With a title not too far from that of a Sci-Fi channel spectacular, this is not a story about a man who fights off a snake by nibbling it, but instead is a tale about a man’s quest to conquer the scoreboard of the snake arcade game, “Nibbler”. Arcade gaming was before my time, with my earliest memories of computer games being that of a hand-held Donkey Kong game, and playing Zool or Lotus Challenge on the Atari. However, the Nibbler game was strangely recognisable.
My first phone being that of a Nokia 3210, it came equipped with a battery that would last for days, the ability to create your own ringtones and a couple of games, one of which was Snake. This classic, highly addictive game which involved controlling a snake round a screen picking up pieces of fruit or blob-like squares, the snake would then grow in length and increase in speed until it ate itself. Before being on phones round the world, this was a lesser known arcade game titled “Nibbler”.
For those that have seen Seth Gordon’s documentary, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, you will be able to join the dots as to how it is possible to create a compelling and exciting documentary about gaming high-scores. This is naturally a very similar human affair, only replacing notorious video game champion Billy Mitchell, with a humble but determined man from Iowa who goes by the name of Tim McVey.