Video game records
Yes, this is a baseball blog, but I like to talk about other stuff, especially during the off-season.
That said, there was some recent chatter in the comments section about video games, and it reminded me…I still haven’t showed the new Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records.
A little context for those who are new-ish to this blog: I hold several world records on classic arcade video games, including Arkanoid. Some of you already know about my interest in video games because:
1) I blogged about it in 2005 (here and here).
2) Someone wrote it into my Wikipedia profile (which is in serious need of an update, in case anyone feels like taking that on).
3) I have a couple pics of my Arkanoid machine on my web site (here and here).
More context: If you’ve ever checked out my favorite links, you might remember a site called Twin Galaxies. Back in the early 1980s, there was an actual arcade in Iowa called Twin Galaxies. The owner–a supernice guy named Walter Day–started keeping track of high scores. Turned out he was the first person ever to do this, and because he did such a good job and was so passionate about it, he became THE go-to guy for high scores. Whenever one of the top video game magazines wanted to publish a list of high scores, they’d turn to him. Walter’s arcade eventually went out of business, but he kept documenting high scores and eventually launched the web site. Now he’s bigtime. He’s been featured in two recent documentaries (“The King of Kong” and “Chasing Ghosts“). He’s been working with the Guinness Book of World Records. He has his own book of world records, and this is it:
Walter inscribed my copy on Barry Bonds’ birthday. In case you can’t read it, it says: “To my great friend Zach Hample, may you never live your life on ‘Factory Settings!’ Walter Day Fairfield, Iowa 7/24/07″
Walter apparently loves to spell my name in different ways. He signed it to “Zach” (wrong) and lists me in the book as both “Zack” (correct!) and “Zachary” (also correct but antiquated).
Here’s a further look in the book, starting with the Table of Contents:
Here’s the Acknowledgments section:
And finally, here’s my profile:
NOTE: I didn’t write this profile. Walter did. I merely gave him a couple facts, like the year that the Argosy was founded. Stuff like that. I didn’t choose the words “erudite” and “predatory.” Anyway…
You should definitely buy the book if you’re serious about gaming. You truly won’t believe some of the scores that people have achieved. And finally, if you’ve seen “The King of Kong” or plan to, know that the filmmakers bent the truth (and flat-out omitted it at times) to make Twin Galaxies and Billy Mitchell look bad.