Monday, January 30, 2012

The King of Kong Review

With Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe

This is a documentary about the world of competitive video gaming.  It focuses on two men and their quest to be the best Donkey Kong player of all time.

I have to admit that I don’t understand what makes these people so driven to conquer this game and go down in the history books for being so great at it.  It was casual curiosity that made me watch this.  I was surprised by how interested I became.  Billy Mitchell is the reigning Donkey Kong champion, and classic video game legend, and Steve Wiebe has been chasing the record.  You may not understand the obsession but you find yourself enthralled in the drama and rooting for these guys (well, one of them anyway).  As the documentary goes along there develops a good guy and a bad guy.  There is the drama of the taint of cheating and the possibility of conspiracies and the emotions of a lifetime of striving and falling just short so many times.  There is a cast of quirky supporting characters on one side or the other, some conflicted and some just interested observers but all woven into the surprisingly complex and intense world of competitive gaming.

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