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April 30, 2010

"The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters"

Mjim linked this in the comments.

I saw this a few years back, and I strongly recommend you watch it. It's a very silly documentary about an utterly trivial matter -- who will win the "Classic Arcade Games" official record for Donkey Kong? -- but it's just great. One of the most enjoyable documentaries I've seen.

Actually, it's a little more like a reality tv show than a documentary -- there is definitely a hero and villain here -- bust still, it's great.

Especially the political intrigues. Yes, there are political intrigues. Because the main story is about the goofball committee which officially recognizes Donkey Kong records corruptly denying the record to the real holder, in order to keep the record in the hands of their buddy, who's actually on the board of the record-certifying committee.

And also is a "Cool Dude," and therefore considered a "Good Ambassador" for classic gaming because he's so coool. At least he's cool in the minds of these other certified geek mutants. He's like their Golden Boy, and seriously, I think they think he's so cool because he's actually had sex with a woman. So of course that makes him King of the Geeks.

To the rest of us, to normal people, he just seems like another geek, except with a +5 Mullet of Douchebaggery.

Goofy as it is, this is still essentially a story about political corruption, and the "establishment" (such as it is) consipiring against the little guy to keep him out of the club, and even though it's about such a trivial matter, it still gets you going. Corruption is always dramatic, even if it's about a stupid insignificant video game record.

The cool thing is, you can actually watch the whole movie on YouTube, at least, I guess, until they figure out that a bunch of people are now viewing pirated material and shut it down. That's a link to part 1.

If it gets taken down, or you like basically like what you see, rent it. These guys made a good product and deserve a little somethin'-somethin' for that.

Spoiler below. Highlight with your mouse to see after you've watched it.

If you watch the whole thing, you should probably click on the Wikipedia entry, to find out what was true here and what wasn't.

Oh, 96% of it is true, but there is a little deceptive editing and withholding for dramatic purposes, especially near the end.

I sort of don't even want to mention this, and that's why I'm calling it a spoiler, because it sort of will spoil your fun to know that there is some manipulation at the climax.

But if you wind up being as nuts for this movie as I was, you'll probably want the full, real story.

As I said, it's almost all true. The falseness near the end is just a matter of withholding or deceptively implying, not really lying. But you do need to check the record for the actual facts.

If you care enough. But this dumb little documentary will probably make you care enough about exactly what happened in this weird mutant subculture digital duel.

Billy Mitchell Really Is a Douchebag: So says "fartbubble," and you can trust him, because his screenname is "fartbubble."

Billy Mitchel, Douchebag of the Century: As FUBAR, I think, said, "So he's good at video games and sells some hot sauce for chicken wings and he brings that much attitude to the table?"

Yup. It's not that getting a perfect score on Pac-Man isn't impressive, in a way. Not super-impressive, but I would have assumed it was impossible. It's... something.

It's just that... Dude, you can't talk with this much swagger over a freakin' arcade game score.

Just to recommend this again: If anyone doesn't want to watch it because they figure it's a dumb movie about video games, it's really not.

It's a movie about people.

One of whom is a douchebag. And several of whom are defective mutants and weird gamer-groupies who worship that douchebag.

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posted by Ace at 04:15 PM

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