One of the worst documentaries I’ve ever watched in my life.
Where do I begin?
Well let’s start on what is the key ingredient of the best documentaries. They take a critical stance on the subject that they are examining. For example, I just watched “Bobby Fischer Vs The World” right before this and it’s great. He’s presented as this complicated, brilliant, difficult, paradoxical figure. Sometimes you marvel at him, sometimes you want to yell at the screen because he’s being such a weird asshole. “Video Games: The Movie” has none of that critique. It’s just a big masturbatory,overlong, badly structured mess that follows no logical chronology.
Oh, sure, they try to seem like it’s balanced. For example, they address the issue of violence. They only talk to people on the side of video games. There is no actual opinion from anyone outside of the video game industry. So they just defend it and that’s that. It also is just presented out of nowhere because there is absolutely no sense to the order of things in this documentary.
They start off talking about the chronology of video games starting from MIT experiments up to fucking Playstation 4 or whatever. They gloss over all the challenges like when Atari collapsed in the early 80’s only to bring it up later as they re-go through the history. After they re-travel through it again and again and again. I know that are trying to do order it thematically but they don’t keep on topic and it’s not compelling because it’s just so masturbatory.
Games are just the best art form and blah blah blah. They are changing society blah blah blah. It must have been funded by video game companies. They link it to the old campfires of primitive man. Basically video games are the best thing ever that are liked by the best people. It’s so simplistic. For a documentary that plugs the storytelling capacity of video games, it misses out on how to tell a good story. It lacks people and by people I mean fully fleshed out characters. Everyone in this is just a there to fellate the idea of video games. “King of Kong” is a much better documentary on video games and the culture of gamers than this because the characters are so compelling. It’s power is enhanced by the fact that they are real.
“Video Games: The Movie” is like a 7th grade presentation on video games. It’s just regurgitates the text book narrative and ideas of others without any real agenda of it’s own. Basically it exists so that gamers and the gaming industry can feel good about themselves. It’s so bad that I fucking wrote this entire critique and the movie is still fucking playing.
Oh and Sean Astin narrates it if you needed another reason to not watch. Oh and it’s also fucking produced by Zach Braff.