High Score (Impressions)

A new limited series popped up on Netflix just recently that delves into the history of video games and while it takes an interesting approach to telling stories about a topic I live I think a lack of focus in the early episodes do a disservice to it too.

Called High Score, the series can be best described as focusing on a series of “moments” during the history video games rather than defined chapters. We see the rise of Nintendo, role playing games, Sega with the Genesis (Megadrive) and Sonic, and even Doom. However even with these topics and others the stories are often sidetracked at the worst of times such as going into eSports during the subject of early video gaming or having Nolan Bushnell appear only to have him disappear soon after.

Having Roberta Williams (King’s Quest) must have been a bit of a coup for the show and was the highlight for me but with both herself and Richard Garriot (Ultima) covering their games at the same time it seemed like a wasted opportunity as both could have easily had more time to highlight their contributions to their game’s respective genres. And John Romero, covering his time on Doom, is always a great interview with an enthusiasm for games that still hasn’t waned. But despite this everyone’s time feels like it is cut short and we’re missing the rest of the story. Some of the smaller stories suffer this even more so.

Regardless of my criticisms I hope it might give people a little bit of a taste for the history of video games and that they look a little further into it themselves… maybe read a book or check out a retro console or even buy an old game on… there’s still more out there to see. 🙂

2 replies »

  1. I once owned a book called High Score, which provided a really interesting crash course of video game history (or, at least, video game history as of 2001), so I wonder if there’s a connection? This special seems to promise more of that, which I can get behind considering how many developments have occurred since then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Could be a relation… having an existing book and research always helps to build from! It was good seeing them recognise Jerry Lawson for his work on the Fairchild Channel F but there were others mysteriously left out like Ted Dabne, who co-founded Atari with Nolan Bushnell but the show presented it as if Nolan was solely responsible.

      Liked by 1 person

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