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The King of Kong: a fistful of quarters and human emotion

Jul 09 // Tiff

Billy Mitchell refuses to be dirtied in the dust trail of next-gen gaming. Sure, his era of the "Golden Age of Arcade Games" has tragically ended to the mercy of DDR machines. And yes, he was deftly defeated by more than a handful of national gamers at the Pacman World Championships a month ago. And then of course the popularity of highly maintained mullets has only lingered on the manes of red necks and Rod Stewert. But Billy Mitchell knows how to keep his name in the game.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, a documentary starring Mitchell along with several other arcade fanatics, tells the story of the few who's obsessive quest is to beat the world records of classic arcade games. Steve Sanders, the everyman acarde gamer, attempts to dream the impossible dream by defeating said "Windmill" of Donkey Kong scores, Billy Mitchell. Competition, human emotion, mullets, desperation, "brief sexual reference" (according to the MPAA PG-13 rating), and more retired hairstyles of the 80's engulf the film. Mitchell even claims controversy, remarking "No matter what what I say, it draws controversy. It's sort of like the abortion issue." With the clearcut connection between abortion and arcade games finally established, this film looks to be a swell see for the summer gamer.


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