It’s Called Sportsmanship Buddy

True competition is not found on the football field or basketball court. You won’t find it in the MLB, NFL, or NBA. Instead, real competition is found in the arcades, or at least that’s what King of Kong: A FistFul of Quarters leads me to believe.  In fact, I can say that out of all sports related movies I have seen, I have never seen more competitive people portrayed than the arcade game players in that movie. 

I have always been a competitive person and therefore try and stay as far away from it as possible. I don’t let myself get caught up in the winning vs. losing of it anymore. However, when I was little and would lose a soccer game I was the girl who refused to shake the other team’s hands. However, after doing so, I would be quickly reprimanded. When it comes to competitive team sports, the idea of sportsmanship is so important to the appearance of the team that seeming overly competitive is inappropriate.   This is why while watching King of Kong, I was so baffled by Billy Mitchell’s blatant rudeness. For example, the way he chooses not to acknowledge Steve Wiebe but instead simply makes offensive comments he knows Steve will over hear. I couldn’t see a how a public figure like himself could allow himself to be seen in such a way. There is a difference between what one may think in their head and the way they act in public. There is a difference between what their innate competitive nature urges them to do and what their reasonable side knows is appropriate.  When you have a video camera on you, it’s probably in your best interest to seem polite and respectful of others rather than egotistical and unscrupulous. Maybe that’s something learned through team sports. Maybe that’s something that can only be understood once you have had the idea of sportsmanship repeatedly drilled into you.  When you know you and your team are going to be judged based on your words and actions to other teams, you think twice about them. Billy Mitchell apparently was never taught that lesson while Steve Wiebe who played organized sports for years had. I guess every movie needs a protagonist and an antagonist and Billy Mitchell did a fabulous job of making himself the one to hate.

After watching King of Kong , I will never question video games as a completive sport again. Like they said at the beginning of the movie, people often think of gamers just sitting alone playing the game. To me, playing an arcade game was about competing against yourself and seeing how far you could get. Maybe that’s because I never stood a chance of actually succeeding and reaching a high score. Now, I understand video games players to be some of the most competitive people I have ever witnessed, and I will never question the competition again.

-CRHayes

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