Pella Chronicle

October 10, 2012

Documentary tracks Oskaloosa gamer

By DUANE NOLLEN
Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa’s Tim McVey has scored more than a billion points on the arcade game Nibbler and a documentary film crew visited him at his home this past weekend to tell his story.

Andrew Seklir and Tim Kinzy are editors for the Syfy Channel and have worked on TV shows such as “Battlestar Galactica.” Now, they are filming a documentary about McVey and his latest rival for the title, Dwayne Richard of Canada.

“We first became intrigued with Tim when we heard about his score of 1 billion,” Seklir said. “We’ve never heard of that before.”

This is the first documentary the pair have done. The project originally was going to be a short profile on YouTube, but they decided to expand its scope to be a feature-length documentary. They have been following McVey’s story since November 2007.

“We are fans of classic arcade games,” Seklir said. “We want to promote the art form.”

McVey had held the world record for Nibbler before. Back in 1984, a teenaged McVey set the game’s record high score with 1,000,042,270 points. This record stood until July 2011 when Rick Carter, of Maryland, broke his Nibbler high score.

McVey began his quest to regain his title twice in September 2011 and fell short. However, he regained his title over the Christmas holiday in 2011 when he scored 1,041,767,060 points.

The documentary team has traveled all over North America to gather material for their production. Seklir said they have traveled to Iowa; Alexandria, Va.; Florida; Seattle, Wash.; Denver, Colo.; and Canada. They have interviewed many people ranging from game designers to players and attended video game conventions to get a feel for what it’s like to compete and win at video games.

Seklir said the documentary will be released in 2013.