The Return of the King Of Kong

By Justin G.

Let me just say that I really liked the movie The King of Kong.  I thought it was a great story of the underdog eventually prevailing over the seemingly unbeatable foe (mirroring LOTR?), and I thought it was completely true.  Oh, the disappointment I felt when I heard that certain important things were omitted or shortened…

While watching the movie, there is just no way to view anyone but Steve Wiebe as the protagonist.  He is portrayed as a realy nice guy, a family man, a hard worker, and (most importantly) the absolute underdog. The movie seems to portray a conspiracy against Steve; a plot to give Billy the high score no matter what.  It makes for a compelling story, but finding out that some things were omitted for dramatic effect was a real let-down for me.  And, upon hearing that things were left unsaid, I began to question whether things in the movie were actually real.  The moviemakers made it seem as if the leaders of Twin Galaxies, while so reluctant to accept Steve’s high score, took Billy’s with no reservations (despite the odd qualities of the videotape).  However, I don’t really think that was such a short process anymore.  Also, the scenes in Billy’s hometown arcade (after thinking about it further) seemed too weird.  I really think Billy would have at least acknowledged Steve, if not talk to him at length about strategy and such.

As far as comparisons to LOTR go, I would say that the filmmakers want us to think that Billy is like Sauron. His is at the top of the classic video game pyramid, and (arguably) has complete control over many important figures in that field.  He also seems to have some kind of alliance with Walter Day (Saruman).  Billy, in that case, would be Frodo, and his family would be the rest of the hobbits.  Roy Schildt (I think) would be a (much) lamer version of Boromir.  Please let me explain this.  Boromir, despite all his faults (and there were many), in the end only wanted to help Frodo.  Roy Schildt definitely was one of the greatest Steve Wiebe supporters, even if it was only out of spite for Billy Mitchell.

At least that’s how I think the filmmakers wanted it.  In real life, I think there is no bad guy, no protagonist, no conspiracies, just a bunch of guys who, no matter how much they insist that it’s a business, really like video games.

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