What King of Kong Taught Me

In King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, the gamers devote their entire lives to the games they love. They spend long hours at the arcades and in their homes, constantly trying to achieve higher and higher scores. From this documentary, I learned about a whole new perspective about competitive gaming that I had never experienced before. By this I mean I gained a whole new appreciation for the world of competitive gaming and those who participate in it. Although I would not devote my life in this manner, I now don’t view this world as had previously seen it.

The world of competitive gaming is very similar to the world of competitive sports, even though they appear to be very different. For instance, in both worlds, the participants train long hours, memorize complex patterns, and must master certain skills in order to be successful. The difference simply lies in which skills and traits must be exercised in order to succeed. In sports these traits typically include strength, agility, and other athletic attributes. On the other hand, in gaming, these traits include hand-eye coordination, pattern recognition, speed of thought, and other attributes. None of the traits, whether in gaming or in sports, are easily obtainable, and they can only be attained through hard work and practice. Even though because sports are typically more popular and better thought of than games, this fact should not undermine a game’s intrinsic worth or the accomplishments of gamers.

Furthermore, after viewing the movie, I now understand the true competitiveness in the gaming world. The gamers devote much of their lives to these games, thereby linking them emotionally to the outcomes of their games. This devotion leads to the competitive spirit between the gamers as they have spent so much time and effort in order to succeed in their respective games. Herein lies another connection to the world of sports, a world with which I am much more familiar. In both worlds, the competitive spirit drives the participants to new heights and previously unachievable accomplishments, thereby creating impressive and sometimes spectacular performances.

The last things the movie taught me about the competitive gaming world were the difficulties present in judging. Before seeing the movie, I hadn’t even considered that referees and judges for gaming would exist. I also hadn’t considered the possibilities of cheating that occur in the gaming world. Again, in this aspect sports and gaming become very similar. In both worlds, different types of cheating occur and must be discovered in order to preserve the competitive integrity of the worlds.

In all, the movie simply taught me a new appreciation for the world of competitive gaming and a hatred for Billy Mitchell. It also taught me about the similarities between gaming and sports which are not always clear. Gamers deserve similar recognition for their accomplishments as many athletes do, and it was satisfying to see the Guinness Book of World Records taking note of this opinion.

-Juancarlos284, John Shula

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