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Video Games: The Movie
Just been watching this on Netflix. In turns very nostalgic and very insightful - although I enjoy some video games (mainly Lego Star Wars, Angry Birds, and Bejeweled, which are hardly the most representative examples) and have happy memories of times spent in amusement arcades back in the late '70s/early '80s (I remember playing the original Space Invaders at Butlins in Bognor Regis during family holidays there), I'm not the most seasoned gamer in the world - my only real experience of the sort of modern-era sandbox game with swish graphics and proper story is playing Dead Rising on Tim's X-Box. So there's a lot of stuff dealt with in the film that is outside my experience (see also the US-centricity of the piece - back in the day I used to love to play The Hobbit on the ZX Spectrum and Elite* on the BBC Micro - indeed, loads of stuff on the Beeb...), but it's all very informative and entertaining. Sean Astin guides us through the history of video games and gamer culture, Wil Wheaton is a thoroughly entertaining interviewee (one of many), and there's some intriguing archive footage.
Basically, any gamer friends of mine with Netflix - watch this movie, because geek solidarity is a good thing. Any non-gamer friends of mine with Netflix - watch this movie, because it'll hopefully give you a good insight into a vast aspect of geek culture which has a lot to do with many of my friends and (even if only to a lesser extent) myself. And any of my friends without Netflix - go get Netflix. What are you waiting for? It's only £5:99 a month.
Mind you, I had to giggle a bit at this ad:
Because - the only Space Invaders? On Atari? Really? So not on arcade machines by Taito? Must have just been imagining them, then... (Also, there was definitely a port for the BBC Micro; pretty sure I had one for the Speccy, and there was probably a dead primitive one for the ZX81 too...)
Also, there really is room nowadays for a decent video game based on ET - The Extraterrestrial - we've come such a long way since the "let's just chunk it in a landfill site" Atari one...
*Incidentally, speaking of Elite...