I’d wager that the people who listen to one of our many fine shows here know who Walter Day is. If not Walter Day, then I’d place good money on the fact they know who Billy Mitchell is. Walter and Billy were in the awesome documentary, King of Kong, that followed Steve Weibe as he attempted to take the Donkey Kong world record from Billy Mitchell and all of the drama that came with that momentous accomplishment. Walter Day was the founder of Twin Galaxies (he retired in March 2010 to pursue a musical career), an organization formed to keep track of high scores achieved on arcade games in the United States. In King of Kong you got to briefly meet some of the other video game world record holders such as Steve Sanders, Todd Rogers, and Roy “Mr. Awesome” Schildt but the focus was mostly on Steve and Billy. In Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade, the other gamers and their rise to “fame” are the focus.
You get to see Walter Day start Twin Galaxies and watch the beginnings of some gamers’ obsession with high scores. Billy Mitchell does show up for a few minutes throughout the flick but this really is more focused on the kids that thought they were going to be paid to play video games for the rest of their lives and what happens when that dream didn’t quite pan out.
It’s not as tightly edited as King of Kong but it flows quite nicely and is a great look at the heyday of arcades and the intense competition between friends. Think of this as a nice companion piece to King of Kong and you’ll enjoy it.