10 Outstanding Documentaries About Subcultures

8. The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters

kingofkong Seth Gordon's The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007) follows the pursuits of Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe as each tries to achieve the world's highest score in the video game Donkey Kong. The popularity of video games today would suggest that video game players represent more the mainstream than a subculture, but the obsessive levels to which Mitchell and Wiebe chase their dreams offer that such levels of devotion are outside the mainstream. When the film was released, it was praised by critics€”in part due to the way that Gordon portrays the passion of Mitchell and Wiebe. At first glance the viewer might find the pursuits of these video game players to be quite odd, but as the film develops this view likely changes as we are exposed to the different personalities of Mitchell and Wiebe (who are portrayed as the "bad boy" and the "good guy"). This becomes the strongest value of the film as we see the different paths that each of them takes down the road to Donkey Kong stardom.
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Scott A. Lukas has taught anthropology and sociology Lake Tahoe Community College for sixteen years and in 2013 was Visiting Professor of American Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. He has been recognized with the McGraw-Hill Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology by the American Anthropological Association (2005), the California Hayward Award for Excellence in Education (2003), and a Sierra Arts Foundation Artist Grant Program Award in Literary–Professional (2009). In 2006, he was a nominee to the California Community College Board of Governors. He is the author/editor of The Immersive Worlds Handbook (2012), Theme Park (2008), The Themed Space: Locating Culture, Nature, and Self (2007), Fear, Cultural Anxiety, and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Films Remade, (co-edited with John Marmysz, 2009), Recent Developments in Criminological Theory (co-edited with Stuart Henry, 2009), and Strategies in Teaching Anthropology (2010). His book Theme Park was recently translated into Arabic. He appeared in the documentary The Nature of Existence and has provided interviews for To the Best of Our Knowledge, The Huffington Post UK, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, and Caravan (India).