Oh no. Jason Scott is spittle-angry about the fantastic movie King of Kong. Jason has some skin in this game, he made BBS: The Documentary (which I have watched and enjoyed in it’s entirety. If you think you would like to watch, for instance, an entire hour of footage of people who used to make ASCII art talking about the ASCII art scene, you would probably love it it too), is now working on GET LAMP, a documentary about text adventure games, and has plans to move onto arcade games as his next Ken Burns triumph. The guy knows geek, the guy loves geek, the guy is geek. And King of Kong is about geek.
I don’t have time to find out if his factual challenges to the film are on the money. My own recollection of the film seems a little at odds with his claims (doesn’t the film’s introduction of Steve Weibe start with the fact that he held the Donkey Kong high score for a time?), but clearly Mr. Scott is more familiar with the movie than I am. Regardless, I’m not inclined to immediately repudiate my appreciation for King of Kong. Scott clearly thinks the movie is a two-trick pony who’s two tricks are making fun of geeks for being geeks, and for Billy Mitchell for being a cardboard villain. I don’t think either charge is entirely fair. Part of what I loved about the movie is that you learned enough about Billy to feel such pain at his transformation into a insidious bully when his personal mythos is challenged by a better player. Part of what I loved about the movie is that the characters are presented as both really really geeky (which, c’mon Jason, aren’t they in real life?) and also really really human.