Between Pokemon Go bar crawls and the reboot (in miniature form) of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, we may have reached peak gaming nostalgia. If that dude who fell into Prospect Park Pond convinced you it’s safer to watch than to play, check out these two soon-to-be-released docs, about rabid gamers in the B+B zone.
The Lost Arcade
Opens Aug. 12 at Metrograph, Lower East Side.
If you missed this doc about the beloved Chinatown Fair arcade when it was part of the NYC Doc festival back in November, then you’ll want to catch it at Metrograph, just a stone’s throw from where the Mott Street gaming center was located. Directed by Kurt Vincent and produced by Irene Chin, the doc recounts the place’s history, from its start in 1944 as a penny arcade below a Chinese restaurant, to its closing in 2011, to its lackluster reopening. During the early ’80s, the place was taken over by a Pakistani entrepreneur who turned it into a gathering spot for a diverse array of ryhthm gamers, shooters, racers and fighters. But alas, it would eventually be Game Over. Read our full review here.
Available Aug. 5 on VOD, including Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and Xbox Video.
We caught this doc, about Bushwick-based Dungeons & Dragons set designer Stefan Pokorny, when it showed at SXSW, and it’s truly one of the best documentaries about gamer culture since The King of Kong. During a q&a, Pokorny said he was initially worried that director Josh Bishop (Made in Japan) would try to stereotype him and his employees at Dwarven Forge as “basement-dwelling, smelly losers of the world.” But the Brooklyn filmmaker does a great job of humanizing the artist and his “Knights of Bushwick” as they attempt to raise $2 million for their next miniature fantasyland, a rat-infested town called Valoria. Check out the new trailer above, and read our review here.
Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the release date of The Dwarvenaut, the title of Josh Bishop’s last film, and the spelling of Stefan Pokorny’s last name.