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This was supposed to be the first episode of a six part documentary series called 'Signal to Noise', made by Xbox Entertainment Studios. However, in July 2014, it became apparent that mother company Microsoft was going to shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios. Because of this, no other episodes of 'Signal to Noise' were made. See more »
A lot of hyperbole and inaccuracies hinder this from being better.
This overlong documentary is full of hyperbole as it goes on a search in an Alamagordo trash dump to see if they can discover the final resting place for tons of unwanted "E.T." video games. In addition, the film follows the history of Atari up to 1982 (and oddly, completely abandons this after 1982). In the course of the film you are presented with a few interesting interviews as well as many uninteresting ones--either filled with folks who seem to have no reason to be there or who come off as egotistical jerks.
"Atari: Game Over" is a film that drives the history teacher in me mad. While the show is interesting to watch for nostalgic reasons (after all, I had an Atari 2600) it's history is poor to say the least. According to so much of "Atari: Game Over" the company was destroyed by the game "E.T." or at least that it died soon after the game died on the shelves--but this is NOT the case at all. The Atari 2600 was soon replaced by the Atari 5200 and Atari 7800 and the company limped on through the 1980s and did NOT fold after the failure of "E.T."--so pretty much everything about the film is wrong when it comes to the real history. Saying the popularity of the Atari games peaked with "E.T." and it was all decline from then on, that WOULD be accurate. But the company dying was not just because of "E.T." but the lousy controllers for the 5200 (they were cheap plastic and overly complicated--and broke VERY quickly) and the system wasn't fixed...it was abandoned. As for the 7800, its titles never generated much excitement--especially since folks were afraid the system would also soon be abandoned. A variety of other financial missteps also hastened the decline, so the whole notion that the company disappeared after "E.T." debuted it a hoax. There must be better films about Atari out there...this one is full of sentiment but short on facts.
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