The Wizard (1989)
Released in 1989 The Wizard tells a tale of two brothers, Corey and Jimmy, who want to run away to California and a girl called Haley, who's on her way home to Reno. They realise they have no money to get to California yet find out that Jimmy is great at video games, he gets nicknamed 'The Wizard' and aim to be contestants on a show called "Video Armageddon" where they can win a prize of $50,000.
The film's plot wasn't the only thing that turned off movie critics as many saw the film as a 90 minutes advert for Nintendo, a view that is very much backed up by the shameless references to Nintendo games and Nintendo accessories.
The Power Glove is an excellent example of this. Released at a similar time to the film, The Power Glove was meant to innovate the way that people played video games. The antagonist of the film used one and said the famous quote "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad"
The film became a cult classic and although failed at the box office it opened up a new genre to the silver screen. Films such as Tron (1982) before it obviously had video games in it yet The Wizard was given full licence by Nintendo and led to more developers to dip into the world of Film such as the Mortal Kombat franchise and more recently the Resident Evil films.
For representation of the 1980's I feel that the whole theme of Video Games is very iconic of the 1980's. Computers and home video gaming consoles started to thrive in the 1980's and it becomes apparent during the latter years of the decade with the emergence of giants such as Nintendo and Sega. The market was becoming far more competitive and more advance the previously. The film itself was used to introduce one of the best selling games of all time and arguably the greatest game of all time "Super Mario 3"to the western world and was released in North America a year after the film in 1990. The economic power of the Gaming industry was tested in 1893 when there was a crash of the industry. Before this point $3 billion were spent on home gaming consoles and three years later the industry fell to only $100 million. At the point of the release of The Wizard the industry was stood at a high of $5 billion in North America alone and since then has grown ever since
Although the Wizard was a terrible film with a terrible gross it does help us understand how important gaming was in the 1980's