A Fistful of Nothing

When I first started watching the movie King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, I was cringing. An entire movie about two guys duking it out over the title of Donkey Kong champion? Somebody needs a life here. 
And well, by the end, that was still true. But that said, the movie did draw me in by the human conflict which it portrayed, even if it was in a strange setting. 
The movie’s main pull was that it was very easy to decide who to cheer on and who to hate. Black and white terms like that are not very common in movies or documentaries in general; having Billy Mitchell, an arrogant man, pitted against the underdog, Steve Wiebe made it extremely easy to pick a side.  (Granted, It is true that the movie makers were biased and attempted to show Steve Wiebe in the best light while illuminating the nasty side of Billy Mitchell, but even so, most of the reasons for disliking Mitchell were pretty clear).
In the end, though, the movie left me aghast. How could people spend so much time just playing these games? Only for a chance at getting first place on a list of people? Though both of the main characters did have jobs (and Wiebe only half-way through) they spent countless hours playing one game, and that’s not even mentioning the other people who were in charge of Twin Galaxies and spent their lives focused on video games and rankings. It’s hard to come up with an argument that says they weren’t wasting their time. 
One could return that well, isn’t that what pro-sports players do? And that argument could have some weight, if it weren’t for the fact that in sports, people are still interacting, and not shutting themselves away. 
Preserving culture, following tradition, having fun . . . none of the excuses fit. I love video games, I love movies, and I love countless other forms of entertainment. But in my opinion, people should focus on living life, instead of playing games 24/7. 

3 thoughts on “A Fistful of Nothing”

  1. I (respectfully) disagree with your pro-sports comparison. Sure, they spend countless hours devoted to a “game,” but pro sports is justified by more than just human interaction. Sports at least keep people active and thus are actually beneficial to one’s health (although injuries can occur). I can’t imagine that countless hours of video gaming can be very good for you. In addition, pro-sports clearly have incredible entertainment value. I’d even go as far to say that there may be more people that watch one game of Monday Night Football than have seen a video-gaming documentary such as this one. Millions of people become so invested as fans that they often turn to sports as an escape from their everyday lives, and for that I think there is no comparison.

    -Matt R

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