Matt Steele

The King of Kong - A Fistful of Inaccuracies

18 Feb 2008

One of the more interesting films I watched last year was the King of Kong, a documentary about the quest to break (or retain) the Donkey Kong high score world record. As Zach Leatherman points out, there seemed to be some glaring (if trivial) inaccuracies in the film, such as the exclusion of a third contender for the high score title. Nothing to get too worked up over though; you have to edit the film to make it more enjoyable. That's show business.

It looks like we've been had. Jason Scott, a filmmaker working on his own arcade documentary, has some not-so-kind words to say:

[This is] a documentary that rips entire groups of good-hearted people as shadowy, conniving scumbags with razor-thin morality hurts the scene being portrayed and hurts the people themselves. All this effort, just to turn reality into a faked up drama worthy of a dime store pulp.
Some of the core themes of the documentary apparently are conjured up by omitting inconvenient facts that would singlehandedly disprove the theme. For example:
Billy denies Steve the satisfaction of playing one-on-one on Donkey Kong. They'd played Donkey Kong one-on-one a year before the documentary was filmed at a previous championship.
Read the whole thing.  For more, take a look at Twin Galaxies' verbose comments on the film, or Billy Mitchell's interview with The A/V Club.