Video Games The Movie took on a task that is probably one of the most intimidating things in the world. Try and put the gaming industry, its history, its culture, its community and the people that help made it what it is into a 100-minute film. It's a cruel, intimidating challenge and is one that's met with flying colors.
Jeremy Snead's film about the most incredible industry I've ever had the privilege to be a part of is simply something everyone needs to see, whether you're a gamer or not. If you're someone who does not know about this industry and wants to learn about it, Video Games The Movie is a great place to start. If you're a lifelong gamer in your 40's and are looking for an accounting that does gaming justice, this is also a great place to look.
Video Games The Movie takes you back to the earliest days of the gaming industry discussing things like who "invented" video games as well as the revolution that Atari started with the Atari 2600 in Sept. 1977. Covering the evolution of consoles, various advances in gaming development and the infamous E.T. disaster that nearly sank gaming back in 1982, Video Games The Movie does a fantastic job of recreating what was going on during that time.
While the movie never really came out and said the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the industry's savior when it launched in 1985, it's obvious it was. Snead and his team did a fantastic job of conveying what the climate was like for a company trying to pitch retailers on type of system that three years previously blew up in their faces. The emphasis on the brilliance of Nintendo placing the "Entertainment System" in the console's name was not missed. It's an absolutely crucial part of why the NES was eventually sold at retailers.
Some consoles missed screen time and analysis from the various industry members who spoke. If there is an extended cut to this film, it would be great to hear more perspectives on consoles like the SEGA Genesis, Nintendo 64, PS3 and Xbox 360. The HD revolution in gaming was remarkably important to the industry's history and I wish more light was given to that. There are other aspects of the film you wish Video Games The Movie would have fleshed out more, but considering the time restrictions they had to work within, Snead and co. did a good job.
Moving from consoles to games, Video Games The Movie focused more on the development of games, rather than talking about specific games on an in-depth level. It's another topic that due to the length restriction couldn't have been explored more. There are many games that have had a tremendous impact on this business and definitely deserved more insight from the people speaking in the film, but again with a 100-minute film, Snead couldn't have spent 30 minutes talking about Mario.
The violence in video games "controversy" received time in the film. It was interesting to get people's takes on the issue, but honestly, it's been talked to death so much that there isn't a whole lot left to say about it. This isn't to say this part of the film shouldn't have been in there because it absolutely needed to. It's that elephant in the room you need to acknowledge, but don't want to talk about because of its level of absurdity. I thought Video Games The Movie did a good job of getting perspectives from people and then moving on without dwelling on the topic.
As the film got into the community of the gaming industry, it did an amazing job of showing off just how passionate, supportive and close the industry really is. When Mikey Neumann, who is credited as a writer for Gearbox Software, recalled the events of his stroke a few years ago, he talked about the level of support he received. It was such an incredible example of how the gaming community is like a family. There are probably a countless number of other examples people have, and more were talked about in the film, but it was great to see a light shown on the incredible meaning I think a lot of people who don't know about gaming miss or overlook.
When you look at Video Games The Movie as a whole, it's a wonderful trip through the history of gaming; issues that have faced it and the successes that have helped make gaming what it is today. I truly hope this film has an extended edition that last four hours long because there is so much more to this industry than what 100 minutes can convey. Whether or not you're a gamer though, I feel this is an important film for everyone to see because we cannot see where we're going if we don't know where we've been.