High Score (Netflix documentary)

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Nerroth, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

    Nov 21, 2004
    Ontario, Canada

    Netflix recently uploaded a 6-part documentary series about the early-to-mid history of the video game industry*, called High Score.

    Has anyone here seen it, or intends to?

    *or, at least, as it was in Japan and North America - there's not a lot of European content in the series, alas.
    Jax likes this.
  2. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 7, 2004
    Mannheim, Germany
    I've seen it and it was really great, also part because i knew (and had) quite a few of these games as i grew up in the 80s and early 90s (born 75) and had an Atari 2600 and later on moved to PC gaming.

    It was such a cool memory trip down the lane, especially when the episode came around where networked gaming was starting to come up and they had Doom as the example. I remember back in school when we turned 18 so we could write our absence excuses ourselves for "missing" class and didn't have to rely on our parents that this conversation happened at least once per week "You going to class? No? Wanna play Doom?"

    We had a computer lab with a network and someone brought Doom and that was it - even the teachers were amazed about LAN gaming back in the day (not that hard as some of us knew way more about computers than our teachers did).

    For all videogamers this is definitely worth checking out.
  3. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

    Jun 21, 2003
    A Dimension with no Cake!
    I saw it recently and enjoyed it. I would love to see future seasons as their is much more to explore within the gaming community.
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    I watched part 1, about the Atari era. Having worked in that biz I personally knew three of the interview subjects.

    As I tweeted...

    Episode #1 of Netflix's High Score is an entertaining if simplistic overview of a chunk of video game history that IMHO leans too hard into the popular subjects at the expense of the bigger picture. Fun but fairly thin. Admittedly it’s hard to get into the weeds in a single episode, but there’s really no sense of how big the biz got before the crash. A few throwaway lines or images would have cost nothing and provided some sorely missed perspective.

    Big kudos to the program for putting a long overdue spotlight on the late Jerry Lawson for pioneering the use of interchangeable cartridges on a game console (i.e. Channel F), extending its lifespan.

    Howard Scott Warshaw is always a delight. His E.T. travails get a fun discussion here, but the program’s angle doesn’t give you a sense of just how clever Howard is and just why he was cocky enough to think he could pull off the impossible.

    MM & HSW.JPG
    Me and Howard a few years back

    Also super happy to see @burgerbecky(Rebecca Heineman) talking about how gaming positively affected her youth, and her experiences as a player provided a nice contrast to the POVs of the then pros in the biz (whose ranks she eventually joined).

    Also great to see Toru Iwatani-san. He once explained how PAC-MAN works to me over a sake-fueled sushi dinner. There’s a lot more to PAC-MAN’s inspiration than a pizza, though, but shows like this always “Print the Legend.”

    Iwatani & MM.jpg
    Iwatani and me back in 2005

    (FYI: GCC’s Ms. PAC-MAN ghost logic change is to randomize the “rest state” targets, which is enough to make repeatable patterns impossible, but in attack mode the ghosts still run their original chase logic...which is pure original PAC-MAN. I should know...I had to do two depostions on Ms. PAC-MAN during an arbitration between GCC and Namco.)

    I'll probably watch more episodes today. I understand Ken and Roberta Williams are coming up. In 1988 Roberta offered me a job in person. I foolishly did not say yes.