Video Game Documentaries

by org1andrew | created - 29 Jul 2012 | updated - 22 Oct 2012 | Public

Thanks to Nikral's "The Almost Definitive Guide to Video Game Documentaries" from http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/nikral/the-almost-definitive-guide-to-video-game-documentaries/30-77352/

Also thanks to Pixel Prospector's "Big List of Video Game Documentaries" from http://www.pixelprospector.com/the-big-list-of-video-game-documentaries/

Check these links out for more documentaries not listed on IMDB.

Listed in chronological order. Suggestions are welcome.

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1. Special When Lit (2009)

G | 97 min | Documentary

What made more money than the entire American movie industry through the 50s and 60s? Pinball. Special When Lit rediscovers the lure of a lost pop icon. A product of the mechanical and ... See full summary »

Director: Brett Sullivan | Stars: Roger Sharpe, Rick Stetta, Sam Harvey, Tim Arnold

Votes: 571

It is my view that pinball culture acted as a partial precursor to video game culture. So I have included pinball movies to this list.

2. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Drama

73 Metascore

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 19,724

3. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

PG-13 | 79 min | Documentary, Biography

83 Metascore

Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games.

Director: Seth Gordon | Stars: Steve Wiebe, Billy Mitchell, Mark Alpiger, Adam Wood

Votes: 33,581 | Gross: $0.68M

4. Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade (2007)

R | 90 min | Documentary

1982's Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life.

Director: Lincoln Ruchti | Stars: Walter Day, Ben Gold, Steve Sanders, Kent Farries

Votes: 1,284

6. Frag (2008)

88 min | Documentary

Below the surface of a simple game is an underbelly of corruption, money, partying, drugs, and even death.

Director: Mike Pasley | Stars: Michal Blicharz, Rafik Bryant, Walter Day, Sassan Dibadj

Votes: 246

7. Second Skin (2008)

Unrated | 94 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

An intimate, fascinating look at computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging, hugely popular genre of computer games.

Director: Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza | Stars: Dan Bustard, Ashley Esqueda, Andrew Monkelban, Nick Yee

Votes: 724

8. The Video Game Revolution (2004 TV Movie)

TV-PG | Documentary, History

A light-hearted look at the worldwide phenomenon of video games, and how they have revolutionized technology and forever changed popular culture.

Stars: Greg Palmer, Seamus Blackley, Nolan Bushnell, Megan Gaiser

Votes: 78

9. Get Lamp (2010)

78 min | Documentary

With limited sound, simple graphics, and tiny amounts of computing power, the first games on home computers would hardly raise an eyebrow in the modern era of photorealism and surround ... See full summary »

Director: Jason Scott Sadofsky | Stars: Ernest Adams, Scott Adams, Hollywood Anderson, Jim Aspnes

Votes: 738

10. Tetris: From Russia with Love (2004 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

The story behind the fiendishly addictive game, a tale of high stakes, intimidation and legal feuds set against the backdrop of Cold War tensions between East and West.

Director: Magnus Temple | Stars: Phil Adam, Evgeni Nikolaevich Belikov, Randy Broweleit, Dervla Kirwan

Votes: 176

11. Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show (2007 Video)

100 min | Comedy

"Classic Game Room" was the first classic video game review show on the Internet in 1999 and 2000. It returns as a feature-length comedy film about the triumphant story of online success, ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Bussler | Stars: Mark Bussler, David Crosson

Votes: 68

13. Beyond the Game (2008)

75 min | Documentary

Documentary about Worldchampionship 2007 WarcraftIII players, leading roles for Dutch player "Grubby" and Chinese player "Sky".

Director: Jos de Putter

Votes: 242

14. The Future of Pinball (2006)

Not Rated | 58 min | Documentary

In 1998 pinball was dying, thanks to a saturated market and shrinking player base. Williams, the world's largest pinball manufacturer, planned to abandon the game in favor of the more ... See full summary »

Director: Greg Maletic | Stars: Duncan Brown, Larry DeMar, George Gomez, Steve Kordek

Votes: 154

15. Once Upon Atari (2003 Video)

120 min | Documentary

Story of Atari after its fall from the mouths of the people who created and escalate Atari to the top of the computer world, the video game designer and programmers.

Director: Howard Scott Warshaw | Stars: Jerome Domurat, Tod Frye, Rob Fulop

Votes: 98

16. King of Chinatown (2010)

Not Rated | 62 min | Documentary

King of Chinatown takes an in-depth look at the culture of video games, an industry that has evolved into a worldwide, multi-billion dollar phenomenon. Filmmaker Calvin Theobald follows ... See full summary »

Directors: Jordan Levinson, Calvin Theobald | Stars: Justin Wong, Isaiah TriForce Johnson, Daigo Umehara, Ryan Gutierrez

Votes: 119

17. Race to World First (2013)

68 min | Documentary

'Race to World First' documents the struggles, triumphs, and frustrations of the 25-man World of Warcraft guild Blood Legion as it prepares to beat the newest bosses released within the ... See full summary »

Directors: Zachary Henderson, John Keating | Stars: Scott Johnson, William Gregory, Mark Turpin, Sabina Hemmi

Votes: 283

18. Icons (2002– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Documentary

G4's show of original profiles, interviews and histories of the people, characters and companies that have shaped today's computer and video game landscape.

Stars: Jake Steele, Steve L. Kent, Glenn Rubenstein, Jon M. Gibson

Votes: 54

19. Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (2011)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

A documentary that captures the greatest world record Tetris players as they prepare for the Classic Tetris World Championship. From the days of Thor Aackerlund and his historic victory at ... See full summary »

Director: Adam Cornelius | Stars: Thor Aackerlund, Pat Contri, Harry Hong, Jesse Kelkar

Votes: 1,358

20. High Score (2006)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary

Although technology continues to evolve, a group of die-hard gamers refuses to abandon the classic arcade games of yesteryear. The 80's live on for these enthusiasts, who compete against ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremy Mack | Stars: Bill Carlton, Robert Mruczek, Terry Nelson, Todd Rogers

Votes: 255

21. /afk: Away from Keyboard (2011)

Documentary, Adventure, Comedy

Twelve million gamers escape into the World of Warcraft each day. Is it possible for an escape to become an addiction?

Director: Greg Stuetze | Stars: Jerald Block, Erik Bludau, Craig Culbertson, Scott Culbertson

Votes: 26

22. Gold Farmers (2010)

42 min | Documentary, Short, Drama

Gold Farmers is a documentary that investigates the real money trade in the virtual world of online games, and portraits groups of Chinese young men who are making a living by playing ... See full summary »

Director: Ge Jin

23. Gamer Revolution (2007 TV Movie)

120 min | Documentary

Special documentary look at how pop culture's 'new dark continent,' video games, are changing the world.

Directors: Marc de Guerre, Ian Hannah | Stars: Clive Thompson, Henry Jenkins, Robert Kozinets, Brenda Braithwaite

Votes: 38

24. Gameswipe (2009 TV Movie)

50 min | Documentary, Comedy

Charlie Brooker sets his caustic sights on video games. Expect acerbic comment as he looks at the various genres, how they have changed since their early conception and how the media ... See full summary »

Director: Al Campbell | Stars: Charlie Brooker, Dara O Briain, Graham Linehan, Rab Florence

Votes: 458

25. Focus: A Documentary (2010)

71 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

FOCUS is a documentary about Mike Ross, an average 26-year-old African-American, unemployed college graduate, who happens to be one of the world's best video game players. The documentary ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Hwang | Stars: Ryan Gutierrez, Eliver Ling, Jonathan Ross, Jonathan Marcus Ross

Votes: 44

26. I Got Next (2011)

97 min | Documentary

I Got Next" is a documentary on the fighting game community. It follows four prominent players, Justin Wong, Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, Joe "iloveu" Ciaramelli and Mike Ross through their ... See full summary »

Director: Ian Cofino | Stars: Ryan Gutierrez, Joe Ciaramelli, Justin Wong, Mike Ross

Votes: 91

27. Bang the Machine (2002)

80 min | Documentary

A documentary of an exhibition tournament in Japan showing the difference between American and Japanese gaming cultures.

Director: Tamara Katepoo | Stars: John Choi, Joey Cuellar, Jason Apoc Gonzalez, Seth Killian

Votes: 38

28. Moral Kombat (2009)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary

Moral Kombat takes a look into the controversial subject of violence in video games. Director Spencer Halpin shows the constant conflict between the game creators' first amendment right to ... See full summary »

Director: Spencer Halpin | Stars: Greg Ballard, Vince Broady, Pamela Eakes, Jeff Griffiths

Votes: 68

29. Playing Columbine (2008)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary

Chronicles the history of the game "Super Columbine Massacre RPG!." The film traces back the 16-bit role-playing game to its inception, through the 2006 shooting at Dawson College in which ... See full summary »

Director: Danny Ledonne | Stars: Albert Art, Peter Baxter, Ian Bernard, Ian Bogost

Votes: 163

30. Infinite Lives: The Road to E3 (2010)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Adventure

Infinite Lives: The Road to E3 is an independently-produced documentary that follows four friends from the American Midwest in their 2300-mile, week lon road trip to the mecca of all things... See full summary »

Director: N. Pfeifer | Stars: Susan Arendt, Blair Herter, Kelly Karnetsky, Scott Lydon

Votes: 9



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