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Reverse preservation: a movie prop game comes to life

Fix It Felix Jr Arcade - Vigamus Rome

The Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph (2012) is a video game based story of a games arcade, where the various video game characters leave their games in the night and gather together to socialize. The main character Felix lives in the Fix-It Felix Jr. game. Disney actually created a real arcade cabinet for the game for marketing purposes, as well as creating a real Fix-It Felix Jr. game to run in the cabinet.

The resulting was also released as a browser-based Flash game and for Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile game. The actual arcade cabinet version did have more features and graphics than the Flash game.

But now the game has suddenly become real, as it was created for the Commodore 64 microcomputer by hobbyist game creators Broken Bytes.

As the Wreck-It Ralph movie tells, the Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade game was first published in 1982. Disney also created fake adverts to run with the game and movie as well as aging the arcade cabinet to look like a real retro machine.

Hence, the completely fictional Fix-It Felix Jr. game from a movie was first brought to life by Disney, then re-created for a retro platform. This is a fascinating twist in the game and digital culture preservation context, with new content created  from a retro themed make-believe idea.

Fix It Felix Jr. game on Commodore 64

The movie, as well as other recent video game based movies like Ready Player One, Pixels and Jumanji, has helped to raise awareness, interest and respect for old video games. This in turn helps the actual preservation projects and video game museums.

And if you happen to visit Rome, Italy, make sure you head to the VIGAMUS, The Video Game Museum of Rome and a member of EFGAMP. They happen to have the one and only authentic Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade cabinet, so you can enjoy unique piece of video gaming history which didn’t really exist until it suddenly did.

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More information:

Fix It Felix Jr Arcade – photo by Vigamus

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