Video games and the community around them have meant everything to Narcissa Wright. Her quests to set speed run records in numerous game titles have allowed her to own competitions and stages across the globe. But as much as she loves the challenge of conquering virtual worlds, her biggest challenge will come from the community whose love and affection she yearns for as she comes out as transgender. Hell-bent on setting a new speedrunning world record in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Narcissa struggles to balance the volatile nature of internet fandom and the prospect of building a fulfilling life outside the confines of pixels and sprites.
Director Jane M. Wagner takes audiences on an emotionally arresting journey through Narcissa’s innermost thoughts and desires, showcasing the duality of a passionate, dedicated gamer. Witnessing Narcissa’s journey reveals not only so much about humanity’s longing for a community but the fine line between support and dependency. Drawing from an archive of more than 3,000 hours of Narcissa’s live streams, intimate verité, and 8-bit animation, Break the Game is a moving exploration of gamer culture, the realities of online harassment, and the mental health implications of a life lived online.––Casey Baron