Football Manager is probably the most polarizing game ever to be released. For those who play the game it is a way of life, the chance to live your dreams and test out your theories. For those who don't play it is seen as the ultimate waste of time, responsible for creating dull statisticians and Football Manager widows.
An Alternative Reality looks at this phenomenon in great detail, studying it's fans and their obsessive nature as well as looking at the creation of the game and it's effect, not just on fans but on real managers, players and ultimately the nature of football as a whole.
As someone who has played the game on and off since the mid '90s I was fascinated to see what the documentary had to offer. Having myself succumbed to the addiction and control it to a healthy level, or that's what I tell myself. As other players will agree, it is not a game to pick up for an hour or two every now and again but, if you want to maintain any kind of relationship or job, it's best to try.
The documentary itself is of a much higher quality than I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised, not only by the high standard but also by it's narrative structure. Not just a fan made documentary, An Alternative Reality is made in conjunction with Football Managers creators Sports Interactive, giving it an unprescedented level of detail.
There are fantastic inteviews and vox pops with some of it's most hardcore players, those who wear their best suit when it comes to a cup final, as well as celebrity players such as Paolo Nutini, real life footballers such as Andros Townshend even real life managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Alex Mcleish.
This is not just a documentary for fans of Football Manager though as I believe it explains a lot about the people who play and may well allow some understanding from those who, perhaps, don't understand why their partners, children, parents or friends are so addicted to the game.
There are also some brilliant interviews with the games original creators, Paul & Oliver Collyer, who discuss the games' origins as Championship Manager and it's meteoric rise once it was aligned with SEGA.
There are several great documentaries on the market and I would honestly put this one near the top of the pile, it is a well directed, highly informative and inspiring watch that I can not reccomend enough.
HITC's Score 9/10
A Football Manager documentary almost as addictive as the game.
An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.
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