Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Movie Alert: The King of Kong

If you haven't seen the documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" yet, stop reading immediately, update your netflix cue, and them come back and finish. Seriously, you will regret it if you don't.

It tells the sordid story of the battle for the worlds highest Donkey Kong score. (Yes, apparently people still play Donkey Kong in arcades, and yes, they take it very very seriously). The main contenders are the reigning Donkey Kong champ, Billy Mitchell and the up and coming new kid, Steve Wiebe. Billy has been a video game champion since the 80's with high scores on PacMan and Donkey Kong. He also sports a truly fantastic blow-dried mullet, and equally fantastic gaudy neck ties. Steve is a pretty normal looking dude, with a nice seeming wife and kids, who sets a goal of achieving a high score, and spends the entire movie trying to get the higher echelons of the gaming establishment (mainly consisting of the community affiliated with Twin Galaxies, the main organization regulating gaming scores) to acknowledge his efforts.


Its totally hilariously intriguing, because the extent that Billy (and, his battalion s of yes-men and henchmen) will go to to maintain the status quo is kind of mind blowing. I got to go to a screening of this where the director and producer spoke afterwards, and, apparently not only is it all true, the drama continues on to this day. You've got to see this, mainly, because you seriously cannot make this kind of stuff up...

6 comments:

Lisa said...

That movie was AWESOME indeed. I saw it in the theatre and its was an amazing experience to hear the audience react to the people in the film.
I rented it just recently and watched it with my mom- even she loved it and she's no gamer.

treasurefield said...

I'll have to look for that movie.
My husband and I used to play those games. We had a "routine" for PacMan and it was so intense! But it was just us. I can only guess at what drama you're alluding to...!

Kinichi River Designs said...

I just did go update my queue. I'm always looking for interetsting new movies to try. Looks like fun. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

yellowfish said...

yes, I basically know nothing about video games (although I do have a 'vintage' original nintendo somewhere in my closet, it used to be my brothers...), and that had nothing to do with the entertainment value... it more like, this crazy niche of people super wound up about this very specific thing and creating lots of drama and intrigue all based on these very particular ideas and people....

John Ohab said...

You might want to go here...

I am officially the TwinGalaxies.com MarioKart World Record Holder on two races.

http://johnohab.blogspot.com/2008/06/super-mariokart-quest-mario-circuit-1.html

yellowfish said...

Mario Kart! very impressive. I'm glad to see your many years of grad school were deeply productive... (also I still say that if you're going to be on there, you're gonna need a mullet)

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