Review of Video Games: The Movie
Video Games: The Movie premiered earlier this month, and is an appreciative tribute to the meteoric growth of the video game industry. Video games are now a $24 billion dollar industry, far surpassing the music as well as the film industry, and their future has never seemed brighter. Steeped in nostalgic video game clips and inoffensive music, Video Games leaps back and forth along a timeline (which I have to say raises the question: with so many jumps, why bother having a timeline?) to comb through landmarks from the industry’s infancy to the present. The film, whose production was headed by Zach Braff and Jeremy Snead, has a rich and fascinating subject matter, which makes the ultimately mediocre execution even more disappointing.
Video Games utilizes a pretty standard documentary style, cutting between shots of video games and talking heads who lead us from one achievement to another. For the audience unfamiliar with the general history and business operations of video games, the documentary makes sure to catch them up with a TED Talks-style infographic. Behind the current iterations of video games stand many notable architects, like Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, and Fusajiro Yamauchi, the founder of Nintendo. The development of Atari’s home version of Pong in the 1970s was revolutionary, and then years later Nintendo’s Mario franchise came along. Alongside the console games were PC games, which weren’t even possible until computers were paired with screens in the 1960s.