Arcade Game Nostalgia In Movie Form

‘Chasing Ghost’ documentary makes an appearance at Sundance Festival.

Posted by Staff
Arcade Game Nostalgia In Movie Form
Chasing Ghosts – a film by Lincoln Ruchti and Michael Verrechia features among other 1980s gaming nostalgia, a profile of Ottumwa (Iowa, USA) resident, Bill Mitchell. Who? Well, Bill was PacMan champ, and the only player ever to get a perfect score on the game.

And if you missed it, or recorded over your Betmax version, there is also footage of the 1982 Video Game World Championship. So, get to yourself to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah from January 18th to the 29th...

Actually, the whole thing sounds either very sad ('Look we've got pioneers and nearly as much history as rounders (trans: baseball)!!" or like someone has bothered to make a researched, affectionate and much-needed document regarding the most incredible change in popular culture since Charlie Chaplin invented the custard pie. We're all for it.

In an interview with website, indieWire, Ruchti revels in the history of gaming, and explains how he came up with the idea for the movie:
”(Mike Verrechia) emailed me a CNN article on Bill Mitchell, who played the world's first perfect game of Pac-man, and I immediately connected to the idea. I investigated a little further and unearthed this amazing story of teen whiz-kids banding together in 1982 to conquer the video game world. After that, nothing could stop me from making the picture.”

And if that wasn’t enough to kick the film into action, Ruchti told Cnet that, “The guy had this wicked mullet. It was beautiful. He was immediately compelling.”

As compelling (if not more) are the other stories entwined within the movie. Take for example best friends Ron Bailey and Joel West who stopped communicating with each other after Bailey beat West's Berzerk world record – that was in 1985. Now that’s hardcore.

SPOnG has already asked for a review copy…



Posting of new comments is now locked for this page.