If you’ve ever wanted an insider’s look at the gaming industry, there are plenty of films that take you behind the scenes. Thanks to some fantastic geek-centric documentaries on Netflix, you can learn more about how indie games are made, find out what it takes to become an e-sports champion, and take a closer look at some of the most important events in gaming history.
This is a list of some of our favorite geeky documentaries that you can stream online. Many of these films are only available to Netflix viewers in the USA. If you’re an international film buff, check out the Netflix guide from Secure Thoughts to find out how to watch these movies from abroad.
Four Recommended Geek Documentaries on Netflix
All Work All Play
Get a first-hand look at the athletes behind the avatars in All Work All Play: The Pursuit of Esports Glory, a documentary that chronicles one season of the League of Legends championship in the Intel Extreme Masters tournament. The film focuses on three teams: SoloMid, Cloud9 and the GE Tigers.
You will feel immersed in the excitement of the tournament as you watch the teams make their way to the championship showdown. Along the way, each team experiences its fair share of drama as rosters are changed and rivalries are revealed. With a 75 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, All Work All Play is a great film that offers up a unique and in-depth perspective on e-sports tournaments.
Indie Game: The Movie
Who knew that indie game development would make for an exciting and captivating film? In Indie Game: The Movie, Canadian filmmakers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot document two indie developers as they struggle to complete their games. Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes are challenged by Microsoft to finish Super Meat Boy in under a month. Meanwhile, Polytron, headed by the controversial Phil Fish, aims to present Fez at the Penny Arcade Expo after four years of development.
You will get an insider’s look at the harrowing journey of the two developers as they struggle to release their games to the wider public while facing obstacles such as legal problems and technical difficulties. Indie Game: The Movie presently has a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been received positively across the board.
Atari: Game Over
Atari’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is considered one of the biggest commercial failures in the gaming world and many gamers will tell you that it is the worst video game ever created. Three and a half million copies of the game went unsold, and it is speculated that Atari buried many of these cartridges in a New Mexico landfill.
Atari: Game Over revolves around this event as filmmaker Zak Penn unearths the infamous landfill site. It is the jumping-off point for Penn to tell the story of the video game crash of 1983, when the industry experienced a massive recession. Anyone who is interested in gaming history will find this film to be a fascinating watch, as it provides an in-depth look into one of the industry’s most crucial events.
With a runtime of 66 minutes, Atari: Game Over is a quick watch that is certainly worth an hour of your time. It has received generally favorable reviews.
Chronic-Con: Episode 420: A New Dope!
If you’ve ever wondered what a visit to San Diego Comic Con would be like if you were high the entire time, this is the film for you. In Chronic-Con: Episode 420: A New Dope!, comedian Doug Benson heads to the expo with two main goals in mind:
- To track down Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me and Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.
- To smoke marijuana with a fully-costumed superhero.
Along the way, Benson provides viewers with an insider’s look at the hugely popular event. He explores the convention floor and gets face time with plenty of cosplay artists, comic book fans and even some celebrities (Patton Oswalt and Kevin Smith make cameos). The film is not entirely educational, but it is good for a quick watch and a few laughs. If you enjoyed Super High Me (Benson’s spoof of Super Size Me), Chronic-Con will be right up your alley.
Did we miss any nerdy documentaries? Have you seen any of the ones mentioned above? What did you think? Leave us a comment and let us know about your recommendations!
Author Bio: Caroline of Culture Coverage is a film blogger with a passion for all things nerdy. From video games to comic books, she enjoys watching and reviewing movies that place a special focus on her favorite interests.