Retro-gaming record-breaker, hot-sauce magnate, patriotic necktie connoisseur... and now coin-op entrepreneur. Is there anything Billy Mitchell cannot do? Well, sure: Mitchell, longtime holder of the world record for the high score on Donkey Kong, can't catch a break from fans of Seth Gordon's 2007 documentary, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. But the movie's Mitchell would rather be rich than be loved – explaining his new Kong-themed video arcade in the Orlando International Airport.
Gordon's movie, the best film ever made about videogames, cast Billy Mitchell as a preening scumbag, manipulatively protecting the record from loveable sad-sack Steve Wiebe. Mitchell's argued that the documentary misrepresents him, playing up his villainy and exaggerating the antipathy between himself and Wiebe. However, decorating his new arcade with King of Kong regalia shows a measure of reconciliation with the role Gordon has cast him in – provided it'll move quarters.
This video tour of the King of Kong arcade may surprise many: the joint has a decidedly new-school flavor, with dedicated cabinets like Terminator: Salvation taking precedence over absent old-school titles like Pac-Man or (ahem) Donkey Kong. Still, if there's two things Kong stresses in the Billy Mitchell character, it's his reluctance to offer others a stab at his records (the Kong title is currently held by rival Hank Chien) – and his willingness to hew to a profitable bottom line.
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