World 1-1 Movie Review

For a fan of the games industry, how it was and how we can learn from what it was World 1-1 is an excellent step on the path of knowledge. Some might say that the path begins as the title screen fades and the map comes into view. The first level on that map is, of course, World 1-1. Where it begins. Where, in the hearts of gamers, it will always begin.

The film tells the story of the birth of the industry; how it was nurtured from a small, weak creature which only lived in the hearts and minds of scientists in University labs across the US, for it only to rise in the form of Atari before it's great, now famous, fall from lofty heights to excruciating lows.

It was made by two people with funding from Kickstarter. I'll repeat that; two people. Kickstarter. These two facts would probably project into your mind the image of a badly-finished product that doesn't really tell the story well or do it justice. Yeah, that would be wrong.

Some documentaries, for me at least, seem to be like a barrage of facts that never stop coming. However, in this instance, while the facts are most certainly there, the way they are presented is very considerate to the viewer. Because it comes right from the mouths of the people who were involved, the whole thing feels very personal and as if you're just having a normal conversation with these iconic people. Industry legend Nolan Bushnell, creator of ET and Yars Revenge Howard Scott Warshaw and Atari 2600 creator Steve Mayer, to name a few, all star and tell their part of the story.

By hearing it in this way, World 1-1 not only becomes a more personal trip to the past but also one that instantly feels more credible. Of course, that doesn't mean something without these people's involvement isn't credible - it just adds to the reassurance.

While I was making notes for the review one of the pros I wrote down about the film was simply "The fact it was made." I love that this story continues to be told in new ways to new generations who are interested in learning about the history of their favourite method of entertainment. And, lets be honest, perhaps this story isn't as well known to up and coming writers as it was even five years ago.

To top it all off the iconic people I mentioned earlier are accompanied by familiar faces from gaming today like Jared Petty (IGN) and Colin Moriarty (Kinda Funny, previously IGN). This helps even further to make something from what is now quite a long time ago, feel modern and still fresh.

In fact the only real negative point about the film for me was the length. While all the content is completely necessary, and it would be awful to sacrifice more than what I'm told the makers already have, two hours is a long time for the more casual viewer.


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