Documentaries have become an exceptional part of the gaming industry in recent years. More than just niche films, newer releases have finally begun to document and preserve the history of an art form that started in an MIT lab and has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry and invaded millions of homes since its inception.
The latest documentary to preserve such history is World 1-1, a film that aims to tell the story of the very beginning of video gaming both in the arcade and at home. This is a film that really sets the foundation for all of the other video game documentaries released before it.
World 1-1 tells the story in a way that effectively introduces people who may not be familiar with gaming, but also gives a great history lesson to those who began gaming later on. The film is accessible; It doesn’t present itself in a way that goes over people’s heads.
One of the most important aspects of the film is that it is told in great detail by those who started it all such as Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari, Al Alcorn (Atari engineer who brought PONG to life), and Warren Robinett (creator of Adventure for Atari 2600) as well as industry experts like IGN co-founder Peer Schneider and Multi-Media Personality Patrick Scott Patterson who was gracious enough to reach out and share his thoughts. Patterson says that “I’m beyond amazed at what Daryl and Jeanette did with this film. It goes to show what people can do if they have drive and passion. I’m also beyond humbled and thankful to be included in the film alongside so many of the pioneers who’ve been my heroes ever since the history covered was still ongoing.”
Another important aspect of the film is that it takes the art of video games seriously. Gaming has been regarded as nothing more than toys that are only for kids for far too long and World 1-1 turns that idea on its head. The film’s creators Daryl and Jeanette Rodriguez conveyed the message very clearly that gaming is here to say and deserves to be taken seriously just as much an art as film or music.
The only thing that the film lacks is more footage of Ralph Baer. While the film does a fine job describing his accomplishments, it seems more of a “and then there’s also this guy” role. This may not be the creator’s fault, however as it’s been said that Mr. Baer had fallen ill during filming, and unfortunately passed away on December 6, 2014.
After multiple views and time to reflect on it, World 1-1 is undoubtedly among the finest gaming documentaries that have ever been produced. It serves as chapter one in hopefully what will become a multi-feature series.
World 1-1 is available now and can be purchased here.