Thursday, June 12, 2008

The King of Kong: Steve Wiebe



Steve Wiebe was the star of last year’s hit documentary film “The King of Kong.” In the movie Wiebe challenges the long standing Donkey Kong high score record held by Billy Mitchell. He finds himself up against Billy’s friends, Twin Galaxies (who maintains and regulates arcade game high scores), and some dubious videoed high scores from his competition, but throughout the movie he perseveres and fights on. His humble and humorous attitude really comes through in the film. And the somewhat epic battle that pits Billy against Steve makes the movie enjoyable to almost anyone, you don't have to be a classic game geek like me to enjoy it. It was a big hit at the Seattle International Film Festival, then played theaters, and is now available to buy or rent on DVD.

Being a classic arcade game collector, someone that has their own Donkey Kong game in their basement, Wiebe is a bit of a hero to me. So I was more than stoked when we were able to get him to come talk at the Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show last weekend at the Seattle Center (I helped with the planning, hence the plugs for it on the blog). Wiebe was even more funny and humble in person. He seemed unable to talk shit about Billy "Hot Sauce and Mullet" Mitchell or Twin Galaxies, even though they fucked him over a bunch in the move and the crowd was on his side and practically begged him to during the Q&A session. He regaled us with the back story of his fight for the high score, his history playing Donkey Kong (it's been an obsession for him since high school), things that we didn’t see in the movie, and what’s happened since the movie was released. Wiebe even played Donkey Kong on a projection screen and showed the crowd tips and hints. Great and gracious guy, he hung out afterwards to sign autographs (he signed the marquee to my DK machine), pose for photos, and do an interview with The Stranger. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you've got to check it out. Hollywood has bought the rights and will do a fictional version... I only hope it won't be horrible.

5 comments:

ApeDog said...

Have been reading and enjoying this blog for while now. 10 years in Seattle and a reader of the paper copy of this zine when it was in print. Love the photos from the archives... and then this!
Just watched King of Kong last night and loved it. Then this excellent post on Wiebe! Keep up the great work Dan!

Jason said...

Love the blog . Used to read the zine when i lived up in Vancouver. Great stuff !

Dan 10Things said...

Thanks! Wiebe was definitely cool to meet in person. Awesome that you just watched the movie apedog.

Bj said...

I noticed your review of “The King of Kong”. We are distributing a very similar gaming documentary, “E-Athletes”, which releases on DVD, January 27th, 2009.

We would love to send you a screener for review.

Would you be of interest? If so, what would be the best address to send you a copy?

Thank you so much and look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Jacob Ripley
Public Relations Representative
Passion River Films
732-321-0711 x135
Jacob@passionriver.com

416 Main Street
Metuchen, NJ 08840
Discover unique films at: www.PassionRiver.com

grasshopper said...

Billy Mitchell is the ideal video game villain, facial hair and everything