Review of "Chasing Ghosts"


I was a big fan of the movie "King of Kong : a fist full of quarters". It was a movie that really showed how big the rivalry was over the Donkey Kong world record. Its also a movie about the little guy going after his dream , seeing him fight and claw to overthrow the , at the time , current record holder. The man chasing the dream was Steve Wiebe , and the villain of the story so to speak was Billy Mitchell.

"Chasing Ghosts : Beyond the arcade" is a different type of movie. While yes it does show the competitive nature of gaming , it focuses more on the arcade scene as a whole. From the boom of its popularity , to its untimely demise. For some people , like myself who were born after the big arcade era , this is an interesting way to look back and see how gaming used to be.

The movie focuses on the select group of gamers that held world records with Twin Galaxies as well as the establishment of Twin Galaxies , and Walter Day as official game score keepers. Getting to see all of these gamers on a more intimate level is certainly a different experience. You think "my god , this persons a world record holder in pacman / millipede/donkey kong" or what have you , when in reality , they are no different from you and I.

Picture courtesy of Life Magazine


The interviews give these people a more human quality than ever before , showing not only what they did in the heyday of arcade gaming and competition gaming , but what they did in the following years. As the arcades closed up, some moved on , and went on in life, some didn't,but that's what makes the film so interesting. Seeing how they dealt with the "fall from fame" as it were and how they went on with life gives you an upclose look at their world, as well as makes you think about the overall role games play in our lives. I highly reccomend it if you are even remotely interested in looking back at an era gone by, that we are never going to see again or even just a fan of video games in general.

Final grade : A


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