Friday, February 6, 2009
Last night I watched the documentary King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. It is a classic underdog story about a humble outsider and a pompous champion. The most interesting thing about the film is the classic video game subculture, composed of a few incredibly passionate individuals, that still exists to this day. If only more people were so dedicated. These men have jobs, they have wives and families, but they still devote so much time and energy in playing (what are popularly known as) outdated games. These games are primarily known to be a childish pastime. Games that people roll their eyes at. These are men that know who they are and know what they like.
The documentary featured prominently the gaming establishment Funspot, a roadside attaction that I visited on the way back from a hiking trip a few years back. The general atmosphere of the building was an odd mix of stale childhood, deep elation, and desperate nostalgia. We went in the middle of the day, on a weekday, and the place was fairly empty except for a few old gaming veterans.
The high score for the game is about one million points. I have been unable to cap 50,000.
There is an urban legend that the name Donkey Kong was a mistranslation of the original title, which is said to be Monkey Kong. This is not true. The creator chose the name Donkey Kong, implying a stubborn oafish character (like a donkey) that is akin to King Kong.
It turns out that I will be working 7 hours a week here on campus (3 at the the cluster office and 4 sorting mail). There is a part of me that is greatly relieved to know that I will have a weekly paycheck. But isn't that what we are all looking for?
Today I went to see Slumdog Millionaire again.