From Bedrooms VS They Were Our Gods

by Paul Morrison

I've just finished watching From Bedrooms To Billions.  Correction: I've just finished watching the main feature of From Bedrooms To Billions.  Having backed the Special Edition version of the film, I still have over two hours of intriguing-looking extras to plough through.  I'm looking forward to that immensely.  But that's for the coming week.

I'm not going to review the film now... I'm doing that for RESET magazine (out next month, folks!).  I just thought I'd let you know, basically, what I thought of it and what it means for They Were Our Gods.

The film runs for about two and a half hours, and when it's finished, you want more.  It's got some amazing archive footage and lots of great names from the 80s talking about the British games industry.  They get the majority of the running time while the rest brings you up to speed from the 16-bit era to the massive industry we know today.  If you've got any interest in the history of the British games industry, you really need to get it bought and watched.

Finally, the story is told.

Finally, the story is told.

What does it mean, though, for the future of They Were Our Gods?  I'll be honest, that's been a bit of a worry for the whole time I've been working on this.  What if the overlap was too great?  What if it rendered my project obsolete?

I needn't have worried.  From Bedrooms To Billions is completely different to what I'm doing.  It totally focuses on how the games industry started in Britain and how it evolved.  I'm not covering any of that.  As I've stated all along, They Were Our Gods is about celebrating the individuals and their work.  There is almost no overlap whatsoever.

To note: so far, of the people I've talked to, 23 of them are not in From Bedrooms at all.  Of the rest... the film doesn't cover any of what I've talked about.  I don't feel relieved... I feel re-energised.  They Were Our Gods can be a genuine companion piece to From Bedrooms if I can get my act together, get in touch with all the people I want and get my content together.

From Bedrooms To Billions is a wonderful document of our industry, something which the Caulfields can be very proud of and which we must thank them for.  Now I believe it's my turn.  Time for me to grasp the nettle and pull together a book like no other.  A book featuring all the computer games you loved in the 80s, all the programmers, all the musicians, all the graphic artists, cover artists and games reviewers you couldn't get enough of.  If any of you talented folks happen to read this, want to take part and want to pre-empt me, please get in touch. I'd love to hear from you.  Everyone else, just keep throwing words of encouragement my way.  They mean a lot.