High Score is a six episode documentary that focuses on the golden era of gaming and it is a must watch for video game geeks like me.
I am a massive gamer. This is something I am sure you already know about me if you have been following me closely. I love to game. In my spare time I play card games, tabletop games, video games — every type of game. So when I first heard about High Score, a show coming to Netflix that explores the golden era in gaming, I knew I would love it.
My husband and I often spend our Saturday mornings watching YouTube videos about the history of gaming. Specific games, gaming consoles, or gaming mistakes. Basically anything gaming related. High Score seemed to me like it was going to be along the same lines.
Get Ready To Binge
When the screeners hit my account we were both thrilled. We sat down on a Saturday morning to check it out and basically did not move for almost six hours. We watched the entire thing from beginning to end. And it blew us away. We were fascinated by it. If you are into things like gaming, and want to know the history of it, this series is for you.
The episodes are split up into a way that each one tackles something amazing in video game history. FOr example, there is one about arcades, one about the start of home consoles, and one about role playing games (my favorite). This is rated TV-14, but my 9 year old daughter sat and watched most of it with us. Her favorite episode? The one about SEGA and Sonic The Hedgehog of course!
As a female gamer I feel like there is still some stigma surrounding it. Not from everyone, and probably not as bad as it used to be, but it is there. I actually recently saw an exhibit about females in the gaming industry at The Strong Museum and it was very telling. There just are not a lot of them working in the industry.
So while watching High Score with my family I was VERY happy to see several women featured. I have two young daughters and they enjoyed seeing this as well. I thought it was a great way to show them look, you can totally do whatever you want in life, even be a game developer.
Honestly the women had the best stories to tell anyways. Super Mario and Role Playing Games? My favorites! Gail Tilden, who worked at Nintendo, did mention that she was always seen as strong personality. She may have gotten called names by some others in the industry, but she got things done. And got them done exactly as she wanted them to be done. Strong women for the win!
In the first episode, there is even a trans woman, who was the winner of the Space Invader championship! I was so thrilled to see these things talked about, instead of swept under the rug. They should be normalized and to see it casually mentioned in an episode of a documentary about gaming is setting us on the right path.
You Just Might Learn Something
I know a lot about the gaming industry, and the history of it, but I learned a lot watching this series. I consider myself a lot more well rounded knowing these things now. For example, I had no clue there was a cartridge gaming system before Atari.
It was called Channel F and it was the first console of its kind. Pretty amazing right? The man that invented it reminds me so much of my husband. He has passed, but his children spoke of him in the first episode and mentioned that he built an arcade in his garage. Well, my husband has done that exact thing.
Of course when Atari created theirs, no one cared about Channel F anymore. But now that I know about it, I really want to get my hands on one to try it out. I own every single gaming console there is — except this one!
If you are a total video game geek like my husband and I are, you are sure to love High Score. It is a quick binge, with only six episodes that are around forty minutes each. Like I said above, each episode is dedicated to a genre of gaming — but each episode is amazing.
I was sucked in immediately by the history of the gaming. But that is not what kept me watching (well, maybe a little bit). I knew a lot of the facts they were throwing at me just from being a “vidiot”, as my dad so lovingly calls me, for years and years. The way this show is edited and who is telling the stories is what kept my eyes glued to the screen.
I enjoyed hearing the stories from those that were actually involved, versus some random person on YouTube that I don’t know. Plus, there are really fun video game type scenes throughout the episodes and they are pretty incredible.
High Score is something that gamers are going to appreciate. Viewers will learn what happened behind the scenes of creating their favorite games and so much more. The history of this industry is fascinating, and somehow all wrapped up into six episodes of High Score.
About High Score
High Score is a documentary series about the golden age of video games, when legends – from Pac-Man to Doom – were brought to life. Through ingenuity and sheer force of will, computer pioneers and visionary artists from around the globe spawned the iconic worlds of Space Invaders, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog, Madden NFL, and beyond.
Without rules or roadmaps, players and innovators alike pushed the limits of money to be made, rivals to be crushed, and hearts to be won. This is the story of the brains behind the pixels and how their unmatched innovation built a multi-billion dollar industry – almost by accident.