The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

The King of Kong - A Fistful of Quarters

A Ref is involved. You know it's serious!

Ever played the original Donkey Kong at an arcade? Know the rush of beating the elevator screen? Feel the competitive burn as your score inches closer and closer to the high score set on that particular machine? No? Neither do I. However there was a film released in 2007 titled The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters that I had ashamedly never heard of. It was only by chance that I was speaking with an arcade gaming aficionado that I learnt of this particular gem.

The King of Kong is a documentary all about the competitive world of arcade gaming and more to the point, Donkey Kong and the folks who are attempting to beat Donkey Kong top score setter, Billy Mitchell. We are introduced to Steve Wiebe, a competitor for the top score on Donkey Kong. Needless to say there needs to be conflict and a resolution mixed in between and so the journey begins. The film maker shows us personalities, families, friends and back stories on both Billy and Steve and crafts a decent story leading up to a potential shot at being the number one Donkey Kong player and setting a Guinness World Record.

What’s great about the film, apart from being about Donkey Kong, is that it gives us a good look into the folks whom, to this day, still actively and competitively play arcade games from the days of old. I wonder if there will be a film about Counter-Strike or StarCraft players twenty years from now and even more interested to see how they stack up to this bunch.

If you are a gamer who remembers the arcade era, it makes for a decent hour and a bit entertainment. Even if you’re not, you might like to take a peak at the trailer anyway and see if it interests you. If you know of any similar films please let me know. No, the Double Dragon film doesn’t count.

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.