Typically, being a gamer does not limit you to only being a fan of video games. Most of us dabble and delve into a variety of other art forms. For some it’s comics and graphic novels. For others, it might be music of television. When our art forms crossover one another, we have high expectations that are often dashed due to the reality that not all artists, characters, or stories can transition to a different art form. Yet, when we are lucky, sometimes, the stars align and something amazing comes to light. In this instance, I’d like to take a look at four outstanding video games that made for great movie.
Bear in mind that some of my selections present a liberal interpretation of a) video games and/or b) movie. My hope is that if you’re a gamer that you’ll like these four movies and ignore my personal definition of what is or is not a video game.
THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS (dir. Seth Gordon, 2007)
First up is the epic documentary about competitive Donkey Kong players as they compete for the world record of the highest score on the planet. It might seem easy to dismiss this movie as a collection of obsessive nerds as they battle for supremacy of an online leaderboard. It would be easy to say “I can see nerds like this just by visiting GameStop on a Monday evening.” However, to do so, and to ignore this film, would mean avoiding one of the best examinations of modern gaming culture. To see a fair representation of the first generation of video gamers in their habitat is revealing about not only gaming culture but modern America, as well. This is an excellent movie for a multitude of reasons and well worth your time.
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (dir. Edgar Wright, 2010)
Okay, so here is where I stretch the definition of video games and movies. First, I recognize that Scott Pilgrim began as a graphic novel. It was not a video game until after this movie was made. However, at its core, Scott Pilgrim and the movie are as pure to the culture of gaming as it could get. Integrated into the movie and the book are endless gaming references and homages that should provide endless entertainment for every gamer. So, while this movie is a stretch on this list, why do you care if I technically bend my own set of criteria? If you’re a gamer then you will love this movie, I promise.
HALO LEGENDS (dirs. Too Numerous To Mention, 2010)
Developed by 343 Studios, Halo Legends was a direct-to-DVD anime compilation to exceeded my expectations. This film is a series of short films utilizing a variety of animation techniques. I had some major concerns going in that the series would be poorly organized and it would lose the richness of the series. Fortunately, for all you Halo fans (or haters), 343 Studios pulled together some fantastic storytelling alongside some gorgeous animation. If you haven’t seen this film yet, I highly encourage you to give it a crack. This goes doubly for those you with Netflix because the movie is free on Instant Watch!
TETRIS: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (dir. Magnus Temple, 2004)
Finally, this last entry is less of a film and more of a fantastic television documentary. A few years back, the good people of the BBC culled together an awesome documentary about Tetris and the creator of that game. Apparently, being a game designer behind the iron curtain was not an easy life nor was it profitable. If you are a fan of Tetris and the most that you’ve ever done is to read the wikipedia entry, then I highly recommend that you check this documentary out. The best news I have for you, is that this documentary is available in-full on Google Video and it is embedded below. Check it out!
Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to add some of your favorite video game movies in comments section below!