Monday was one wild night. Or, perhaps it would be equally appropriate to say that Tuesday morning was crazy. Those who have class with me no doubt realised that I was nowhere to be found all of Tuesday, and I’m sure I don’t need to give them three guesses as to why. It started with a trip to the cinema, where I saw the hi-larious movie, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. It was a documentary about the world record of Donkey Kong. As I’m sure at least some other people who saw the movie would agree, I did not even realise that it was a legitimate documentary for the mere fact that it featured characters who so vividly portrayed good vs. evil, just vs. unjust.
It probably isn’t surprising that the person I found most entertaining and intriguing in the film was the antagonist or the “bad guy,” if you will (and you probably should, because he really was despicable). That was Billy Mitchell. Billy had held the Donkey Kong world record score since the early 80’s, and as such, had grown to become the face of the competitive video gaming world… all the while growing more cocky and arrogant. And one of my favorite parts of the movie, was when Billy was talking about how no one remembers anyone but he who is the very best at any given thing, comparing himself to monumental figures in society whose ranks he thought he was a part of. He was basically trying to put down Steve Wiebe because he was always a shadow to someone only marginally better than him.
I discuss this idea, because I know that later on the night of Monday I fell into the ignorant and idiotic thinking that Billy did. Usually I’m not one for midnight launches of, well, anything. I didn’t wait for an i-Phone, a X-box 360, a PS3, or a Wii. I prefer to wait for a time when I can get things comfortably and without waiting. Not so on Monday. There was something inside me that made me have to get Halo 3 the absolute first moment that I could. Maybe it was the ridiculous un-conclusion of Halo 2’s plot, maybe it was my former addiction to Halo multi-player resurfacing – all I know is that I waited in an hour and a half long line to buy the most hyped of game of this decade.
When I got back, I thought, I have to beat this before tomorrow – I have to know what happens before anyone else! Somehow, I thought that I would be elevated by being the first person, locally or otherwise, to finish the fight with Masterchief. And so I played for a marathon 7 hours, right up until my first class the next morning, in order to see the campaign through to its end. I was Billy Mitchell, bullheadedly doing something stupid and insane, in order to achieve something I thought I needed. Only my game took quite a bit longer than even the longest possible Donkey Kong game and, when taken in one chunk, causes serious sleep deprivation. I was so tired on Tuesday that by the time I got back to my dorm room after Calculus, and started reading the material for my later class, I passed out and slept until 4:30 in the afternoon. Billy may have been a bit more mischievous and underhanded… but I was no less moronic and had my values no closer to being in the right places. Being the best or the fastest at something so trivial is just plain absurd.
I think that this might all tie back into the old adage about the tortoise and the hare. Steve Wiebe, the tortoise, moved slowly and kept his head up even when Billy, the cocky hare, was miles ahead, playing video games and getting girls while he was back trying to… oh, who am I kidding? I’m going to go back and play Halo 3.