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Plugged In

Snoop Dogg’s greatest gaming moments

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(Getty Images)

He's well known as a rapper, actor, and, uh, marijuana ambassador, but Snoop Dogg's favorite hobby might well be yours: video games.

Celebrities appear in video games all the time, but few have as diverse a gaming resume as Snoop. If there's a big time video game event going on, chances are good that he'll show up.

But Snoop's not just taking advantage of his celebrity -- the guy's a huge gamer. Every year at E3, he sneaks onto the floor to try out the latest games. At home, he says, he prefers sports games. NBA 2K11, Madden and FIFA are among his favorites. He even once plunked down $5,000 over a game of NBA 2K with Jermaine Dupri in a celebrity tournament.

Over the years, Snoop's had his hand in all sorts of kooky video game projects. Here's a handful of his most memorable.

Snoop blows up a car for Mafia Wars

Despite being way, way more of a gangster than the folks who developed it, Snoop Dogg didn't appear in Zynga's hit Facebook game. But when the publisher wanted to focus some media attention on a new installment of the game, they called him in.

And, boy, did it work.

Snoop pulled the trigger to blow up a four-ton armored car -- and 2 million people tuned in live via Ustream to watch.


Snoop shills for MTV YooStar

The Yoostar video 'karaoke' series never caught fire as many expected, but Snoop was one of its biggest supporters, regularly posting videos on the site's social, YouTube-like pages. So when developers created an MTV-themed game, he was a natural go-to spokesman.

He served as the public face of the game, contributed music to the project, and also gave permission to the company to use his "Drop It Like It's Hot" video as one of the featured clips.

"I've always liked the ability to put yourself alongside celebrities in shows, movies and music videos, and then have the ability to share that -- that's fly," he told USA Today. "I can connect with that."


Snoop writes a song for Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Sadly, tha Doggfather won't be a playable character in this upcoming fighter game, but he will be in the game nonetheless. Namco Bandai revealed plans for a Snoop-related stage in the game at this year's E3. Players will duke it out while a digital Snoop sits on a throne surrounded by women, watching the carnage. He'll also contribute a new Tekken-themed song to the game called "Knock 'em Down."


Snoop almost releases Fear & Respect

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Back in 2004, Snoop Dogg and director John Singleton collaborated on this action/adventure game for Midway. The premise? Players would guide Snoop's character, Goldie, through the crime-infested streets of South Central L.A., battling rival gangs and being a general GTA-type miscreant.

But gamers never got the chance to see the finished product. Originally planned for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, it was later pushed out to be part of the next generation console launch before being cancelled outright in 2006.


Snoop hosts the Spike TV VGAs

After a disastrous start in 2003 (it featured a wrestling match in the middle of the show), Spike TV turned to Snoop Dogg to help rein things in at the Video Game Awards. The show was still far from a hit with gamers, but even the most cynical viewers said it was a vast improvement over the original.

Highlights from the show included a pretty bizarre performance of 'Riders on the Storm' by Snoop Dogg and the surviving members of The Doors.


Snoop raps about Gran Turismo 3

In 2001, celebrity-endorsed games were starting to pick up steam. A few celebrities had lent their faces to games, and a handful of musicians had contributed songs to soundtracks. But Snoop Dogg broke new ground by composing a rap dedicated entirely to the Gran Turismo series.

"Dogg's Turismo 3" was a love ballad to the game, featuring lyrics like "it's all about winning y'all know what's up / Playstation 2 taking you to a whole new dimension / where the cars look fly and they got good suspension."


Snoop appears in True Crime: Streets of L.A.

Initially, it appeared Snoop Dogg would simply contribute a song to this action game, but dedicated players found that by pressing a complex series of buttons, they could unlock him as a playable character -- complete with obscenity-ridden voice over. And while Snoop might be OG here in the real world, he played a rather unorthodox cop in this game. (Warning: Harsh language in that clip.)


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Snoop founds the Hip Hop Gaming League

Long before eSports reached their current level of popularity, Snoop Dogg saw potential in the field. As creator and commissioner of the Hip-Hop Gaming League, he oversaw celebrity tournaments whose competitors included Wu-Tang Clan founder Method Man, NBA star Carmelo Anthony, rapper Lil Wayne, soccer stud Cobi Jones and chatty wide receiver Chad Johnson.

The league survived for two seasons.

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