Sunday, March 1, 2009

The King of Kong

Ya know what movie you would like?

So, first of all, this is a documentary about competitive Donkey Kong playing, but for those of you who aren't sold on that description alone, stick with me for a second. It's "about" a video game, but this is really a story about competition. Just like you don't have care about hockey to appreciate a movie like The Mighty Ducks (and who doesn't appreciate The Mighty Ducks?), Donkey Kong is simply the forum for a universal tale of rivalry.

The rivals in this case are Steve Wiebe and my new hero, Billy Mitchell. Billy's probably the most famous competitive video game player in history, the Red Baron of Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, but high scores have never been of any interest to me. Billy's not just a winner at video games; he's a winner at life, and he's not afraid to tell you how great he is. He cannot stand to be less than the best at anything, and he isn't.


...Until Steve Wiebe beats his high score for Donkey Kong. I don't want to give anything away, but the man's unwillingness to lose his ranking is incredible. Just take my recommendation on this and rent The King of Kong. You'll be glad you did.

There's also a scripted adaptation of this movie in the works, which might be okay, but I don't see any way that it could be as good. Combine the obsessiveness that comes from competition over world records with the geekiness of video games and you get characters that no actor could portray without accusations of over-acting. There is no substitute for Billy Mitchell.

1 comment:

grasshopper said...

how could you not root for Steve Wiebe to take down Billy Mitchell...