A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Some minimal discussion of how video games have impacted children (including discussion of adverse affects).
Violence & Scariness
Several of the featured games include shooting, explosions, murder, and/or some kind of battle. The images are shown for illustrative purposes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some video game images show women in tight/suggestive clothing.
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"Damn" is audible. Words like "ass" and "s--t" are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Features now-defunct game brands like Atari and Magnavox as well as contemporary names like PlayStation; lots of games are mentioned by name, starting with Pong and Pac-Man and moving all the way up to World of Warcraft.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol very occasionally visible.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this documentary series about the history and evolution of video games includes clips from many of the games it discusses, some of which feature violent and disturbing images. The images are shown to illustrate the industry's major technology and content advancements, but they may be inappropriate or even frightening for younger viewers (though plenty of kids may not even be interested in the series). There's also a bit of strong language, though anything stronger than "damn" and "hell" is bleeped.
Is It Any Good?
The series is informative, looking at the overall social influences that have inspired major advances in game technology and content. It also provides some interesting examples of how the creative process works and discusses the medium as an avenue for creative expression. Different points of view are presented about the tensions between corporate culture and the creative teams behind the games.
But the show's focus is really on the evolutionary and revolutionary role that video games continue to play in our lives -- even for those who don't play them. That, plus a bit of iffy language and some fairly graphic footage from the games being discussed, makes Rise of the Video Game a bit strong for younger kids (though chances are they won't be that excited about watching a documentary anyway). But avid teen and adult gamers may find it compelling viewing.
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Our Editors Recommend
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