VIDEO GAMES, THEY AIN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE
There was once a time, long ago and far away, when a wee lad could grow up strong, and grow up wise, and become the all-time world champion of Donkey Kong, or even Missile Command, if you like. He may appear on the cover of Life magazine, pose for Playgirl, marry a woman with fantastic breast implants, and even have a great conversation with the rock star Madonna Ciccone, in the 80s. Last weekend I saw King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which captured that bygone era in all its glory.
Perhaps the most awe-inspiring, mind-blowing documentary of geekdom that I have ever experienced, the characters featured in this film were so rich, so incredibly dweeby, that the director was offered a movie deal to have real actors portray the real-life ubernerds.
A side character that really didn't appear all too often in the film really stood out--the aforementioned Missile Command world champ. Dubbing himself "Mr. Awesome", me and my friend Allie felt the immediate need to YouTube the video of himself featured in the documentary, where he lays out his guide to getting girls, stating, in his best Senator Ed Kennedy impression, and I quote, "I want you to remember: No punk bastard ever got a gnarly piece of poontang by being sensitive and considerate!":
After the film, we engaged in a serious discussion about video games, how social they once were, etc etc. I found myself recounting my days of a deeply disturbing addiction to the first-ever CD-formatted game console SEGA CD at age 13. Specifically, the game Night Trap, which has since been pulled off the shelves due to its controversial content. I loved that game, it had all the right ingredients to make for an unbelievably creepy gaming experience: you've got a young pre-suicidal Dana Plato, massive house with hidden passages to explore, bizarrely devious family with near-scenes of molestation, and nightie-clad sorority types falling prey to ninja/vampire burglars wielding sci-fi blood-extracting devices. This thing really blew GTA and Resident Evil out of the water. Seriously. Recently, also on YouTube, I discovered segments of the game...oh how I yearn to play it again! Die Lisa Die!
Masha Gessen is the author of *The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia*, which will be published in October. In the July issue of Har...
2 hours ago