King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was one of the more, how should I say, interesting documentaries I have ever seen. It was an insight into a world that, quite frankly, I did not know existed. The classic-game sport, if I may call it that, is filled with corruption, agendas, and unethical practices. This came as a real surprise to me. I never considered that there could be any dispute over a game-record. But, like everything else, if there is a way to do something legitimately, there are a thousand ways to do it illegitimately.
Throughout the entire movie, it was clear that Twin Galaxies and its associates were Billy Mitchell supporters, and not the unbiased score keepers that they wanted to be seen as. Billy Mitchell was their meal ticket and therefore they wanted to protect his scores. Twin Galaxies gained off the fame of Billy Mitchell. This was evident when Steve Wiebe first beat Billy Mitchell’s high score and submitted his video evidence of it. But because Roy Shildt was involved with Steve Wiebe and even bought him a new Donkey Kong board, Wiebe’s score was attacked and delegitimized because of the history between Mitchell and Shildt.
Another example of the agenda and corruption of Twin Galaxies is that Mitchell, for all his talk, never competed live against Wiebe. He then, after all the controversy over Wiebe’s video submission, submitted a tape of him beating Wiebe’s record. And even before the tape was verified as a legitimate entry, Walter Day, supposed video game referee, declared that the in video score was accepted and entered it into Twin Galaxies. This was minutes after Day talked to Mitchell on the phone and told him the video had discrepancies and the master copy would have to be watched to verify the legitimacy of the score.
I couldn’t stand watching Wiebe get continually walked on throughout the documentary. This sport is so underpopulated that it is almost like a small community. Therefore they must self regulate because, well, no one else really cares. This left a lot of room for some shady practices.
However, through all this, the movie was great. The people in the high score gaming community are hilarious to watch, and are passionate about their sport. Billy Mitchell is a character in his own right, even if I despise him. And because in the final minute of the movie, after all seemed lost for Steve Wiebe, I found out he beat Mitchell’s high score and this time it was unequivocally accepted. Good had conquered evil, and all was right once more.