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Video Game Documentaries: History, Consoles, Collectors and More

In the last decade we’ve seen an increase in the number of documentaries about video games and the culture around them. The majority of these are just fantastic coverings of stories that don’t usually make the headlines, tales of resilience and passion.

We’ve selected some of the most memorable ones in a list below. It covers stories such as the quest for the buried E.T. Atari cartridges in the New Mexico desert, the race of one man against his 25-year-old record and a fascinating look into the world of video game collecting.

The following documentaries follow the story of different video games and consoles through the 80s and to our day. Commodore, Atari, Nintendo and PC, including some interesting accessories you might have not heard about, like the infamous power glove.

A who’s who of game designers, celebrities, and industry pioneers chronicling the birth, rise, fall, rebirth, and modern-day revolution of video games. 

Explore the popular urban legend of “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983” when Atari disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the desert.

Get to know at the underdogs of the video game industry who sacrifice money, health & sanity to share their creative visions with the world. 

A documentary spanning dozens of independent video game shops across the United States and the impact of download-at-home. 

The turbulent story of the company that taught the world how to game. The firm introducing the digital world to the mass consciousness was Atari.

From Pong to Pac Man and Super Mario to Lara Croft and everything in between – it’s the story of the videogame revolution.

A documentary chronicling the history & legacy of 1989’s notoriously “bad” Nintendo Power Glove, the world’s first gesture-based controller.

A documentary spanning dozens of independent video game shops across the United States and the impact of download-at-home. 

These documentaries follow the tales of men in their quest for breaking video game records. An important note: Billy Mitchell is a cheater, but we love Walter Day and his work deserves to be in this list.

In 1984, Tim McVey became the first person in history to score over one billion points on a video game. 25 years later, he want to set a new world record.

A humble novice goes head-to-head against the reigning Donkey Kong champ in a confrontation that rocks the gaming world to its processors.

The following documentaries focus on the gleeful hobby of collecting video games.

Follow two gaming enthusiasts as they hit the open road in hopes of buying all the 678 official retail-licensed Nintendo games.

Over 30 collectors invite you to dive into the world of video game collecting to show you how this hobby impacted their lives.

Join the Pixel Game Squad as they go game hunting for retro games all over California! Rare finds by watching every episode.

The following documentaries are inspired by arcade machine games and pinball gamesLearn about a phenomenon that once swept the world and still attracts a diverse community of player all around the world.

Follow arcade owner and punk rockstar Richie Knucklez as he creates one of the biggest arcade phenomena in the world. 

A documentary about the last hold out of old-school arcade culture in New York City and the diverse community at the beloved Chinatown Fair. 

Before home systems took off, there was the arcade. Chasing Ghosts paints the definitive portrait of the phenomenon in its infancy.

Rediscovers the lure of a lost pop icon, pinball, and joins the fans, collectors, designers and champion players from across the globe.