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Save your quarters

Watching 'Video Games: The Movie' must be like playing Penn & Teller’s 'Desert Bus'

July 22, 2014, 12:00 am

How does one take something inherently exciting and make it boring? Video Games: The Movie answers that question: You treat that thing like the amusement park documentary that plays while you’re waiting in line for the big ride. You’ll find these types of movies all over Walt Disney World, for example, especially in EPCOT. Sean Astin’s voiceover would fit in perfectly in any country in World Showcase.

Video Games: The Movie isn’t totally without merit. It’s nice to see some heavy hitters in the gaming and geek culture worlds in an interview setting (Chris Hardwick, Wil Wheaton and many, many designers and inventors). But for those viewers who have spent a lot of time playing and following games and game culture, there will be lots of information that isn’t new, revelatory or fun. Does any serious gamer not know about the ’83 crash? Or what the function of bits is in the context of gameplay?

You could make the argument that all that backstory is for people who may not be familiar with gaming—but are those people going to watch this documentary? How about more than five minutes on the idiocy of Congressional hearings? Or a better explanation of marketing strategy? Skip Video Games: The Movie and bust out your Atari 2600. Another Kickstarter-backed movie that should have died before it reached pre-production.



Directed by Jeremy Snead

Jean Cocteau Cinema

105 min.


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