Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The trailer for the arcade documentary Man Vs. Snake is a siren song for geeks

Anyone who doubts that a documentary about guys who dedicate their lives to standing in front of upright arcade games for hours on end can be an engrossing and emotional experience need look no further than Seth Gordon’s critically acclaimed 2007 film The King Of Kong. Now, nearly a decade later, we’re getting its spiritual follow-up. Man Vs. Snake: The Long And Twisted Tale Of Nibbler is story of Tim McVey, a man who dropped a quarter into a Nibbler machine in Ottumwa, Iowa and then spent the next 44 hours making a digital snake consume enough 8-bit dots to make him the first person in recorded video-game history to tally up a score of one billion points. Now, a quarter-century later, rumors of an even more inconceivable score have surfaced online, and McVey is forced to get himself back into playing shape in an attempt to salvage his legacy.


Directors Andrew Seklir and Tim Kinzy—both professional editors who’ve done a lot of work on various Battlestar Galactica projects—managed to fund this partially-animated labor of love with the help of Kickstarter, raising more than $60,000 from only 375 backers. (Tech geeks may not be particularly numerous, but they are often prosperous.) It managed to wind its way into a number of film festivals last year and has so far garnered some pretty good word of mouth, with The A.V. Club’s own Katie Rife calling it “an enjoyable, if inconsequential, celebration of nerd-dom” after catching it at Fantastic Fest, where it took home a jury prize for Best Documentary. Enjoyable and inconsequential—those should be the words on every video game’s sigil.

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