1 Andy Warhol (The Sims: Superstar, 2003)
A posthumous appearance in a goliath of casual gaming might not have seemed the most obvious direction for Warhol's legacy, but the pop art pioneer was a devotee of computing. Just before his death, he embraced the game-centric Amiga as an artistic tool, becoming one of many to harness its creative power. He was even spotted at the 1985 US Amiga launch immortalising Debbie Harry in pixels. And Warhol wasn't the sole celebrity to enjoy time on The Sims: Superstar's silicon screen; the expansion pack also featured Jon Bon Jovi, Avril Lavigne and Marilyn Monroe, to name but a few.
2 Sarah Palin (Mercenaries 2, 2008)Downloadable content long ago let developers flesh out their creations with extra features after release. Mercenaries 2 creator Pandemic Studios seized that opportunity to make Sarah Palin and Barack Obama characters available for its over-the-top open-world action game with the "Blow It Up Again" expansion. Seeing Palin with an RPG slung over her shoulder was strangely a little less unsettling than watching Obama take up arms, perhaps because of her real-world devotion to the National Rifle Association.
3 Aerosmith (Revolution X, 1994)
In 1994 the so-called Bad Boys from Boston made the first of a string of video game performances. Revolution X started life in the arcades, presenting a rock-themed light-gun shooter resplendent with digitised performances by Aerosmith themselves, and enough thong-based content to inspire publishers to tone down the more "exotic" elements. Except, that is, for the PlayStation and Saturn versions, which declined to censor images that celebrated Aerosmith's rock'n'roll lifestyle – in this case in the form of poorly digitised buttocks.
4 Phil Collins (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, 2006)
Phil Collins's self-starring role in the GTA:III spin-off is one of gaming's most curious celebrity appearances. The player has the somewhat unlikely task of delivering the mob-beset Collins safely to a gig, under the instruction of a film director. What's particularly strange, however, is the game's gig scene, resplendent with Collins's hit In the Air Tonight, which it appears was beyond the real-world Collins, who was replaced by an actor for the sequence. There is previous here as well, of course. Collins starred in the pilot of the original Miami Vice, which is often cited as a significant influence on Vice City's development.
5 Gary Coleman (Portal 2, 2003)
Postal 2 relied heavily on controversy to shift units. But if extremes of violence weren't enough to secure the game coverage, it had a secret weapon. Gary Coleman, of Diff'rent Strokes fame, appeared as himself in the game. And like Phil Collins, Coleman was the star of a player mission. On completing the task of securing Coleman's autograph, the player character could be heard congratulating the actor for his role in The Facts of Life – a Diff'rent Strokes spin-off series in which Coleman actually only made two cameo appearances. Elsewhere in Postal 2 the former child-star exchanges fire with the police, and later assumes the form of an evil clone in a hallucination scene.
6 Justin Bieber (NBA 2K13, 2012)
At a less-than-looming 5ft 8in, pop wunderkind Bieber isn't the obvious choice as a celebrity star in a basketball game. But the NBA games have long provided a digital spotlight for the most unlikely public figures, from Beastie Boys to Hillary Clinton. And for the second time in this list, Sarah Palin. As for Bieber's role in the series, while his likeness made the courts, his music wasn't so lucky with regard to the soundtrack.
Kelux Xbox One Kinect Camera Sensor 2 Privacy Cover
Taken in isolation, Kelux's privacy cover is not really a gadget. Quite simply, it's a plastic flap, hardly a tantalising glimpse into the future of gaming hardware. But its existence is a telling reflection of something bigger; concerns around privacy in the connected world. Unusually, the Privacy Cover is a gadget designed to stop another from functioning. It clips over the cameras of the Xbox One's Kinect motion control hardware, with a view to stopping companies capturing data. It's largely fuelled by paranoia, as Microsoft have firm rules to stifle privacy-invading misuse of the newest Kinect.
Still an absolutely iconic title after all these years, Asteroids, it seems, will not go away. Proving the arcade release's simple mechanics are timeless, some 35 years after its debut it is still inspiring contemporary titles. Luftrauserscorrect is the latest from indie darlings Vlambeer, and despite many additions to the formula, it builds on Asteroids' familiar control system. With boost, momentum, rotation and firepower, players must empty the skies of foes. A PC, Mac, Linux, PS Vita and PS3 release, Luftrausers gives the player a wealth of distinct enemies, customisable fighter craft and goals that engender different strategies and play styles. The game lacks some of the purity and depth of its most refined genre-mates, but thanks to strong visual flare, nostalgically rasping audio and accessible gameplay, it's enormously fun throughout.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010