Category Archives: documentary

Alan: A Video Junkie

I used to think this short film from SNL was a dream I had once.  But no, it’s real.

It is a poker-faced mockumentary about the dangers of the growing obsession of video games by youngsters of 1982. It is also a pitch-perfect indictment of the hysteria swirling around the pastime, drummed up by the news media to create a new boogeyman to scare adults. It’s 11:00 o’clock.  Do you know where your children are?  On the street corner, apparently, turning tricks for quarters to put into Dig Dug.

Made by Claude Kerven, the short aired on the premiere episode of the 8th season of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, September 25, 1982. They sure don’t make them like this anymore. Not only is it a reminder of video games past, it is also a monument to how SNL used to be edgy and hilarious:

Video via eBaum’s World

Larry Laffed: A Documentary Project on Sierra On-Line

Currently looking for funding on Kickstarter is a documentary film project titled Heroes: The History of Sierra On-Line.  The filmmakers have travelled the country securing footage and interviews with those involved, to tell the story of how Sierra On-Line helped revolutionize the PC game industry and created one of the best-loved genres in gaming history: the graphic adventure.

Now they need help in securing financing to assemble the film and polish it up in order to do justice to such a fascinating company and compelling story.  You can kick in some cash at their Kickstarter page, here:

After the jump you can read an interview I conducted with co-producers of the project, Luke Yost and Patrick Clark:
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100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience

The Japanese take video games seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the phenomena of the video game arcade, all but dead (but yes, enjoying a slow renaissance via “Barcade”-type venues starting to pop up) in Western culture, continues to thrive in Japan.

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience is a indieGoGo-funded documentary covering the evolution of video arcade culture in Japan. It is a fast-paced thrill-ride through a dizzying and electric video game landscape, accompanied by the obsessed gamers, committed companies and manic games that make the Japanese market what it is. 100 Yen is available on DVD now, and looks to be well-worth dropping some coin for.

100 Yen website

100 Yen: The Teaser Trailer from Strata Studios on Vimeo.