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How Video Games Changed the World (2013)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  November 2013 (UK)
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Charlie Brooker takes you on a journey through time to show the most influential video games on everyday life.

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Complete credited cast:
Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Al Alcorn ...
Himself (as Allan Alcorn)
Malorie Blackman ...
Herself (as Malorie Blackman OBE)
David Braben ...
Nolan Bushnell ...
Susan Calman ...
Pete Donaldson ...
Robert Florence ...
Himself (as Rob Florence)
Ellie Gibson ...
Ron Gilbert ...
Berni Goode ...
Labrinth ...
Matt Lees ...


Charlie Brooker takes you on a journey through time to show the most influential video games on everyday life.

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User Reviews

Brooker and the material makes it more than just another list show
14 December 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It was Charlie Brooker's name as part of the title that drew me to this show because, even though I have been a gamer since Granny's Garden on the BBC Acorn at my primary school, the material wasn't enough to do it because I have seen too many average "list shows" from Channel 4. You know the ones – cheaply made because you pay for a few clips, get a lot of lower grade celebs to talk about them with wide-eyes and the rest is done by the viewer agreeing or disagreeing in their front rooms. I don't hate list shows, but Channel 4 seem to churn them out more than the subjects demand.

I was hoping Brooker would be a positive influence here and mostly he is. His humor and style are very much present even if his time is reduced – this is a film I would have much rather seen him do on BBC4 since there he tends to be the whole show and the contributions are more selective than Jonathon Ross and British rapper Labrinth. So on this hand it is another list show but in fairness I got past this because the subject is intelligent, informed and respectful. The list that the show works its way down is not about what is best or not, but rather forms a history of games and gaming aesthetics within popular culture and in this way it engages rather than frustrates.

This is the list: 25. Pong 24. Space Invaders 23. Pacman 22. Manic Miner 21. Elite 20. Super Mario Bros 19. Tetris 18. The Secret of Monkey Island 17. Street Fighter 2 16. Doom 15. Night Trap 14. Tomb Raider 13. PaRappa the Rappa 12. Starcraft 11. The Sims 10. Grand Theft Auto 3 9. Shadow of the Colossus 8. World of Warcraft 7. Wii Sports 6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 5. Braid 4. Angry Birds 3. Minecraft 2. The Last of Us 1. Twitter.

There are many in there I played first time and many that I know about. All of them are discussed by those who appear to know and even the semi- celebs are generally sounding like they did play the games as opposed to reading a script. Each entry is also cleverly used to speak around the subject – so for example Tomb Raider brings up female role models in gaming while Braid brings up indie games and so on. This does several things, firstly it stops the complaining about things that don't make the list, mainly because one entry represents so many others (so GTA holds all of R* work) and secondly it puts it more in Brooker's discussion territory than Channel 4's list show territory and it is a better show for it.

The picture is built really well – I know there are many who do not get gaming and I think the gradual discussion and finishing on Twitter helps put it in a bigger context really effectively. A superior list show thanks to the structure, commentary and typically acerbic presentation from Brooker.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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