World 1-1 Documentary Review

In 1977 Atari 2600 entered the homes of the average middle class and revealed a new realm of entertainment.  Although Atari may seem simple to some, it’s the creative beginning, the unleashed genius that was the introduction of the now very successful gaming industry.  The independent documentary, World 1-1, uncovers the development of Atari from the company’s first game, “Pong”, to the devastating video game crash of 1983.

World 1-1, a kickstarter funded documentary by Jeanette Garcia and Daryl Rodriguez, utilizes historical footage from the 1970s and several interviews with Al Alcorn, Garry Kitchen, and Howard Scott to discuss the early days of the gaming industry.

The film also features an interview with Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari. The movie details the elaboration of the first arcade game, explaining the construction consisted of makeshift televisions, bread pans and handmade circuit boards.

While this amazing group of talented individuals formulated the design of PONG, they had no idea if
it would actually work. The questions loomed; were video games for nerds only? Would the average Joe in a bar like video games? In the late 1970s that question had not been answered.  Soon Atari would become the fastest growing company in American history.

World 1-1 also reveals details of the Atari game created by Dona Bailey.  Although female game programmers were very rare at this time, she developed “Centipede” a hit game using a highly colorful design scheme.  Although at first it was a technical glitch on the CRT, she decided to keep the colors.

The film also highlights the birth of Activision.  With the rise in popularity of Atari, many of the programmers grew disgruntled with the management, and decided to create ActiVision.  Steve Jobs is also mixed into the story of Atari!  Ralph H. Baer is featured briefly as the inventor of the Magnavox Odyssey, pre dating Atari he paved the groundwork for home consoles.

Overall the movie was an interesting insight into the historical aspect of the gaming industry. With fresh new interviews it presented a complete picture and filled in the gaps that I had been longing for.  However, the movie did leave me with a few questions regarding Ralph Baer.  A great addition would be a discussion on the true creator of Pong and the inclusions of the legality issues with Baer vs Atari. Baer is the true underdog story video games.

Overall a great move B++ and I hope to see more from this directing Duo! Watch the trailer and you'll be scrambling to purchase a copy guaranteed.


  1. I need to check this documentary out, I recently watched the 'Atari: Game Over' documentary following the dig for the ET cartridges buried in landfill and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Yes it a great little film. I enjoyed the Game Over movie also. I own several of the dig cartridges. I plan to repair one, play it and post an article


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