What is a video gamer? Is it a term for a person who just really really enjoys the finest interactive medium ever devised? Is a video gamer a person whose passion for life lies in a virtual world that few of us understand? It’s a question that has puzzled man since the dawn of time, an enigma that cinema has taken a crack at over the years with films centred on examining the core of this passion.
Of finding what it is about staring at a TV screen and guiding the movements of the avatar displayed within it. What makes a video gamer tick, what makes them so driven to succeed and share the love of their medium? Many movies have tried to answer that question, and only a few of them have managed to provide a possible answer to the riddle of video game fandom. Here are ten such films, that got it right.
You’d expect the film company behind films such as Happy Gilmore and Little Nicky to be utterly clueless when it came to representing video gamers on the big screen. You’d be 100% right, because Grandma’s Boy is a very very stupid movie. Gods, how I love it for that stupidity. It’s a film wherein the video game influences are mere set dressing for the usual gags of dick ‘n fart jokes.
In a way, it works entirely, because if you’ve ever stumbled onto certain video game forums then you’d know exactly where the writers of Grandma’s Boy spent their time on research. It’s rude, crude and has plenty of ‘tude. Perfection.
What is there to say about Grandma’s Boy that hasn’t been said before? It’s a typical comedy from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison studio, filled with all the prerequisite stereotypes about video game culture imaginable. The funny thing is (beyond Justin Long’s prescient portrayal of a video game diva developer in the 2010s), is that it feels entirely on point in today’s day and age. The dickery of modern day society, our obsession with being able to have robot legs surgically applied to our bodies…Grandma’s Boy was ahead of the curve by a good decade.
We’re all David Spade’s vegan waiter in this scene. We’re all good people, pushed too far. When society relentlessly mocks you, you don’t turn the other cheek. You unleash a litany of cursing, you fight fire with fire and you let those everyone know that you’ve had it and you’re not going to take it anymore. If more people choked on cow penis the world would be a better place. Unless you really are a waiter in a vegan restaurant because dude come on.
Ain’t nobody going to eat that slop.
That’s right, monkey. Play my head.
It’s 2006, and the film industry has been shaken to its core. Only one movie was brave enough to truly showcase gamers as the degenerate weed-smoking African witch doctor-fraternising monsters that they were then. Grandma’s Boy may bill itself as a comedy, but it’s a horror film through and through. It’s a thriller, of a man who refuses to grow up and spends his nights sleeping in a bed shaped like a car. A f***ing sweet car bed, but a car bed nonetheless.
It’s the sheer carnage of the video game industry, represented by a man who has completely lost touch with all reality and believes that he may in fact be a robot. A robot of an industry that chews and spits out talent at an alarming rate. Guys, I think Grandma’s Boy was trying to warn us.
The good old days, am I right? The days when a video game was focused on just being a game, and dudes were simply horribly misogynistic and sexist stalkers who could get away with all manner of stalkerish behaviour without having to worry about a stray tweet crippling their career. Grandma’s Boy is that film, a tale of a video game industry that was focused on good games first and the word microtransaction was never uttered once.
Look at the gamers in this film, look at their happy smiling faces as the film captures their chauvinistic attitude and preserves it for all time. Glorious stuff.
In the years to come, Grandma’s Boy will be seen as a cultural milestone. It’ll join illustrious films such as Citizen Kane, Get Out and There Will Be Blood in the annals of history. Grandma’s Boy is art of a high caliber, a raucous love letter to a video game industry which was more fictional in its construction than weight loss results promised by herbal supplements.
A cinematic triumph, that shows off multiple facets of what it was like to be a video gamer in the mid-2000s who had to juggle being able to afford new releases with being able to blaze a bag of the finest kush on the market. Truly, a movie about courage in the face od advrsity.
How can he see me?
I was in a bad place in 2006. Hackers had inaccurately portrayed the internet as a glorious simulation that modern PCs couldn’t hope to render with even the most advanced Voodoo graphics accelerators that money could buy, Spy Kids 3D had further ruined the medium and Stay Alive had almost been the final nail in the coffin for my love of film. And the career of Frankie Muniz, I guess.
Then Grandma’s Boy arrived. It renewed my faith in video games and in cinema. It convinced me that a film starring potheads whose thumbs danced across controllers with reckless abandon that couldn’t possibly influence a video game unless it was a session of Tekken, could exist. Grandma’s Boy saved me, is what I’m saying.
For the final entry on this list, a film that I guess nobody saw coming. Yeah that’s right: Grandma’s Boy. Finally, here was a movie that nailed video gamers, if they happened to be drug addict man-babies who still lived at home and enjoyed tickling their pickles in front of helpless Barbie dolls. Grandma’s Boy is hauntingly accurate in its portrayal of video game fans, capturing the angst and the drama of a world that few people understand or even dare to attempt to connect with.
Don’t judge me,monkey. Don’t judge me.
Last Updated: February 9, 2018