King of Self Importance

Many years ago William Shatner was on Saturday Night Live and there was a skit that was set at a Star Trek convention and all these slathering fans were out geeking each other with arcane Shatner trivia while he was trying to give a speech.

Finally, Shatner says, “What’s the matter with you people?” Then he gestures to one pointy eared fan and says, “You. Yes, you. Have you ever touched a girl?”

That line is what was going through my head as I watched a documentary called King of Kong with Bob yesterday.

In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a documentary about the world of competitive arcade gaming. No, I’m not making this up. There is a World of Competitive Arcade Gaming. They have world records and competitions and some men, who were socially arrested somewhere around age 7, now as grown men, are still pushing each other on the playground and vying for the title of best video arcade game player, ever.

The movie played like a SNL skit. It was hard to believe and also a little sad, to see these grown people with their entire identity tied up in this “major accomplishment” of having the highest score at an arcade game.

It’s worth watching purely as an anthropological exercise.

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