like I am. Sure, you get assignments done, spend time with family, take baths, perfectly non-masterful activities that many pedestrian people seem to fill the empty sacks of their lives with, but the call of the ball is one that only the brave dare to heed, lonely as the road to being
Normally I'm not all that into games, but I recently watched The King of Kong, a brilliant and perverse documentary about competitive arcade gaming, and the rivalries that persist to the day, and felt inspired to go for it. You'd think the guys that set Donkey Kong records decades ago would have moved on with their lives, but I came to find that I actually had not moved on. You can smell the arcade of your youth just watching it. Like any great documentary, life trumps fiction in weirdness with the cast of underdogs, otherworldy sages and beguiling villains.
Any kid who begged a ride to the arcarde off his parents will immediately relate to this film, even if you were as categorically terrible at games as I was. But the weird personal connection for me was this: Twin Galaxies is the official (Guiness-recognized) record where traditional arcade scores are tallied, happens to be named for the arcade proprietor Walter Day (who plays a pivotal role as the referee and balancing agent in the film) in Ottumwa, IA, one of the first arcades I ever experienced. I had a gaggle of teenage cousins in Ottumwa that my sister and I would visit on occassion and I know we spent a signifigant part of our time at Twin Galaxies.
So, it only makes sense that on that hollowed ground was my "eye of the tiger" opened and perhaps it took thirty years for me to find the right game through which my shocking prowess can be unleashed. Maybe, like Steve Wiebe in the film, it is finally my time.