35-Year-Old Videogame Record Thrown Out by People with Way Too Much Time on Their Hands
Todd Rogers has been stripped of his world record for the Atari 2600 racing game Dragster.
I’ve never been much into the gaming scene but found this interesting:
Polygon (“Longest-standing video game record declared ‘impossible,’ thrown out after 35 years“):
Twin Galaxies, the video game record keeper and official source for Guinness World Records, has declared one of the oldest gaming world records invalid after 35 years. Player Todd Rogers has been stripped of his world record for finishing the simple Atari 2600 racing game Dragster, after months of debate over his completion time.
“Based on the complete body of evidence presented in this official dispute thread, Twin Galaxies administrative staff has unanimously decided to remove all of Todd Rogers’ scores as well as ban him from participating in our competitive leaderboards,” reads a post on the Twin Galaxies forum from the organization’s staff.
That’s a major blow to a prolific record holder, whose career stretches back to the earliest days of console gaming. Rogers courted controversy with his oldest record, however — and it directly caused his ban. In 1982, Rogers submitted to Activision’s official fan newsletter a time of 5.51 seconds, which the company recognized in print, awarding Rogers a patch. Twin Galaxies later added Rogers to its own leaderboards in 2001, and Guinness World Records awarded the player with the honor of holding the world’s longest-standing gaming record in April 2017.
The process would make the Mueller investigation look superficial:
Yet when Twin Galaxies introduced a new process for disputing scores in July 2017, Rogers’ time in Dragster was one of the first to be challenged. In August 2017, several community members submitted Rogers’ 5.51-second Dragster finish for review. A thread on the Twin Galaxies’ forum about how Rodgers’ Dragster time was technically impossible ran for nearly 300 pages and included almost 3,000 posts. Its most notable skeptic, who goes by the handle Omnigamer, wrote that they failed to reproduce Rogers’ time in a tool-assisted run, leading them to analyze the game’s code and conclude that no one could complete the racing game that fast without some serious cheating.
”It seems like there are multiple witnesses and otherwise for this particular record, but based on the code of the game I do not see how it’s possible to hit 5.54, let alone 5.51,” Omnigamer wrote in a Reddit thread that served as a major basis for Twin Galaxies’ investigation into the record. They also produced a video investigation into Rogers’ time, including interviews with Rogers from over the years and technical breakdowns of how Dragster worked.https://youtu.be/9vuVYo4TXns
The coda is rather amusing as well:
The new top time in Dragster, as recognized by Twin Galaxies, is 5.57, set by several players — including Omnigamer.
I suppose congratulations are in order.