I’ve been chumpatized

kongOn Sunday, Lady Tinkleton & I saw “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” at the Art Museum. Having played video games most of my life (although not to the extent of those on screen), I was really looking forward to this film. It chronicles the culture of gaming, specifically the original arcade classics such as Donkey Kong, Centipede, Pac-Man, Defender, etc., but mostly focuses on a rivalry between 2 world class Donkey Kongers: Billy Mitchell (Gamer of the Century, ass) and Steve Wiebe (middle school science teacher, derelict father).

At a gaming competition in 1982, Mitchell set the record for Donkey Kong at 874, 300 points. In 2003, Wiebe attempted to & successfully did break Mitchell’s score by playing, for hours on end, on his personal Donkey Kong, Jr. arcade machine in his garage. This set off a nationwide competition between the two, ripe with the kind of passive aggressive, anti-social behaviors you would expect from hardcore gamers.

I really liked this film. Apparently, so did CineRobot. This is the kind of film I enjoy not just because I could relate to it on a personal level due to my past & present gaming, but also for the bad ass, “magazine full of hairstyles that you flip through while waiting for a hair cut” look of Billy Mitchell. Also, there is a strategically timed performance by Leonard Cohen, tied into the creation of Billy’s look, that is just priceless.

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2 Comments on “I’ve been chumpatized”

  1. Jenn Says:

    Who is Lady Tinkleton?

  2. Replicant Says:

    Yr right, I loved this doc. Word is they (meaning Hollywood) are already in plans to turn this into some kind of bastardized feature film. Who can portray Billy Mitchell w/ the right kind of mullet + raging ego is going to be hard to find though.


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