To celebrate a year since we first started teabagging our words onto your screens I thought that it seemed quite fitting to give my thoughts on a film which shows just how serious some people take their gaming and I think no film illustrates this obsession more than King of Kong.
“This is a war universe. War all the time. There may be other universes but ours seems to be based on war and games.” ~ William S. Burroughs
As this quote right at the beginning illustrates, setting records on old school arcade games is taken very very….very seriously. No-one takes it more seriously than the gentlemen at Twin Galaxies International who regulate and verify high scores for a host of classic games and there’s one man who is worshipped above all by this nerd coven. Enter Billy Mitchell.
Billy Mitchell evidently takes Donkey Kong more seriously than his haircut and is initially portrayed as a winner. Fair enough though since the guy is like the Gene Simmons of the arcade having held the world record for this particular game since 1982. Given Billy’s ‘swag’ you can tell he knows his score is untouchable. Until now.
In the blue corner we have our plucky challenger Steve Wiebe, well maybe not plucky more downtrodden. This a guy has tried so hard at numerous things and has been so close to having major success only to come up short and choke when it really counted. He is a truly nice guy despite being totally OCD and from the start you are rooting for him, plus he is like a Donkey Kong rain man and if anyone can beat the mighty Billy’s score its Steve. Which he does on tape whilst his kid is screaming for him to come and wipe his arse,. This man has the skills. Anyway a minor celebrity status ensues and finally for the first time Steve feels a sense of achievement in his life.
The film takes more of a sinister turn at this stage when the group of nerds who Billy is part of take a more mafia style approach and send some minions to Steve’s house to try to find an excuse to invalidate Steve’s score. Watch the film for the specifics but Twin Galaxies says they won’t accept Steve’s tape as they suspect foul play and the new king is quickly dethroned.
Then the day comes where The Guinness Book of World Records comes to town and when Steve hears about it he steps up to prove his worth. Cue the Rocky style montage of Steve fiddling furiously with his joystick, complete with Eye of the Tiger music.
Will Steve succeed and overcome The Illumnerdi? or will The Kongfather Billy Mitchell keep his crown. You will have to watch to find out. You can find it on Netflix and the trailer for this epic battle can be found below.