Take a crash course in video-game history with new Netflix docuseries High Score

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Netflix

It pays to know your history. That’s one good reason to watch the new Netflix documentary series High Score.

Another reason is that the series is narrated by Charles Martinet. The American actor is best known to video-game fans as the voice of Mario. He’s also the voice of Luigi. And Baby Mario. And Baby Luigi. Also Wario. And…well, you get the idea. Given that Mario rarely speaks a sentence longer than “Let’s-a go!”, it will be interesting to hear some longer-form voice work from Martinet—who, incidentally, doesn’t look a damn thing like Mario.

Watch the opening credits:

Here’s the official Netflix synopsis of High Score, which comes to the streaming service later this month:

High Score is a documentary series about the golden age of video games, when legends—from Pac-Man to Doom—were brought to life. Through ingenuity and sheer force of will, computer pioneers and visionary artists from around the globe spawned the iconic worlds of Space Invaders, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog, John Madden Football, and beyond. Without rules or roadmaps, players and innovators alike pushed the limits of money to be made, rivals to be crushed, and hearts to be won. This is the story of the brains behind the pixels and how their unmatched innovation built a multi-billion dollar industry—almost by accident.

While we’re on the topic of knowing your history, here’s another recommendation. Every gamer should read A History of Video Games in 64 Objects. Writing about the book back in June, I noted:

While the book is not specifically about ESports, it does include a number of entries about the groundbreaking titles that contributed directly to the development of today’s competitive gaming environment, including John Madden Football (1990), Street Fighter II (1991), and World of Warcraft (2004).

Lavishly illustrated with full-colour photos, A History of Video Games in 64 Objects is a must-read for hard-core and casual gamers alike.

High Score debuts on Netflix on August 19.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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