The documentary Video Games: The Movie met with a lukewarm reception when it was released in 2014. Yet, it deserves more credit than the “meh” response it originally garnered.
The work serves as a primer to the gaming industry. It explores the question, Is a good video game the hardest thing to make? Through interviews with industry experts, including Mark Cerny (PS4 architect), Peter Molyneux (game designer), Palmer Luckey (Oculus Rift founder), and Nolan Bushnell (Atari co-founder), the documentary looks to the genesis of video games and spends the next hour and 41 minutes bringing viewers up to speed on current (as of 2014) trends in gaming.
Unfortunately, the insertion of needless (other than Wil Wheaton) celebrity commentary dampens this docu’s impact. It also overlooks the “dark side” of the story – the hurdles that made the video-game industry what it is today – and it fails to explore gaming culture.
Is a good documentary the hardest thing to make?
A documentary that appeals to both fans of and newcomers to video games is, perhaps, a tall order. But where Video Games: The Movie excels is in establishing video games as a legitimate form of media deserving of the same respect given to other art forms.
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