When I watched a documentary a few weeks ago called The King of Kong I couldn’t help but feel complete sympathy for Steve Wiebe and nothing but scorn for his persecutor Billy Mitchell. Through every video game obstacle (trying to get his high score of Donkey Kong accepted, etc) I couldn’t help but feel sorry for every tough break that kept going in Steve’s direction. According to the documentary, his first High Score, which was submitted via videotape, was originally accepted but after a few investigators of Twin Galaxies showed up and opened up his arcade box, they thought something was up with his game card and took his score off the record books. Furthermore, because his game card given to him by the infamous Mr. Awesome, the Twin Galaxies saw Steve with very little credibility and the officials would no longer accept high scores submitted by videotape. Because of this, Steve had no choice but to play Donkey Kong live in front of Twin Galaxies officials to get the credit he deserved. Of course after beating Billy Mitchell’s record live, a tape was presented to the officials showing that Billy Mitchell had an even higher score all along. The tape looked tampered with but the Twin Officials took it at Billy’s word anyway. The documentary pretty much goes like this throughout until the very end when Steve finally breaks Billy’s score and he’s redeemed.
I was relieved to see a happy ending and immediately jumped over to the Twin Galaxies website only to see that the evil Billy Mitchell has once again regained the high score of Donkey Kong. Of course this bothered me a bit until I actually did a little more digging into this story. It turns out that the documentary used Michael Moore tactics in order to come up with an entertaining story and left out key facts that would have told a different tale. This is a real shame because an uninformed viewer would just take a documentary at its word. Movies altering facts is one thing, but documentaries are suppose to be objective, unbiased and informative. They are not meant for just entertainment purposes. I’m glad I went and did some research on my own to get a better grasp of this particular story.