Steve Wiebe, the humble Washington state school teacher, has become a household name thanks to a film called The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. From playing drums for My Chemical Romance to appearing in hit film Four Christmases to a nationally televised world record attempt, Steve has left his mark all over, even including the very Donkey Kong machine sitting here in my Denton, TX living room.
I recently sat down to chat with Steve about his recent regaining of the Donkey Kong Junior World Record, the recent release of his music, and the big question everyone is wondering: Is he now turning back to chasing after the Donkey Kong World Record?
Q – First of all, congrats on regaining the Donkey Kong Junior World Record from Mark Kiehl. There’s always a buzz around you when you chase or gain a score like this… how does it make YOU feel?
SW – I always appreciate the support of everyone who has congratulated me on the records. It actually gives me more drive and desire to pursue these records, so a big thanks to all the fans out there.
Q – The King of Kong film has led to a great number of opportunities and even references, from your appearance in the hit comedy Four Christmases to FOX series “Bones” borrowing heavily from the King of Kong story for a murder mystery episode. What do you think of these things coming from a video game score?
SW – It’s pretty amazing how the King of Kong has infiltrated into mainstream entertainment. There was also an episode of South Park that paralleled the King of Kong. I would never have thought that a video game would have this kind of impact, but I think it’s bigger than the video game and more about competition and the pursuit of goals and how people endure.
Q – Your passion and skill for music combined with the public spotlight you receive had led to your own CD Release, “The King of Song”. How’s the disc doing, where can readers purchase it, and how does it feel to have your music released in this manner?
SW – I’ve been working on music longer than going after video game records, so it’s been a long journey. I was doubting whether I would ever finish it since I went through a lot of hurdles along the way. It definitley feels good to finally get it completed. I get a lot of positive feedback on the songs and I’ve sold several CDs and songs on iTunes. People can check out my website, Stevewiebe.com, to hear samples of the songs and order the CD. The songs are also available on iTunes.
Q – You took part in a live television event last June on G4tv as part of the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, going for the Donkey Kong World Record on live broadcasts the entire day. How did you feel during this event and after it as well? That was a tremendous finish.
SW – The live attempt was such a rush. I felt a little nervous going in, but once I felt the crowd behind me it gave me a huge boost and I felt at ease. It was disappointing to not hit the record, but I was overall pleased with my performance.
Q – Does your family have any of the modern consoles like the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, or XBox 360 in your home and if so, have you considered chasing any of the World Records on those platforms?
SW – We have the Wii and Xbox at our house. The most I’ve ever played has been Rock Band and Mario Kart. I guess I’m just not too much into the modern games. They look like they would be fun, but I just haven’t found the interest to pursue any records.
Q – During last year’s Funspot Tournament in New Hampshire, there must have been 3 dozen people who made the trip hoping to meet you or see you there. Have you considered another trip out there?
SW – I would definitely like to go to Funspot again in the near future. Our family plans on making a vacation trip to the east coast soon, so I hope to make a stop there.
Q – Finally… the question that everyone wants to know: Now that you have taken back the Donkey Kong Junior record and now that Twin Galaxies has revised the rules to no longer require “live only” attempts on the game, will Steve Wiebe be taking a shot at regaining the Donkey Kong World Record and when?
SW – My main goal is to get the Donkey Kong record. I’ve been playing a few games here and there to get back into the swing and practice some point pressing techniques. I plan on making a major run at it this summer when I have more time, but I may get it before then if I’m lucky enough.
Thanks to Steve Wiebe for taking time out of his busy schedule for the interview, and best of luck at your upcoming chase at the Donkey Kong title. Everyone be sure to check out Steve’s musical release “The King of Song” and check back soon for more interviews with gaming stars.