Monday, March 5, 2012

Billy Mitchell: "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters"



Actor:           Billy Mitchell
Year:            2007
Beard Type:  Villain Beard, Business Beard

Billy Mitchell is the Lord Retro Gaming Christ sent from the Grid to absolve programmers of their false algorithms. He has a legion of disciples that believe he is the model of perfection from which all sentient beings should gather inspiration. They equate Mitchell's lifestyle to the teachings of the Christian Bible. Those gamers who oppose Mitchell's "Master Plan" are considered unfaithful and must be cast out as heathens to forever achieve untrustworthy scores on fraudulent motherboards. 

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters documents the intense duel between Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe, a science teacher from Washington who is down on his luck and uses Donkey Kong to rebuild his self-confidence. Wiebe must hammer randomized barrels and dodge relentless fireballs to break Billy Mitchell's Donkey Kong world record before reaching the kill screen.

Mitchell uses the power of the Villain Beard to defy his own teachings of live gameplay records in order to retain his immortality. Once he realizes that Wiebe broke the record at Funspot to a live audience, Mitchell submits a fuzzy 2nd-generation VHS tape of his own 1,000,000+ score to stay on top. Mitchell's beard also doubles as a well-groomed Business Beard so that he may create the perfect hot sauce. Essentially, Mitchell just wants you to see his face while you are grunting on the toilet.

The defining moment of The King of Kong occurs when Wiebe admits that it's "not even about Donkey Kong anymore." It was about not giving an honest man a fair chance. Wiebe learned the hard way that life was unfair through losing his job right after he and his family signed the papers for a new house. To boost his morale, Wiebe uses the Donkey Kong record as something to strive for. To most, a video game high score is worthless. To Wiebe, it meant everything.

Wiebe found out just how unfair the gaming community could be, much like life in general. While Mitchell could get away with anything simply by oozing his beard-infused charisma upon his buddies, Wiebe had to prove his worth time and time again in front of a live audience before he could be considered a true contender and a peer. Ultimately, Wiebe walked away at the end of the documentary as the Donkey Kong world record holder. He showed the world that the man from which this Villain Beard grew was just as imperfect as the rest of us.

Let's not undermine the gaming accomplishments of Billy Mitchell. The dude perfected Pac-Man. Every pellet, every ghost. But he's still a dick with a beard.

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