I caught a very interesting film yesterday. It’s called “Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade.” I caught part of it on the Netflix Wii, and the other half on my 3DS. It’s a fantastic piece on the early history of video games. As we all know, the arcades played a vital role early on in video games. What this documentary talks about are the early geniuses of video games, or the gaming gods of the arcade era.
Early arcade games are a different beast than the games we know and love now. Back then, it was all about high scores, and trying to find ways to outsmart the computer to get an edge. It’s amazing to see that early masters were able to play these games on one quarter for more than 48 hours straight to break a world record. Simply amazing. I just wondered how, if they had to take a dump, without a pause button, how did they accomplish this. It was just a different mind set back in the day, and a different type of gamer. You almost had to be a machine to be successful back in those days.
The crux of the documentary is about the event that would change all these young men’s lives. For the first time, they brought all the best players from around the country to converge at the famous Twin Galaxies. They became famous, and even had groupies. Yes, groupies.
The second half focuses on what happens later in their lives. As we all know, the arcades started to die in the US, along with these legends. It talks about how they coped with this, much like how child actors have to cope after their fame runs out. It’s a very interesting piece. It goes on to their adult lives, and tells you where they are now. If these gamers were born in today’s era, there’s no doubt they would have been professional gamers, as gaming wasn’t popular enough back then to warrant those type of professions.
If you haven’t caught this piece, I recommend it. It’s mandatory viewing for video game fans. It may be of a different period, but if you are a video game fan, you can relate. I had a lot of emotions going through me when I watched this film. I’m sure you will too. It’s on Netflix, and easily accessible. Watch it now![youtube.com/watch?v=3HrXIu5ibYk]