CSFF: Beyond the Game

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Beyond the Game

Dir. Jos de Putter (2008, Netherlands, 77 mins.)

The world of competitive gaming is undoubtedly fascinating: teams of twenty-something living together, legions of fans, and packed arena games only add to the bewilderment of non-gamers who try to understand the appeal. There ought to be a good documentary on the subject. Unfortunately, this one isn’t it.

Everything that a documentary could do wrong was done in this film. For a film about a competition between Warcraft III players, this film had precious few shots of actual game play; for some reason, cut scenes from the single-player campaign are thrown in as filler instead. Gamers are already familiar with that material, and they do nothing to edify non-gamers.

This film has the cinematic instincts of a broken CCTV camera. The audience is treated to egregious close-up shots of keyboards, noses, and headsets; they tend to float in an out of focus. Is this meant to be reflective? Is the cameraman that bored?

People curious about what goes into competitive gaming will be disappointed. What they will get is uninformative, tedious, and dull. More can be learnt from YouTube videos, like this one.

Beyond the game? Beyond terrible.

– Dave

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