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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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This was directly addressed by the film's lead actor, John C. Reilly (who portrays the titular Ralph). In short, the possibility of traveling beyond Litwak's Arcade was already under consideration even as the first film was being marketed.

Movieline: So here's the big question: If there are, say, hundreds or thousands of similar arcades out in world beyond the confines of Litwak’s Family Fun Center, does that mean there are potentially many more Ralphs out there? And are they all going through the same existential journey at the same time, in their respective arcades?

JCR: Duplicate Ralphs?!

Movieline: Multiple souls, maybe? What’s going on here?

JCR: Wow. I never even thought about that. That’s surprising, after three days of a press junket, to think about that for the first time. I don’t know! Are they all experiencing the same thing at the same time, or is it a Matrix-like situation? This is the next creative leap. The next leap of imagination that people can make after they see the movie. The first one is like, what is it like to be inside a video game, to be a video game character – that could be a sequel, or something. And could you go into the surge protector and into the electricity network… That could be the next destination.

John C. Reilly Ponders The Existential Questions Of 'Wreck-It Ralph'

And in Ralph Breaks the Internet the characters do indeed travel to the Internet via a modem.

On a side note, we learn that Sugar Rush is a vanishingly rare 'import' game and that other Wreck-It Ralph machines are almost all broken/obsolete so the odds of coming across a second actual Ralph or Vanellope in the Internet are very low indeed.

  • 1
    This is not a terribly different idea as seeing all the "other" Buzz Lightsyear in Toy Story 2, none of whom have realized they're toys. – VBartilucci Dec 19 '18 at 19:29
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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.

Note that at the time this answer was originally written (2013) WiFi wasn't as common as it is now and it would have been hit or miss (at that time) for Ralph and friends to find a path onto the internet.

The sequel movie (Ralph Breaks the Internet) shows that Ralph and his fellow digital beings are fully compatible with the full gamut of computing devices, as well as the internet. And with public WiFi available in the arcade, getting access to it is greatly simplified.

  • But there are also millions upon millions of game consoles and PCs connected to the power grid, so the odds of finding someplace interesting probably aren't that bad. – Xantec Dec 11 '16 at 4:06
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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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