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I have this very vague memory of watching some live action series/movie (can't remember which) where these kids got sucked into a video game/computer. I remember that there was this strange blue CGI sprite and that at one point a boy spelled help on the floor with sticks inside the game so the outside would notice.

I must have seen it around 2005/6 but my teacher showed it to me so it may have been older. So I think it may have been educational in some way but I can't remember how. I also remember a kid using a crayon and paper to figure out what some stone said but that may be from something else. I am aware this is incredibly vague - but it was definitely live action.

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    What country did it come from? – Ian Thompson May 11 at 16:21
  • Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question? – Valorum May 11 at 16:59
  • Any chance this is Spy Kids 3D: Game Over? – Daniel B May 11 at 18:49
  • The Jumanji remake with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart is this. – 15742 May 12 at 8:41
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Bearing in mind that your teacher showed it to you, I reckoned it might have been an educational programme, and googled the BBC's "Look and Read" series to try to find a match:

"Zzaap and the Word Master" was originally broadcast in 2001. Wikipedia's synopsis reads:

"Josie and Peter get transported into an educational computer game at their school. Once inside they discover that the game is being controlled by the evil Victor Virus who is intent on finding a way to take over the world. The children, assisted in the real world by Simon and Frances, must stop Virus by completing the various levels of the game."

You mention "a strange blue CGI-like sprite". There's an image at https://www.amazon.co.uk/zzaap-Word-Master-Look-Read/dp/0563541075 which does indeed show such a sprite interacting with two of the children.

Also, to quote your original post - "I also remember a kid using a crayon and paper to figure out what some stone said" - This sort of thing would happen quite often in Look and Read.

I've found a Youtube link -

- so you can check it out for yourself.

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theatrical poster Could it possibly be Spy Kids 3D: Game Over? It features children being pulled into a video game. It released in 2003 so it's from around the same time. Additionally it's live action with CGI components and the players trapped in the game are aided by the outside world. However this film doesn't, to my recollection, feature a blue sprite, the spelling of 'help' with sticks, or the crayon rubbing.

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The only strictly matching point is that it's a live action series involving kids pulled into a video game, and it's around the right timeframe, but could it be the 2003 Australian series, Pirate Islands?

Series image of Pirate Islands

Kate Redding, a sister of Nicholas and Sarah, is playing a new computer game called Pirate Islands, which has been created by her father. After Sarah tampers with the computer scanner, lightning strikes the house, and the scanner goes wild, zapping the three siblings inside the computer game. After teleporting inside the game, Kate meets Mars, the main character of the video game. Blackheart, the pirate captain, takes the siblings aboard the pirate ship and threatens to walk them off the plank, Mars climbs aboard and cuts the rope, causes the sails to fall against the pirates, the siblings escape and attempt to find their scanner, only to be cornered by the pirates and drop it into Blackheart's grasp, who uses it unknowingly to zap his crew-mate, causing him to pixelate and melt.

Kate discovers that users are transported between islands in the game through icons, after jumping inside, she ends up on castaway island only to find that Carmen, the second in command, has stolen all the items from Kate's bedroom. The pirates arrive and chase the gang off the island, causing Sarah to trip against a tree trunk which triggers a secret entrance inside the tree, which contains stairways up towards a hidden treehouse, the gang store their few belongings and decide to call this place their new home.

Nothing in the plot on Wikipedia mentions spelling out "help" with sticks, or getting a rubbing from a stone to discover engravings, but it seems like it would be within the genre.

Trailer

Found by searching for tv series kids pulled into videogame -cartoon, which brought me to TV series about children ending up in father's computer game on this site.

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Is it possibly Adventures in Dinosaur City?

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    Can you explain why this is a match? – FuzzyBoots May 11 at 18:37

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