guns vs. Butter Budget - Doesn't seem feasible.
  • Political Asylum - This seems like more of a one-player game. Basically, its a space shoot 'em up.
  • Piling up the Bull - Button masher?
  • Smoker's vs. Non-Smokers - This can pretty much the same game as "Insult the Intelligence T.V Commercial". However, in this version, both players can have timers - breathing for the non-smoker and addiction for the smoker!
  • Television Spin-Off - Definitely a paddle game like ComputerSpacceFan said.
  • Great American Divorce - It would be more fun if the items scrolled vertically like the carriage in Outlaw! If two players get to the same item, they can tug-o-war!

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  • 3 years later...

Sorry to necropost... found this with a google search.


Thank you Devin for finding this article!


I remember it fondly, and even wrote SMOKERS vs NON-SMOKERS for my BBC micro back in the day. It made a surprisingly playable game - the non-smoker ran out of breath, and held down a key to suck air back in, while the smoker hit a key to blow smoke. It all worked in BASIC - I just changed screen colours to indicate the breath/smoke in the lungs and to show the arm with the cigarette, and only had to update the little blocks in the lungs.

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  • 9 years later...

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