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Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler

Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler

A feature-length documentary about gaming madness needs your help on Kickstarter


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Official trailer

The year: 1984.

The place: Twin Galaxies arcade, Ottumwa Iowa.

The event: 16-year-old Timothy McVey (that’s McVey, the gamer, not McVeigh, the bomber) records the highest score in video game history on a single quarter — over one billion points

The game:  Nibbler, a little-known but notorious classic arcade game, unique for its ability to register, well, over a billion points.

Time involved: 44+ hours of continuous play.

Comment: Holy $&*#!

Fast-forward 25 years. Tim’s record had stood as the highest verified score of video gaming’s Golden Age. Or so everyone thought. Until…

A rumor surfaces  of a higher score having been set in Italy — also in 1984 —  by Enrico Zanetti, an Italian kickboxing champion. Uh-oh.

Soon after, Tim is challenged to a Nibbler showdown by Dwayne Richard, a renowned Canadian video game champion. Oh jeeeez…

This leads to a competition referred to as “death in slow motion.” McVey must not only deal with swollen hands, aching limbs and middle-age, but battle his own demons as he seeks to retain/regain his legacy.

Andrew Seklir & Tim Kinzy, producers and directors at Playland Pictures Inc. (and former Battlestar Galactica editors), have spent the past five years making the documentary Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, which chronicles McVey’s epic quest. The film includes interviews with the players, back-breaking days-long marathon attempts and unique archival footage from the 1980s. Locations range from small-town Iowa to Los Angeles, New Jersey, Denver, Chicago, Washington, Miami, Canada, and Italy. Also featured are Walter Day and Billy Mitchell (THE KING OF KONG); Nibbler programmers John Jaugilas & Joe Ulowetz; Joshua Bearman and others. 

Principle photography has been completed and the film is currently in post-production. Seklir and Kinzy are asking for your support and have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund completion of the film. After everything Tim has been through, do you really want to let him down?

Karla Munger

Karla Munger

I've been with JA in one capacity or other since 2003. I'm currently website administrator. I'm also a digital artist (my avatar is one of my creations). I write reviews and articles, create graphics and basically help tend the site. It's work I enjoy very much. I love playing games of all kinds, but adventure and RPGs are my favorites (particularly scary/dark/unsettling ones). At the top of my list are The Cat Lady, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Still Life (first one only), Scratches and Culpa Innata. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool recluse and prefer the company of animals, hardware and ghosts to human beings (no offense). And no bio would be complete without my saying that I do NOT care for phones of ANY sort. Further, I think Dell computers are garbage and that Microsoft has become megalomaniacal. "I put my heart and soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh "I need solitude for my writing; not like a hermit - that wouldn't be enough - but like a dead man." - Franz Kafka "I've been to hell and back, my boy." - Susan Ashworth, The Cat Lady

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