Not For Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary is an interesting and informative film directed by Kevin J. James. It is a documentary film that examines the place of brick and mortar video game stores in a world that is increasingly becoming exclusively digitally focused.
The film focuses on a variety of Retro Game Stores, including two I have had the pleasure of visiting 8bit and Up in New York City and Pink Gorilla Games in Seattle. Numerous owners and employees of these stores are interviewed about the future of these local “Mom and Pop” shops in a world where physical media is becoming increasingly unfashionable and demand for physical retro video games is decreasing year on year (partly due to these retro games being made available on new platforms).
The documentary also examines the rise of the digital distribution of video games and how that affects the customer from a product ownership perspective. From a positive perspective, the digital distribution of video games has removed a massive barrier to entry for smaller and indie developers, who can now release their games alongside the big corporations. There are, however, also negative points. These mainly focus on the possibility that a customer can lose access to a digital product they have purchased if it is removed from the digital distribution platform. Digital products can be removed from digital distribution platforms for a variety of reasons, including the lapse of licensing agreements.
The film also examines the preservation of video games and video game history, an important task undertaken by various organizations, including the Video Game History Foundation and the National Video Game Museum in Frisco, Texas. These organizations strive to preserve all things related to the history of video games, not just merely the game itself but all source code, design documents, and marketing material. The documentary also discusses the Library of Congress of the United States’ video game section, where video games are stored for historical purposes in a similar way to which the Library archives films and books.
Not For Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary is an enjoyable film that, at its core, looks at the impact video games have on our lives and the way this important part of many of our lives will be affected in the future. Not For Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary is an excellent documentary that comes highly recommended.