Friday, June 6, 2008

Kill screen coming up!

This is a little late and I said I was going to talk about something else today, but I can't help myself. I finally watched the movie: King of Kong. What a great movie! When I first heard about it, I thought that a documentary about someone beating the long held Donkey Kong high score would be a little boring, even for a gamer like myself who grew up in the Video Arcade era. I couldn't have been more wrong. I fired up the trusty ol' Netflix streaming and settled in to watch. What followed was a funny, touching, sad, and eminently enjoyable film.

I don't want to go into too much detail lest I spoil the movie for people who haven't seen it yet so I won't talk about specific things concerning the movie or the controversy (yeah seriously) surrounding it. I would like to discuss the feelings and memories the film evoked within me. Back in the day, during the video game craze (it really was a craze) I spent many hours in the local arcade. The games were not as involved or sophisticated as what we are used to these days, but what they lacked in sophistication they more than made up for in charm and difficulty. I say that in a good way. The games were more difficult. They were designed to eat your hard earned quarters. It was only the best of the best who could play extended periods of time on a specific game - especially Donkey Kong. High scores were a badge of honor and seeing your initials on the high score list at the arcade was a satisfying accomplishment.

There is something about playing a game knowing you only have a limited amount of lives that heightens the tension dramatically. Add on top of that the atmosphere of the arcade with people watching and a high score at stake and you have a recipe for fun. It speaks to those of us who are compulsive which I think, is common to gamers. I remember thinking I would spend just one more quarter and then it would be an hour later and I would be broke. We don't have an arcade locally that let's me relive these memories. However, the Funspot arcade where many of the scenes were filmed is within driving distance of where I live. Maybe I will just have to convince my fiance to take a trip down there. I'll tell her it's to vacation at the world famous Lake Winnipesaukee. After you watch the movie take a look at the Twin Galaxies website to see some of the "official" high scores for various games. It takes some serious skill to do stuff like that.


Matthew said...

or you could be all "lets go visit matt" and we'll all go up there :P

Flying Norseman said...

That would be sweet!

Bartlebe said...

I LOVED that movie. What a great tale. It started off sort of silly but actually gets rather dramatic towards the end. A+

Flying Norseman said...

I agree Bartlebe. It took me by surprise.