Be warned! Spoilers ahead!
Wreck it Ralph dives into the world of video games and pays homage to the classic idea of playing games in an Arcade. The perspective is from the characters with in the games, and deals with their perception of themselves and the other games. The sequel takes that premise, and adapts it for the internet and online gaming.
While the movie only really goes into one online game, Slaughter Race, it does use that to show the tropes of online gaming in MMO’s. When player characters walked into Shanks garage, the animation team made sure to make the characters move in stiff movements, and had them continue their “run” animation as they turned to talk to each other, and as they turned to look around when they were ambushed. The player characters also were given very neutral expressions that never changed. There was a nice dichotomy between the players in the game, and their actual persons. It was really great to see a calmer older teenage girl player, and an over dramatic pre-pubescent boy as the players. The girl was portrayed as more experienced as she did not freak out as much when their characters were destroyed, whereas the boy was so dramatic and described everything as “the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”
The game itself talks about how it is an open world with very few rules even though they do not use those terms. The games characters also talk about things like game updates and add ons that have not yet been developed, implying that they are aware of everything that the developers do and that they know that they have developers. It gets kind of similar to Toy Story when you really think about it.
Slaughter Race is the only “game” in the movie, there are references to other parts of the internet that could be considered a game. When Vanellope goes to the Disney sector, we see people lined up to participate in Princess Quizzes, and to ask Groot a question. While these aren’t quite games, they are a form of entertainment online that requires thinking and has an end goal. I do think there was a missed opportunity for some Disney Princess Dress up games because I played those All The Time when I was a kid.
Another thing I think is interesting about the movie, is while they do make a lot of references to internet culture, I found it interesting that for Ralph and Vanellope, almost everything to them was a game. Collecting hearts/likes was a game, the ebay bidding was a game, even collecting money from the “Play Video Games and Get Money!” guy was a game. It really says something about how their whole perspective of life is through games.
As a general I liked the movie, it was really cute and made me feel super old when they said “We’ve been friends for 6 years” Because I refuse to believe 2012 was 6 years ago. I think it is definitely worth a view, but you absolutely have to wait until the end of the credits for a surprise scene.