Meta: The Culture of IPL (2013)

Director Adam Evans pulls together a very entertaining and informative documentary on a subject long overdue for a documentary: Gaming tournaments. There have been many documentaries about gaming in general, but very few have tackled the inherent emotion and intense training that go behind tournaments. Not to mention there’s almost nothing about the dynamics of team gaming. Director Adam Evans explores that facet that is shockingly compelling, and helps identify gaming as something more than a hobby. Especially with $100,000 dollars on the line for the winning teams.

The only experience I have with gaming tournaments is the only airing of a full tournament on cable television in America. It’s an engrossing and intense look at people who take gaming seriously to where it’s become a sport for them. “Meta” is a short but fascinating look at how the IGN Pro League has managed to take over many areas of Atlantic City in a quest to stage their annual gaming tournament, and how it’s managed to become much more than a gaming competition. Director Evans introduces us to the many charming gamers and producers of the competition, and explores how most of them take part in the event for the love of the games.

Some even volunteer at their own expense to make the experience easier for the competitors. Director Evans takes great joy in featuring many of the nuances of the competition and explores how the competitions are inching closer and closer mainstream appeal, even garnering the attention of major corporate sponsors. “Meta” really builds on the experience of the game competition and how seriously the teams take the challenges and game campaigns. “Meta” is a very fascinating and engrossing gaming documentary, and I hope we’re able to get a larger look in to the diverse world of gamers and their yearly tournaments.