Letter to Steve Wiebe - Donkey Kong Essay

Submitted By Nicfin1
Words: 798
Pages: 4

Nicole Finley
AP Lang/American Lit
24 August 2012
Letter to Steve Wiebe One of the most significant aspects of life is the family; Jane Howard claims, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family; whatever you call it, whoever you are, we all need one” (Howard). Your addiction not only to achieving a Donkey Kong world record but also of reaching perfection has weakened the bonds in your family. It has similarly diverted you from experiencing other actions of life. With all due respect (and I do respect your honorable historical achievement), pursuing a Donkey Kong record has negatively altered your life. I, as a youth, understand that technological addiction is like that of an aggressive plague; among a population such as that of modern-day teenagers, one may find it extremely easy to become infected with obsession towards cell phones, computers, or social networking systems. However, I feel as though the root of this problem lays on a much deeper level than simple addiction to video gaming. I understand the feelings of failure you experienced in the years before beating Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong high score. In the elementary years of my life, I had developed a dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast. I found myself strapped into my uncomfortable, stereotypically pink car-seat almost every day, awaiting nervously yet excitedly the moment I would again be out on the floor, or the bar, or the beam, or the infamously dreaded vault. But I could never progress further than a simple round-off. Even at such a young age, I had to teach myself to accommodate a feeling of failure. Soon after, I joined a soccer team and today find myself as a third-year varsity soccer player for my high school. Your wife explained that you had grown up as the type of competitor that would never accept loss or defeat. What I learned as a young child is that you will never find true happiness if you strive for perfection, for each time you attempt such heights, you will surely fall below your goal. To sound demeaning or discouraging is in no way my objective; I strive to explain the damage your addiction to achievement of perfection has created. One scene from the documentary King of Kong has remained fresh in my mind since my viewing. I can recall a cacophony of whimpers and yells down the stairs at you, the voice belonging to your young son, crying out to you to help with his immediate need. Yet instead of assuming your parental duty as a father, you continued to play your video game. A similar encounter occurred later in the film, this time with your daughter. She explained her opinion of those attempting world records, questioning something similar to, “Don’t some people kind of ruin their lives trying to get world records?” Interesting to note is the irony that seems to peek through the window in these scenes. Video games are often associated with children, and parents are often seen disciplining children for spending an excess amount of time playing