Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Donkey Kong

I wrote about Chasing the Ghost: Beyond the Arcade HERE. I have made my thoughts re: grown men playing video games several times over throughout these years.

But I guess classic, old school video gamers fall into the same category as boxing and movies for me. As in I could care less about them in and of themselves, but love watching documentaries on the subject.

Last night I caught The King of Kong; and almost (ALMOST!!!!) was stirred to emotion after the guy (Steve Weibe) got his heart ripped out by that douchebag Billy Mitchell and his little fucking minions. Dude breaks the Donkey Kong record, AT the official record-keeping joint in all the land. He was pressed into going to do it "live" by people that discredited his previous efforts due to them being on video tape. So as he breaks it live once and for all, Billy Mitchell has sent a videotape of HIMSELF "breaking the record" at his own house. Which his little underlings proudly claim to be the new world record. Never minding that 1) it was Mitchell who had led the charge to discredit the guy for not doing it live before 2) some "sketchy" tape stuff was going on with the picture of the tape that the "officials" spent about 0 seconds on in their desperate hamstring-popping sprints to please their Master, Billy Mitchell.

In order to prove his gaming skills, Wiebe travels to Funspot Arcade in Laconia, NH, to perform a high score live for Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day and other high-ranking members of Twin Galaxies, hoping to confront Mitchell and play head-to-head. Although Mitchell does not show, he sends Kuh to observe Wiebe's play. Despite Kuh's attempts to psych out Wiebe by gathering a large crowd to witness his kill screen, Wiebe achieves a new world record of 985,600 points. However, Mitchell sends a low-quality VHS to Funspot, depicting himself achieving a higher score of 1,047,200 points - a stark contrast to his opinion throughout the film, in which he repeatedly asserts that live scores are the only ones credible. Despite Wiebe's protests that his own first score was disqualified for being submitted via unsupervised videotape, Twin Galaxies accepts Mitchell's score over Wiebe's and proclaims that Mitchell is still the record holder.

Anyway, was a great doc. And while you wouldn't ever dream of a video game guy who would make you root for him, Weibe is just that. A victim of the incestuous fanaticism in the video game world. And, more surprisingly, a perfectly likable guy. Look out for this flick and catch it if you can.

ps - the picture to the right says it all. The official record-keeper hovering behind Weibe, hoping to distract so that an "outsider" doesn't break precious Billy Mitchell's record. Asshole.


The Gnat said...

I told you that movie was awesome. Well-told story that make nerds riveting. Plus Steve Wiebe was a good ballplayer in high school. So we don't hafta root for a cyber geek at all.

Nerdhappy said...

On June 2, 2009, Steve reached a score of 923,400 points at E3 2009 during his first attempt that day. On his second attempt, he reached 653,700. A third attempt was interrupted by a brief power failure. After power was restored, Wiebe made a fourth attempt in which he reached 989,400 points before the kill screen ended his final attempt. These attempts were broadcast online via G4TV.

I hope he tries again...

Xmastime said...

rooting for him! :)

Anonymous said...

Love the scene when Billy finally makes an appearance, his wife's knockers lead the way. Couldn't have been scripted better.

andtheend. said...

i loved this film. especially when weibe is videotaping himself for a record, and you hear his kid yell, "wipe me!"

Anonymous said...

A great film. Billy Mitchell is the tool of tools. Fuck him, his closet case sycophants, and his crappy hot sauce.