The King of Kong (Documentary) Reviewed
I finally got to watch The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It’s a pretty interesting documentary on one man’s quest to beat the world record high score on Donkey Kong. Steve Wiebe here is the overall nice guy going through some tough times in his life. Laid off from work, he takes to playing Donkey Kong Jr. with the aim of beating Billy Mitchell’s high score.
While retro games are understandably an obsession and players can be really competitive, I’m rather surprised at how obnoxious and childish some of these “world record high score” holders are.
It’s quite an eye opening experience to learn how Brian Kuh (who, unfortunately, behaves like Billy Mitchell’s lap dog) entered Steve Wiebe’s garage without permission and proceeded to disassemble his Donkey Kong Jr. for “verification” purposes.
And oh the sheer hypocrisy of it all. While Steve Wiebe’s Donkey Kong score is rejected due to the fact it was video taped and not done in front of a live audience, Walter Day, the guy responsible for keeping track of all these scores, accepts Billy Mitchell’s world record score recorded on a video tape!
The King of Kong is a pretty interesting movie (Steve Wiebe does win in the end), and while some people will have a problem believing that such obsessive-types exist, it’s a fun romp through the retro gaming scenes.
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