By: Evan Schrager
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was a very interesting portrayal of the world of video games. It made competitive gaming look as important as competitive events such as the NBA and NFL. To me, it was quite amusing and entertaining to watch.
Steve Wiebe is the protagonist of the movie in my opinion. I think he is portrayed as the “family man” and is the more likeable of the two main characters. Steve was always “second-best” with everything he pursued in his lifetime. Between baseball, the drums, and Donkey Kong, Steve Wiebe could never grasp that number one title. His failure to achieve victory in competitive contests makes him the protagonist-he was always chasing that elusive designation as a “champion”.
So he decided to take up video games (an interesting choice, isn’t it?). After failing at more acceptable things in life, video games seemed like a practical idea to keep Steve occupied. He has a definite knack for excelling at what ever he puts his mind to. Throughout the movie, Steve’s struggle is portrayed in a frustrating and compelling manner. Many times, I found myself rooting for him.
Billy Mitchell was a very interesting character. The movie made him seem like somewhat of a villain. He embarrassingly stated so in an interview about the movie. As the viewer, you might feel bad for Billy Mitchell after hearing this interview- the movie really did make him look like a rude, arrogant, scumbag. However, he is not the protagonist. He was simply the obstacle that Steve Wiebe had to overcome scorewise (in the video game) as well as mentally.
Steve Wiebe absolutely undertook a quest to finally be the best at something for once. He achieved success on his quest and seemed to have learned a lot from it (Lots of EXP Points!). From the “phony board” to the live world record, he took a rough mental beating. I don’t think I would have lasted as long as Steve did in terms of determination and taking all the crap he took. He’s got a heart.
A parallel I noticed between the Wiebe-Mitchell rivalry is the rivalry between Gandalf and Sarumon in The Lord of the Rings. Although the wizard rivalry had much more of a good vs. evil theme, one was portrayed as the villain and one as the “good guy”. Billy Mitchell’s desire to be on top can be connected to Sarumon’s need for survival and safety. Sarumon joins the Dark Lord for the sole reason of being powerful and safe from their evil. Gandalf just wants peace and happiness to thrive in Middle Earth, and commits all his power to that cause. Steve Wiebe, while very intent on winning the title of Donkey Kong Champ, really served as a good parent and husband in the end, despite the lack of “butt-wiping”.
Steve “Weeb” is an overall awesome guy. I hope to share a beer (When I am 21, of course) with him one day like “Blogmaster” Hall.