Beyond the Game, despite sharing a name with a 2008 documentary about videogame culture, is a brand new film about, well, videogame culture. No, no, no! Don’t go just yet! This is a different project with a much different focus — and one with a current Kickstarter campaign deserving some attention from game players and mystified outsiders alike.
Animatronic Ackbar, the wonderfully named filmmakers behind Beyond the Game, are approaching their doc’s subject matter in a manner that really hasn’t been done properly yet. Rather than focus on portrayals of videogame developers or players the group is instead broadening its scope to record the wider culture that has grown up alongside the industry.
Playing games, for many people, has far less to do with actually sitting down at a console or computer than it does with expressing themselves using the iconography established by games. Much like how hip-hop culture encompasses more than just a style of music, Beyond the Game wants to show just how deeply digital play has influenced the lives of those growing up with a love for it.
Animatronic Ackbar have created a film that traces the unprecedented growth of the videogame industry, showing its evolution from a niche in technology development to its current state as a massive player in the world of entertainment. They do so by “[presenting] specific elements of the culture with great emphasis placed on the fighting game community, the advent of the chiptune sound and the formation of underground art collectives.” In this way, Beyond the Game will illustrate just how deeply videogames have pervaded the mainstream. And while it’s hard to tell exactly how the completed project will look, early trailers and the concept of the film itself make it appear to be well worth looking out for.
To finish their documentary, Anamatronic Ackbar has taken to Kickstarter for some of that good ol’ fashioned crowdsourcing. They’ve been filming the project over the last year and a half, carrying out interviews and capturing footage from the various music, art and social scenes visited, but now need a bit of outside help to finish production. This money will go toward offsetting the travel, equipment and post production expenses that will continue to be racked up as the film makes it way to the finish line.
Those who donate to Beyond the Game are able to snatch up a few nice rewards in return for their generosity. These include digital downloads of the doc’s chiptune soundtrack (music created in the style of older computers and console games), copies of the finished film, t-shirts, an original, autographed Game Boy, tickets to the LA premiere, associate producer credit and more.
Head on over to Animatronic Ackbar’s official website, Kickstarter page or Facebook for more information or check out this link (or this link!) for two earlier Vimeo-hosted teaser trailers. Beyond the Game will be funded tomorrow (Friday, November 11th) at 5.17pm EST if it reaches its $20,000 goal on time so, if you’re interested, make your donation now before the clock ticks the rest of those minutes away.