The Best Video Game Documentaries that will Up your Gaming

Dec. 31, 2022

Videogames have come a long way since the days of simple pixelated graphics and bleepy sound effects. Today, they are a multi-billion dollar industry that touches nearly every aspect of modern life, from entertainment and art, to education and science. Documentaries about videogames provide an opportunity to explore the history, culture, and impact of this rapidly evolving medium.


Videogames as the Eighth Art

One of the main reasons to watch documentaries about videogames is to gain a deeper understanding of the history and development of the industry. Many of these films trace the origins and evolution of videogames, from the early days of Pong and Space Invaders, to the modern era of high-definition graphics and virtual reality. They often feature interviews with the pioneers and innovators who helped shape the industry, as well as with historians and experts who provide context and analysis.

Another reason to watch videogame documentaries is to explore the cultural significance of the medium. Videogames are more than just entertainment – they are a powerful means of communication, expression, and social interaction. Documentaries about videogames often delve into the ways in which games have influenced and reflected society, from their portrayal of race, gender, and sexuality, to their depiction of war, politics, and religion.


A Window into an Overlooked World

Finally, videogame documentaries can be a great way to learn about the people who create and play games. Many of these films feature interviews with developers, designers, and artists, who share their insights, experiences, and challenges in creating games. They also highlight the stories and perspectives of gamers, who discuss their passion for and engagement with games.

In conclusion, there are many compelling reasons to watch documentaries about videogames. Whether you are a gamer or not, these films offer an opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and people of the videogame industry. They provide a window into a world that is often misunderstood or overlooked, and offer a chance to discover new perspectives and insights.


Which documentaries about videogames can I watch online right now?




"Featherfall" is based on research in online forums in which video players share their dream experiences. It becomes clear how near dream and game worlds can come to each other in the psyche of the users and what feedback can develop between the two alternative realities. "Featherfall" associates itself with the archetypal nightmare of "falling down", which often occurs during puberty. Falling without ever landing" exists in video games in the form of a reappearing programming error - a glitch - through which the avatar falls beneath the surface into the empty, non-programmed space.


Indie Game: The Movie

This documentary follows the development of independent games and the struggles and triumphs of the developers who create them. The film focuses on the stories of three developers: Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, who are working on the game Super Meat Boy; Phil Fish, who is developing Fez; and Jonathan Blow, who created Braid. The film explores the challenges and sacrifices these developers face as they try to bring their games to market, as well as the personal and emotional stakes they have invested in their creations.


Nintendo Quest

A collector takes off on a road trip to complete the world's largest collection of Nintendo video games. Follow video game rock star and fanatic collector, Jay Bartlett over 16,000 kilometers as he pursues his dream to own a complete library of original Nintendo games. There's just one catch: he has to do it in 30 days, with no online acquisitions. This indie documentary will be a gem for the lovers of Nintendo, the most famous videogame console in history, creator of characters such as Mario Bros, Don King Kong and Banjo-Kazooie.


Atari: Game Over

This documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of Atari, one of the pioneers of the videogame industry. The film charts the company's early success and the creation of the Atari 2600 console, which helped popularize videogames in the 1970s and 1980s. It also examines the company's decline in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as the recent efforts to uncover the truth about the infamous "Atari landfill" in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where hundreds of unsold copies of the game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were rumored to have been buried.


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

This documentary follows the competitive world of classic arcade gaming and the quest to break the high score on the game Donkey Kong. The film focuses on the rivalry between Billy Mitchell, the reigning champion of Donkey Kong, and Steve Wiebe, a teacher who tries to dethrone him. The film delves into the world of classic arcade gaming and the subculture of professional score-chasers, as well as the personal motivations and emotions of the two main characters.


Free to Play

This documentary follows three professional gamers as they compete in the first Dota 2 International tournament, with a prize pool of over $1 million. The film focuses on the stories of Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, a Ukrainian gamer who is considered one of the best players in the world; Benedict "hyhy" Lim Han Yong, a Singaporean gamer who is trying to make a comeback after a series of setbacks; and Clinton "Fear" Loomis, an American gamer who is trying to win his first major tournament.


Rarity: Retro Video Game Collecting in the Modern Era

Funny, technological, and happily nostalgic, this documentary is a ticket to the world of video game collectors in the contemporary era. Come on, all fans are allowed! "Rarity" is the first documentary of its kind focusing specifically on the world of retro video game collecting and the people that collect. The film illustrates some of the rarest and most expensive video games in the world. One of the most interesting topics of the documentary is the question of whether video games are, in fact, an art form.


Gaming in Color

This documentary examines the experiences of LGBTQ+ gamers and the challenges they face within the gaming industry and community. The film includes interviews with LGBTQ+ gamers, developers, and industry insiders, as well as with allies who support diversity and inclusion in gaming. It discusses the history of LGBTQ+ representation in videogames, as well as the ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all gamers.


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