Chasing Ghost: Beyond the arcade

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/21/2009

I recently watched this on Netflix (streaming for those who have it). I had quite enjoyed King of Kong and was really looking forward to this. I'm not sure how i feel about this. As I grew up in the golden age of arcades I rember them quite fondly and I'm sure with more then a little love. After watching this movie I kinda felt "down". While I dont think there is any "exagerated" or half truths in the movie.. presentations is sure done in a negative way (opinion only). Much like King of Kong had the "good" guy and the "bad" guy in its presentation, which most say was manufactured to make the movie better. After watching the movie I willl forever think Billie Mitchel is sorta jackass... and many say in reality he is just a very "sure" person.. As i ahve seen millions of things on TV presented one way which I KNOW is only half the story, i have to wonder. Billy Mitchal looked like a complete ass in that movie, yet many say he isnt.. who is correct, I have to belive there has to be some truth to the "not" side too.
So when i watched this, it was like watching a favorite TV show end, putting away the 360 or PS3 after years of fun gaming and moving on.. I know that time couldnt last forever, but when watching this it almost felt like they where tearing down a good memory, like an old unused building.. And worse, most of the people (game players) come off as..... sterotypes (they do say their is some truth in all stereotypes). I have bragged (hate to use that word, but its correct) about my skill in Guantlet, pacman and Tempest a few times.. dont get me wrong, its not that I think its some great achievment.. but as with all things you can do better then the average person, you mention it.. But after watching this, some of these people come off as thinking this was going to Define thier lives.. and some I think it did..... I know alot of this is presentiation.. there was probebly lots of interview footage and the stuff chose was the best for the film.. but i just felt sad for most of them, and in some wierd way felt like them (in the 80's). I would have been right there, been thrilled to do what they did. But I wonder if I would have felt i was going to be a STAR or succesfull playing games .... even back then like they did. I'm sure its hard to understand the hype when you whre not a part of it. But even back then I knew games whre not going to be like TV or movies.. (and one could argue I was wrong, they are almost in use as much as a TV and unless im worng, make more money then Moveis do nowdays).
I guess when i watch this, even the succsfull (Billy Mitchel) seem tainted, geekier, nerdier, sadder then the normal old school geek. They feel almost stuck in time, like they never got over those years.. Like the 30-40 year olds who still dress like they are in high school.. They want to recapture that feeling, they all know they cant, but they keep trying.

I just felt sad after I watched this.. maybe becuae I wanted see them "stars" for video games and I could have seen me doing the same.. and in the end seeing they are very flawed people (we all are, but this show makes them almost seem mentally flawed too). Sad is really the best word i can use to describe how I felt in the end. I also keep saying PRESENTATION.. i say it alot in many things.. but when i got done watching this these hero's of gameing all seemed like they where short a few bricks, not quit right in the head.. I keep telling myslef they used the "worst" of the interviews to make it seem that way.. but when you put 5-8 guys on film and they all seem "lost" in the same way you have to wonder. maybe it just hit to close to home, i see them guys in the 80's and see myslef standing right by them, then to see them today.

Worth watching, but its not a celabration fo gaming but a deconstruction (and probebly quite acurate).. but for the 80's arcade game lover.. its just sad, and again, maybe its exactly what they wanted.

David Barbour
Joined: 04/05/2012
I did prefer King of Kong as

I did prefer King of Kong as it had a more personal feel to it. It was a classic good v bad guy story and I did find myself disliking Billy Mitchell by the end of it, but on further research I found out the film was edited that way.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
I loved the similar King of

I loved the similar King of Kong - despite it being factually exaggerated for dramatic effect - but Chasing Ghosts left me flat. I don't know what it was, but it was a bit duller than I had hoped.


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