Watching all of this, I felt as though it was two shades removed from a Wilson Fisk Kingpin speech.
This guy is totally doing a bit. The white suits, the American tie. He knows there is a subculture of people out there that are compelled by these types of controversies. It's a small pond but there's a lot of gold at the bottom and not that many people sifting through the mud for it. Mitchell is mining the cult of his own personality to a small but autistically obsessed audience.
The reality is that King of Kong works as a film not because it's about Donkey Kong high scores but because it's another interpretation of the monomyth, which transcends the subculture of video games. It's a human interest story that gained some mainstream attention because of its compelling vehicle; the protagonist played a video game all the way down the highway of the hero's journey. That it's 'real' simply plays on natural psychological vulnerabilities that compel us to suspend our disbelief.
I do believe Mitchel cares about his high scores. If you hone your skills, at anything, to a degree where you're counted by others as one of that group's 'elite', you're going to care. We see this desperate hold on legacy by yesterday's titans play out time and time again in the realm of sports, where the last generation's giants continue to insist they were better, had to face more physical play, less restrictions and rules, etc. Professionally, I've seen it the corporate workplace as newer, younger execs rise up to threaten the establishment (although that's anecdotal).
I also don't believe in the myth of the humble superstar. They may not show it, they may carefully guard it and cultivate a more benevolent persona, but ego and success are very closely tied together. Some brazenly share it with the public and some are silent assassins. I think that in order to be in the upper echelon of any trade or profession, you have to believe in your own hype to some degree. It's a fine line because even when someone is being intentionally deceptive in order to achieve a greater goal, they don't want their designs to be misunderstood. Hence, Mitchell's unwillingness to surrender the microphone.
Good watch. Made me think. Thanks for sharing.