Relive The Chaos With HBO’s GameStop Documentary
“Remember when we you couldn’t stop hearing about GameStop?” Few stories in recent memory shook the world of trading like the epic GameStop stock story from 2021. What started as an elaborate example of online trolling turned into a legitimate short squeeze of epic proportions, creating a truly fascinating, captivating and revealing event, a genuine cultural moment that had not just industry experts, but the entire world, talking. Of course, in this era of constant content that we live in, real-world stories like this make perfect fodder for media companies to squeeze every last bit of play out of, and so barely a year later, the GameStop drama has gotten the full documentary treatment.
The trailer for HBO Max’s Gaming Wall Street was released recently and the two-part doc promises to, as narrated Succession star Kieran Culkin explains, “how a group of armchair investors and online vigilantes ultimately helped expose the dark underbelly of Wall Street.” For those who need a refresher, the GameStop drama of last January occurred when a group of amateur investors on Reddit’s ‘r/wallstreetbets’ ignited a short squeeze on GameStop (NYSE: GME) stock, skyrocketing its value in a matter of days and creating hysteria in the industry, as the dramatic shift caused significant financial losses to high-profile hedge funds who had been short selling the stock immediately prior.
The story quickly took a life of its own, becoming a full-scale war between a rapidly growing group of determined Average Joe’s looking to stick it to the elites, with the 2007 Wall Street Crash looming large in the backdrop. Prominent brokerage Robinhood and others suspending the purchase of GameStop stock at the height of the squeeze all but crushed the momentum of the movement, though quickly accusations of market manipulation were hurled their way and a number of lawsuits that were thrown their way in the weeks and months that followed are still yet to be settled.
Director Tobias Deml has remarked that he sees the story as an opportunity to continue the conversation around the corruption in the industry which the movement exposed;
“I wanted to create a compelling documentary about a niche online community which grew into the movement behind GameStop and momentarily shifted the balance of power on Wall Street. I saw a great need for access to education about investing… We have the opportunity to right a decades-old wrong created by powerful firms that have been gaming the system to the detriment of society. I hope that viewers will feel empowered to see themselves as investors and be part of a much-needed reform to Wall Street.”
The two-part documentary is on HBO Max now.