Gamemaster Image


By Hanna B. | August 26, 2020

In the end, creators gain only a tiny fraction of the consumer dollar, and just like movies, they have to “play the game” to advertise and gain recognition by showing up at conventions and awards. Likewise, there’s now a rise of indies, where things like crowdfunding make it easier for designers to get in on the action without publishers or distributors, with many mentioning Kickstarter (which sure gets good PR here!). We understand that these inventors are passionate artists first, seeing their creations as pieces of art, not products, although it is ultimately one.

There is a universal experience in how a game arrives in consumers’ hands, but how fast or long the process is dramatically differs from one creator to another. They each generate ideas differently, some by playing around and “testing, testing, testing,” others by thinking of a universe and drawing various things all the time, or simply observing life around them. This is where the diversity angle comes into play.

“…does a fantastic job of highlighting this issue, giving voice to some of its diverse members.”

So if at first, you thought a documentary about the game world would be all about nerdy white boys, you won’t be totally wrong. Though, the documentary does a fantastic job of highlighting this issue, giving voice to some of its diverse members. Besides, most of the people involved are far from the cliches associated with gamers and pretty down to earth (even those with delusions of grandeur). It was amazing to see how some of those games actually are a small family business or how independent designers can succeed with little setbacks.

Gamemaster sort of wanders in the middle while trying to follow the four protagonists in chronological order, connecting the evolution of their creations and careers with that of the industry. But it reminds us that there’s nothing more associated with childhood memories or a better method for shy kids, or adults, to connect in a fun way than playing games with others. Therefore, the result is satisfying, and for sure, the documentary gives you a “gameboard playtime craving!” Although with all those elements going from hand to hand, it will be interesting to see how COVID impacts this industry and what will change for these four individuals. Eventually, we can see all this moving online, much to the delight of some and the despair of others.

Gamemaster (2020)

Directed and Written: Charles Mruz

Starring: Jason Serrato, Charlie Bink, Scott Rogers, Nashra Balagamwala, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Gamemaster Image

"…visibly excited discussing the pleasure they feel now, not only inventing and creating a universe..."

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