The King of Kong

Friday. Game release day. I thought there was only one thing worthy of my cash this weekend, namely Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but I was very much mistaken. I bought a copy of critically acclaimed documentary ‘The King of Kong’ as well and watched it last night. The bottom line is that it’s a fantastic movie, easily accessible for gamers and non gamers with truckloads of drama, conspiracy and humour thrown in for good measure.

The film centres around two men. the first, Billy Mitchell, who in the 80’s set a high score on Donkey Kong exceeding the 800,000 mark. Second place at the time was several hundred thousand below this and his title as DK supremo seemed cemented in the history books.

Billy Mitchell, you’ll hate him by the end of this movie

That is, until avid game fan Steve Wiebe lost his job and needed a little project to fill his time spent at home with. Owning an old Donkey Kong Junior arcade cab with the original DK chip card loaded within, Steve fancies himself as the next champion.

Little did both men realise that the most intense rivalry in professional gaming history had just begun, one that would involve, lies, deceit, back-stabbing and bitterness from the Mitchell camp and some suspicious judging from his good friends at high score collection body Twin Galaxies.

Walter Day of Twin Galaxies and Steve Wiebe at the Funspot Arcade, Florida

This is an often heart breaking movie as mild mannered and all round good guy Steve beats Mitchell’s score, only to have his arcade cabinet ripped apart and inspected for tampering, only then to beat the score again live in an arcade to be outdone by an increasingly desperate Mitchell, pulling in every trick in the book to clutch onto his title.

Will Wiebe overcome the Mitchell clique and become the true master of what is undoubtedly the hardest game in existence? Buy the movie and find out -it’s truly awesome and shows just how competitive the ‘sport’ of gaming can become when the heat turns up. You’ll adore Steve by the end while growing to despise Mitchell as this can truly be seen as a battle of good versus evil over an ape, a plumber and a damsel in distress.

You may think ‘it’s only a game’, but not after you sit through this.






4 responses to “The King of Kong”

  1. Chris avatar

    Great post there Dave, it’s hard to imagine people getting so worked up over a game but I supposed when you truely are at a pro level it means so much more. I remember reading about some US teenagers who were top Halo2 players and they had loads of sponsorship, etc

  2. Dave avatar

    Thanks Chris 🙂

    Yeah I think the top ranking FPS player (I think he calls himself Fatal1ty) has won tons of these titles and tournaments. I seem to remember the guy won a Ferrari or something for winning a Quake tournament. Worth a google methinks.

    Get the film, it’s wicked! 😀

  3. Michael avatar

    Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel has made so much moolah off competition skills that I think he’s retired (or, at least, put competing on hold) and used that to produce his own range of gaming equipment, like specialised mice.

  4. Dave avatar

    Wow, now that’s impressive. Who better to design a gaming mouse I suppose 🙂

    Billy Mitchell in The King of Kong has his own restaurant and own line of barbeque chicken sauce, quite the offshoot from professional gaming.

    Reminds me of ex-Atari head honcho, Nolan Bushnell and his Chuck E. Cheese Pizza-Time Theatre restaurants. I think he also had a hand in creating Teddy Ruxpin – something of a jack of all trades there.

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