Not the King of Kong, that’s for sure

Plus c'est la meme chose, plus ça change.

I am a video game watcher, and not much of a player. I was always much happier watching someone who knew what he (or she, more rarely) was doing on a video game than playing it myself.

Mike and I went to the premiere of this amazing, fantastic documentary on Sunday called "The King of Kong." I'd seen it at the Tribeca Film Festival and I enjoyed it a second time around. Basically, you have No. 1 Donkey Kong Player In The World, who reaches this pinnacle while still in his teens in the 80s, and who never quite finds it in his maturity level to set that aside and say, "Well, that was nice, now I'm over here doing this." Sure, he's selling hot sauce and running a restaurant, but really in his mind he's still in Time Magazine, he's still a teenager, and he's still No. 1 champeen in about five or six or more arcade video games.

Along comes The Guy Who Never Quite. Never quite became a ball player, never quite became a musician, never quite became a big deal. Never quite became best at something. He loses his job at Boeing, then gets hooked on Donkey Kong, which he plays on a machine in his garage. And he breaks records. And therein lies the struggle. Yes, it's geek and nerd and dork culture going on here (Mike has a better way of discussing this theory) but it's also a fascinating character study of two very different personalities, a lot of sub-level personalities, and how they all swirl around what's supposed to be a fun game to pass the time. Anyway, after the premiere they had Kong machines set up in the Museum of the Moving Image and they were open to play. As it was when I was a kid (and watched my brother playing Kong on our Intellivision), I sucked and blew at the same time. I barely got halfway up on the first Kong level. So, fine.

But somehow in my brief stint at the board someone got my picture for the movie distributor, which is how I ended up pictured above.

In other computer obsessive news, it's time to get a new computer. After doing some perfectly reasonable memory updates on my computer (and clucking at me for putting up with some of the stuff I put up with on my computer, which I've had since around 2001), Mike and I suddenly found a problem: My E drive stopped working. That's the drive with all of my photos from the last 6 years, and all of my iTunes music. Nothing special, just everything important. Hours of troubleshooting and diagnostics and scan disk scares later, at last we got the E drive back. All appears intact. But the whole time I kept saying to myself, "If only the computer had given me a warning. Something that would pop up and say, 'Time to upgrade, you cheap bastard.'" And then I realized I'd just had the warning.

And so, since I'm sick of IBMs (yet again), I'm movin' back to the Mac. It'll take some time — bills, yanno — but as soon as it's feasible I'm going to finance a big shiny new Mac and be happy in my work again. I'm also going to get a wireless port, because it's time for that, too. And an external hard drive. Just in case.

This is my vow.