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In the movie Wreck-it Ralph, characters can move from game-to-game using the (dodgy) power-board known as 'Game Central Station':

That's gotta be dangerous

Are we to believe that every game in the arcade is plugged in to this one power board? (eye-twitch)

Or can the game characters travel further up the power lines than Game Central? Visit other games plugged into other wall outlets etc. Could they theoretically access the main power grid and travel to other arcades?

Is the answer "A Wizard did it", or did I just give away the main story arc of Wreck-it-Ralph 2?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

To answer a question like this, you have to accept the rules of the universe, as they have been laid out, and hope that they are consistent. Clearly, the universe of Wreck-it Ralph is not our universe, as the game characters are not merely AIs, but actual digital life forms, perhaps something like an electricity elemental. This is critical, as it warns us that trying to apply the laws of physics, as we currently understand them, won't work.

So taking the paradigm that is given - power cords form connections between electrically powered devices - we can guess that the power strip that makes up "Game Central" is connected to something else, probably an outlet, which is then connected to a circuit breaker. It wouldn't be too much to assume that a game character could traverse the power grid, eventually traveling to any directly connected device, though with no guarantee that it would stay connected.

The problems that a character would run into would be determined by the compatibility of these digital beings with the nature of the individual devices. It isn't too much of a stretch to believe that they would be able to fully interact with any computerized device. On the other hand, something like a conventional toaster might find them very limited and/or in danger due to the heat and/or higher voltages.

Even with unlimited ability to travel, our modern electrical grid is huge and consists of hundreds of millions of individual devices. Finding another arcade or something similar that the characters might consider interesting would be a needle in a haystack problem.

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I think it's more artistic license. The movie had a lot of unrealistic correspondence between the digital and the physical because it's much easier for people to understand and relate to something physical. Case in point: the ending scene where Ralph is able to look out of the screen and see the Sugar Rush console and Venellope. That's very emotionally satisfying and wouldn't work half as well without that direct (but implausible) connection.

For the same reason, having physical representations of "Game Central" and the way there makes the story work better.

But no doubt it could be retconned in some way if the need arises.

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