Record-Setting Gamers at Barcade

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Nick Gallucci had just finished the fifth and final level needed to become the world’s faster player at the video arcade game “[Tapper].”  “Did I win?” he asked the official Guinness judge. 

“No” the judge simply said.  At that moment, you could actually see the heartbreak as he stared down helplessly at the floor, wondering if he had the will — and another quarter — to try again.

He came in third place.

This was consistent theme throughout the evening last Thursday at Brooklyn's Barcade as Guinness World Records hosted a special event to give anyone willing a chance at making history by setting new records at a number of classic arcade machines.

The records that were up for grabs that night are as follows:

•    Fastest time to beat 5 levels on Ms. Pac Man
•    Fastest time to beat 5 levels on Tapper
•    Highest score in Out Run
•    Highest score in Ghosts N Goblins
•    Highest score in Donkey Kong (without using the hammer)

Doug Parsons, the Marketing Manager for Guinness: Video Game Edition said Barcade was a great place to host this event.

“This is an awesome arcade and one of the only few left in New York,” he said.  “It’s got a lot of great space and classic arcade machines.”

Indeed it does. 

This arcade/bar hybrid has nearly every old-school machine, from Rampage and Contra to Asteroids and Punch-Out. But how did Guinness know Barcade would be filled with potential record-breakers and not drunken casuals?

“We did a lot of internal research,” Parsons said.  “This is a well-known arcade in the community and is a popular place as discussed on message boards. We expect there to be some good players here.”

Parsons also explained Guinness wanted the records for tonight to be short and accessible, but also challenging enough to achieve.

But “challenging” is an understatement when considering the highest score in[ Ghosts N Goblins], according to Guinness’ records, is 1,000,100 set by David Nelson in 2004. The closest score of the night was 246,900 set by the Michael and Scott Muldoon. 

“No,” said Michael when asked if he thought he could beat the high score tonight.  “We just showed up hoping to maybe get lucky.”

In order to get the high score in Ghosts N Goblins, one can’t just complete the game.  It requires large amounts of extra time spent on killing re-spawning enemies and figuring out all the tricks in the game to maximize your score.

Parsons said attempts to “break” the game and get higher scores, such as causing glitches, are always debatable when considering new records.

“If it’s something questionable, we’ll find out if it’s a bug,” he said. “As long as it’s in the spirit of the game, any strategy goes.”

Despite all the attempts and failures, history was finally made at the Barcade Guinness event. 

Mike Przybocki set the record for the fastest time to beat 5 levels on the arcade game, Tapper, finishing with a time of 1'20"43. But Mike wasn’t satisfied, as he wanted to make sure his record was cemented and tried to beat his own record time.

“Tap-tastic” he exclaimed when describing how he felt knowing he was an official record-setter.

Also knotting a new record was Daniel Dujinc, who managed became the fastest player to beat the first five levels of Ms. Pac Man with a time of 2'05"80.

Looking to set a record? Parsons said you don’t have to be at an official Guinness event to have your name in the books, and there’s [information on their website] on what to do.

As for what type of records Guinness is looking for, well...they're pretty open to anything.

"Any record is a record," Parson said.  "Something like the most gaming tattoos or fastest speed runs or collections." 

"We like records that capture the gaming culture."

So what are you waiting for? Start setting those records!

Photos by Jim Reilly

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