The best gaming documentaries that fans can enjoy

May 30, 2024 | Articles, Gaming

Gaming is a humongous and quickly developing industry that generates yearly revenues of more than $100 billion US dollars worldwide. Driven by technological advancement, innovative monetisation models and the diversification of content, gaming continues to evolve and thrive as a sector of the global economy.

For the most passionate gamers, playing games is far more than entertainment and a cure for boredom, it is a lifestyle and opportunity for skill development and socialisation. Many documentaries cover the topic of gaming, these range from chronicles of professional gamers and their journey to series discovering the history of video games.

We profile some of the best documentaries and docu series that might appeal to you if you have an interest in all things gaming:


Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker (2013)

Online casinos are quickly gaining popularity around the world, with slots games like big bass splash and poker games such as Texas Holdem being some of the most played. However while online casino games are widely accessible and well accepted today, it hasn’t always been that way.

The documentary Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker was released in 2013 and takes a deep dive into the world of internet poker and its development. This feature looks at the origins of online poker and its development in the 2000s.

It investigates the impact of the internet on the community of professional poker players and the emerging new generations of players. The documentary also follows the conflict in the United States between the government and the gambling industry.

We see an in-depth look at the lives of three players, a mother using online poker to support her family, a tournament pro that has appeared in the World Poker Tour and a maths genius who has used his poker winnings to travel the world.

The runtime of Bet Raise Fold is one hour 41 minutes. It is a must watch for those with a love for casino gaming.


High Score (2020)

High Score is a television series that was released by Netflix in 2020. Over the course of six episodes, viewers see interviews and stories from the developers of some of the earliest video games.

Episode one covers arcade games from the 1970s and the video game crash of 1983. The creator of the popular game Space Invaders provides their insights, as does the creator of Pac Man.

In the next two episodes, the docuseries first focuses on the Nintendo Entertainment System and the 1990 Nintendo World Championship competition. There is then a focus on computer role playing games.

In episode four, competition between Sega and Nintendo is the focus. Then in episodes five and six, we hear about the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and the transition from 2D to 3D computerised graphics.

The series was highly rated by critics for its insightful interviews and depth of information.


All Work All Play (2015)

If you are looking to turn pro then this documentary could be very insightful for you. All Work All Play is an honest look at what it takes to develop into a gaming professional and the struggles that these up-and-coming players face along the way.

The esports gamers featured are competing in the Electronic Sports League’s 2014 Intel Extreme Masters World Championship, which was held in Poland. The documentary is very highly rated and even screened at the Tribeca Film Festival upon its release.

American esports team Cloud9 and South Korean team GE Tigers are just some of the professionals that were interviewed for the feature.


GameLoading: Rise of the Indies (2015)

For those with a preference for Indie style games, GameLoading: Rise of the Indies could be an interesting watch. This feature takes a close look at the world of indie game developers, it investigates their impact on gaming culture and how these games have been able to thrive.

It shows how they have disrupted the traditional model of game development and drawn inspiration from movements such as the Grunge scene and the Punk scene. It is an inspiration documentary describing the hopes and dreams of these developers and how their vision has become reality.


Nintendo Quest (2015)

Directed by Robert McCallum, the gaming documentary Nintendo Quest follows two gamers on their mission to buy a copy of each of the 678 official Nintendo games without making any online purchases. They have given themselves just 30 days to do it.

While this isn’t the highest rated documentary on the list, it is a fun and lighthearted adventure with a humorous cast.

Gaming documentaries are another way to immerse yourself in the world of gaming and learn more about the history and development behind one of your much loved hobbies.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

Thomas B.