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7. Is It Good to Be King?

7. Is It Good to Be King?
7. Is It Good to Be King?


  • Chalice or LED/battery-operated candle
  • A copy of the movie The King of Kong, PG-13, 83 minutes, and a player
  • Optional: A copy of the soundtrack from the Disney movie The Lion King, and a player


  • Watch The King of Kong. If the session time will be limited, choose scenes to show the group.



Use your established opening ritual. Or, light the chalice and share this quote:

Ten poor men sleep in peace on one straw heap, as Saadi sings, But the immensest empire is too narrow for two kings. — William R. Alger, Unitarian minister (1822-1905), referencing the 13th-century Persian poet



Watch the movie The King of Kong, PG-13, 83 minutes. If time is limited, watch the scenes you have selected in advance.


  • Did you find yourself rooting for anyone? Identifying with anyone?
  • Who is the protagonist or the hero of the film: Billy Martin, the reigning champion, or Steve Wiebe, the challenger? Is there a hero?
  • What was the message of the film for you?

Deeper Questions

  • Do you play video games? What about sports? How important is winning to you?
  • What messages does society send about winning? What lessons have you learned in your own life about winning?
  • Have you ever wanted anything as badly as Billy and Steve want the Donkey Kong record? How far would you be willing to go to attain it?

Optional Activities

  • Play Cooperative Musical Chairs. The game starts like regular musical chairs. The difference is that even though a chair is removed after every round, no one gets out. Participants have to find ways to share chairs or share laps until the final round when everyone needs to find a connection to the very last chair.
  • Play non-violent video games. Check the rating well in advance. You will need a game console and two-four controllers per game. If your meeting space has Internet access, consider setting up two or more computers to play old arcade games online. You can find Pong and other arcade games at the Play Free Games website. Ask participants: Is it fun to play even if you do not win? Is it hard to play without feeling driven to win?
  • Play Giveaway Checkers. This game is played just like regular checkers, but the object of the game is to lose all your checkers. If a player can take a jump, they must do so. Create gender equity by inviting players to crown both kings and queens—whichever they choose. What other variations do participants know?



Use your established closing ritual. Or, play "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from the soundtrack to Disney's The Lion King. Invite participants to sing along if they know the words.

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