Twin Galaxies

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Twin Galaxies
Twin Galaxies Logo.png
Formation November 10, 1981;36 years ago (1981-11-10)
Founder Walter Day
Founded at Ottumwa, Iowa, U.S.
Purpose Video Game Scorekeeping
Headquarters Banning, California, U.S.
Key people
Jace Hall (Caretaker and Custodian)
Parent organization
HDFilms
Affiliations Guinness World Records
Website www.twingalaxies.com

Twin Galaxies is an American organization that tracks video game world records and conducts a program of electronic-gaming promotions. It operates the Twin Galaxies website and publishes the Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, with the Arcade Volume released on June 2, 2007. The Guinness World Records - Gamers Edition 2008 was released in March, 2008 in conjunction with Twin Galaxies, who Guinness World Records considers to be the official supplier of verified world records to the annual volume. [1]

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

World record

A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill or sport. The book Guinness World Records collates and publishes notable records of all types, from first and best to worst human achievements, to extremes in the natural world and beyond.

Contents

History

In mid-1981, Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies Incorporated, visited more than 100 video game arcades over four months, recording the high scores that he found on each game. On November 10, he opened his own arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa, naming it Twin Galaxies. On February 9, 1982, his database of records was released publicly as the Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard.[ citation needed ]

Walter Day American video game referee

Walter Aldro Day, Jr. is an American businessman, historian, and the founder of Twin Galaxies, an American organization that tracks video game world records and conducts a program of electronic-gaming promotions. Day is an authority on video game scorekeeping records, who in 2010 retired from the industry to pursue a career in music.

Arcade game coin-operated entertainment machine

An arcade game or coin-op game is a coin-operated entertainment machine typically installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games or merchandisers. While exact dates are debated, the golden age of arcade video games is usually defined as a period beginning sometime in the late 1970s and ending sometime in the mid-1980s. Excluding a brief resurgence in the early 1990s, the arcade industry subsequently declined in the Western hemisphere as competing home video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox increased in their graphics and game-play capability and decreased in cost.

Ottumwa, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Ottumwa is a city in and the county seat of Wapello County, Iowa, United States. The population was 25,023 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Located in the state's southeastern part, the city is split into northern and southern halves by the Des Moines River.

Twin Galaxies became known as the official scoreboard, arranging contests between top players. Twin Galaxies' first event attracted international media attention for gathering the first teams of video-game stars. Top players in North Carolina and California were formed into state teams that faced off in a "California Challenges North Carolina All-Star Playoff", playing on 17 different games in Lakewood, California, and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. California defeated North Carolina 10–7 over the weekend of August 27–30, 1982. [2]

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th-most extensive and the 9th-most populous of the U.S. states. The state is divided into 100 counties. The capital is Raleigh, which along with Durham and Chapel Hill is home to the largest research park in the United States. The most populous municipality is Charlotte, which is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Lakewood, California City in California in California

Lakewood is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 80,048 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Long Beach on the west and south, Bellflower on the north, Cerritos on the northeast, Cypress on the east, and Hawaiian Gardens on the southeast. Major thoroughfares include Lakewood, Bellflower, and Del Amo Boulevards and Carson and South Streets. The San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) runs through the city's eastern regions.

Similar competitions were also conducted during the summers of 1983 and 1984 when Day organized the players in many U.S. states to form teams and compete in high score contests for the Guinness Book of World Records . The states included California, North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Michigan, Idaho, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Alaska, Iowa and Kansas.[ citation needed ]

On November 30, 1982, Ottumwa mayor Jerry Parker declared the town "Video Game Capital of the World", a claim that was backed up by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Atari and the Amusement Game Manufacturers Association in a ceremony at Twin Galaxies on March 19, 1983. [3] [4] [5]

Terry Branstad U.S. Ambassador to China, Governor of Iowa (1983–1999; 2011–2017)

Terry Edward Branstad is an American politician, university administrator, and diplomat serving as the United States Ambassador to China since 2017. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as Governor of Iowa. Branstad also previously served three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979.

Atari Corporate and brand name

Atari SA is a French corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972, currently by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA. The original Atari, Inc., founded in Sunnyvale, California in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. The company's products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.

Twin Galaxies' status as the official scorekeeper was further enhanced by support from the major video game publications of the early 1980s. Beginning in the summer of 1982, Video Games magazine and Joystik magazine published full-page high-score charts taken from Twin Galaxies' data. These high-score tables were published during the entire lives of these magazines. Additional high-score charts also appeared in Videogiochi (Milan, Italy), Computer Games, Video Game Player magazine and Electronic Fun magazine. Twin Galaxies' high-score charts also appeared in USA Today (April 22, 1983), Games magazine and was distributed sporadically in 1982 and 1983 by the Knight-Ridder news service as an occasional news feature, originating from the Charlotte Observer . [6] [7] [8]

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan area has a population of 3,244,365. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

<i>USA Today</i> American national daily newspaper

USA Today is an internationally distributed American daily, middle-market newspaper that serves as the flagship publication of its owner, the Gannett Company. The newspaper has a generally centrist audience. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982, it operates from Gannett's corporate headquarters on Jones Branch Drive, in McLean, Virginia. It is printed at 37 sites across the United States and at five additional sites internationally. Its dynamic design influenced the style of local, regional, and national newspapers worldwide, through its use of concise reports, colorized images, informational graphics, and inclusion of popular culture stories, among other distinct features.

Twin Galaxies brought top players together on November 7, 1982, to be photographed by Life magazine. This photo session is the subject of a recent documentary film, Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade , which was screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. On January 8–9, 1983, Twin Galaxies organized the first significant video-game championship, to crown a world champion. This event was filmed in Ottumwa by ABC-TV's That's Incredible! and was aired on the night of February 21, 1983. [9]

In March 1983, Twin Galaxies was contracted by the Electronic Circus to assemble a professional troupe of video game superstars who would travel with the Circus as an "act." With Walter Day hired as the "Circus Ringmaster", Twin Galaxies supplied a squad of 15 world-record holders on Twin Galaxies' high-score tables. Though the Circus was scheduled to visit 40 cities in North America, its Boston inaugural performance, opening in the Bayside Exposition Ctr. on July 15, 1983, lasted only five days, closing on July 19. The players selected by Twin Galaxies for the Circus are believed to be history's first professionally contracted video game players. [10]

On July 25, 1983, Twin Galaxies established the professional U.S. National Video Game Team, the first such, with Walter Day as team captain. The USNVGT toured the United States during the summer of 1983 in a 44-foot GMC bus filled with arcade games, appearing at arcades around the nation and conducting the 1983 Video Game Masters Tournament, the results of which were published in the 1984 U.S. edition of Guinness World Records . Under the direction of Day, functioning as an assistant editor for the Guinness Book in charge of video-game scores, the USNVGT gathered annual contest results that were published in the 1984—1986 U.S. editions. In September 1983, the USNVGT visited the Italian and Japanese Embassies in Washington D.C. to issue challenges for an international video game championship. In 1987, the USNVGT toured Europe where it defeated a team of UK video game superstars. Every month between 1991 and 1994, the U.S. publication Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), published a full-page high-score table titled "The U.S. National Video Game Team's International Scoreboard". [11] [12] [13]

In 1988 the Guinness Book of World records stopped publishing records from Twin Galaxies due to a decline in interest for arcade games. [14]

On February 8, 1998, Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records was published. It is a 984-page book containing scores compiled since 1981. A second edition was published as a three-volume set in 2007. A third edition was published in 2009.

Founder Walter Day left Twin Galaxies in 2010 to pursue a career in music, [15] and since then ownership of Twin Galaxies has changed hands several times. [16] In 2013 Twin Galaxies began charging a fee for score submissions. [17]

In March 2014, Jace Hall announced himself as the new owner of Twin Galaxies. [18] On April 28, 2014, the full Twin Galaxies website, including the high score database and forum content, came back online.

Walter Day and his Business Partner from the early 1980s Walter Day and his Business Partner from the early 1980's.jpg
Walter Day and his Business Partner from the early 1980s
Mark Hoff and Joel West Mark Hoff and Joel West.jpg
Mark Hoff and Joel West

U.S. National Video Game Team

The U.S. National Video Game Team was founded on July 25, 1983 in Ottumwa, Iowa by Walter Day and the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard.[ citation needed ]

Chronological timeline

Video Game Film Festival

Twin Galaxies organized the first Video Game Film Festival on June 2, 2001, at the Funspot Family Fun Center in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire as a vehicle to document the cultural impact that video games have exerted on today's society. A second festival is planned but no date has been set. [31] [32]

Console Video Game World Championships

Twin Galaxies conducted the first Console Video Game World Championship during Twin Galaxies' 1st Annual Twin Galaxies' Video Game Festival at the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota, on the weekend of July 20–22, 2001. This event is also known as the Console Game World Championship and had originally been planned for March 24–25, 2001 at the Sheraton Dallas Brookhollow Hotel in Dallas, Texas, but was moved forward to the Mall of America event.

The second Console Video Game World Championship was held the weekend of July 12–14, 2002, at the 2nd Annual Twin Galaxies' Video Game Festival at the Mall of America. [33] [34] [35] [36] [37]

Classic Video Game World Championship

Twin Galaxies conducted the first "Classic Video Game World Championship" on June 2–4, 2001 at the Funspot Family Fun Center in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire. The winner of this renewed video game contest was Dwayne Richard with Donald Hayes coming in second place. This event was descended from the Coronation Day Championships that were conducted by Twin Galaxies in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 2000. The 2nd "Classic Video Game World Championship" was conducted on the weekend of June 30–July 2, 2002. The winner was Dwayne Richard with Donald Hayes again coming in second place. This was the last year the contest was in this format. The following years had the Funspot location organizing and running the contest in a more informal arcade "Player of the Year," format. [38] [39]

In July 2001 and 2002, Twin Galaxies conducted the annual Twin Galaxies' Video Game Festivals at the Mall of America, attracting approximately 50,000–75,000 attendees each year. [40]

On August 15, 2005, Walter Day and the staff of Twin Galaxies led a contingent of USA and UK video game players to Paris, France, where they delivered an eight-foot (2.4 meter) tall Proclamation which proposed a "London vs. Paris" Video Game Championship.

On September 24, 2005, The U.S. National Video Game Team revived and formed a New England Chapter with Walter Day as the national team captain and David Nelson of Derry, New Hampshire, as the chapter captain.

Iron Man Contest

In the first week of July, 1985, Twin Galaxies conducted the 1st Twin Galaxies Iron Man Contest. The goal of the Iron Man competition was simple: competitors had to continue playing their game for as long as they could. If anyone passed 100 hours, they would be awarded a $10,000 prize from the Sports Achievement Association.

The winner of the contest was 18-year-old James Vollandt, who carried his Joust game for 67½ hours. The game malfunctioned at around 58 hours, wiping out all of his 210 extra lives. However, he earned back forty of them. He left the game voluntarily with a record-breaking score of 107,216,700 points, a record that stood until 2010, when John McAllister broke the record over live streaming video on justin.tv. [41]

In film

In 2007, a film about Twin Galaxies and video game champions in the 1980s, Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade , was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters , a feature documentary about retro arcade gamers, featuring Twin Galaxies, was released in theaters on August 24, 2007. The documentary was in large measure critical of Twin Galaxies' handling of challenges to long-established top scores, suggesting that its organizational structure is rife with conflicts of interest.

Frag , a feature documentary about modern professional gamers, was released on DVD on August 1, 2008 by Cohesion Productions [42] of Cedar Falls, Iowa. The first ten minutes of the documentary recapped Twin Galaxies' role as the pioneers of organized video game playing back in the early 1980s.

Man vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler , a feature documentary about the video game Nibbler, was released worldwide in 2016. The film includes Twin Galaxies history and the competition for high scores. Walter Day is featured throughout the film.

Since August 1, 1982, Twin Galaxies has been producing unique, colorful posters to document gaming events. [43] Though the first dozen posters issued in the early 1980s enjoyed printing runs of 500 – 1,000 copies each, the posters created in later years have been issued as limited editions with only 20-24 copies produced of each one.[ citation needed ]

Chronology of selected Twin Galaxies contests and events

DateTitleVenueLocation
April 3–4, 1982National Defender Championship33 Arcades across AmericaNationwide
August 27–30, 1982California Challenges North CarolinaLight Years Amusement/Phil's Family Fun Ctr.Wrightsville Beach, NC/Lakewood, CA
January 8–9, 1983North America Video Game OlympicsTwin Galaxies/"ABC-TV's "That's Incredible"Ottumwa, IA
August 24–28, 19831983 North American Video Game Challenge8 Cities Across AmericaLake Odessa, MI/Omaha, NE/Chicago, IL/San Jose, CA/Seattle, WA
January 14, 19841984 Coronation Day ChampionshipTwin GalaxiesOttumwa, IA
January 12–13, 19851985 Coronation Day ChampionshipCaptain VideoLos Angeles, CA
April 19–20, 19971997 Video Game & Pinball Masters Tournament12 CitiesFairfield, IA/Wilmington, NC/Edmonton, AB, Canada/Voorhees, NJ/St. Louis, MO/Kansas City, MO
June 27, 1998Crowning the Superstars of Mobile, AlabamaCyberstation Arcade, Springdale MallMobile, AL
August 22, 1998Crowning the Videogame Superstars of Tulsa, OklahomaFunhouseTulsa, OK
August 29, 1998Crowning the Videogame Superstars of St. Louis, MOExhilirama ArcadeSt. Louis, MO
August 29, 1998Crowning the Videogame Superstars of Hattiesburg, MississippiCyberstation ArcadeHattiesburg, MS
January 30–31, 1999Chicagoland Arcade ChampionshipFriar Tuck's ArcadeCalumet City, IL
July 10, 1999National Family Fun Day28 States Across AmericaNationwide
July 29–30, 2000Classic Gaming Expo 2000Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, NVLas Vegas, NV
September 25 - October 20, 2000Unreal Tournament ChampionshipOnline CompetitionInternational
Nov. 20 - Dec. 20, 2000Official Tony Hawk Pro 2 World Championship [44] Home-Based SubmissionsInternational
January 1 - March 7, 2001Space Empires IV World Championship [45] Online SubmissionsInternational
May 3 - July 2, 2001Crazy Taxi World ChampionshipHome-Based SubmissionsInternational
July 20–22, 20011st Twin Galaxies' Video Game FestivalMall of AmericaBloomington, MN
May 18, 2002Save the Pak Mann Arcade [46] Pak Mann ArcadePasadena, CA
May 30 - June 2, 20022nd Classic Video Game World Championship [47] Funspot Family Fun CenterWeirs Beach, NH
July 12–14, 20022nd Twin Galaxies' Video Game Festival [48] Mall of AmericaBloomington, MN
November 12–19, 2005November Hi-Score Jamboree at FunspotFunspot Family Fun CenterWeirs Beach, NH
December 2–4, 2005Legends of the Golden Age [49] Totally AmusedHumble, TX
April 6–9, 2006Toughest Gun in the Dodge City [50] Apollo AmusementsPompano Beach, FL
April 28–30, 20062006 Video Game & Pinball Masters TournamentPinball Hall of FameLas Vegas, NV
September 16, 2006Grand Rapids Nintendo DS ChampionshipUltimate LAN ExperienceGrand Rapids, MI
November 10–18, 20075 November Hi-Score Jamboree at FunspotFunspot Family Fun CenterWeirs Beach, NH
March 5, 2008Steve Wiebe Attempts Donkey Kong World RecordMIX08 EventLas Vegas, NV
July 17, 2008Steve Wiebe Donkey Kong Record AttemptTwiistup 4 Technology eventSanta Monica, CA
August 2, 2008Nintendo Wii ShootoutUltimate LAN ExperienceGrand Rapids, MI
June 12–14, 2009Steve Wiebe Donkey Kong World Record attempt and Walter Day presented inaugural Twin Galaxies Hall of Fame Ceremony [51] Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show Seattle, WA

Cheating controversies

Scores by both Todd Rogers and Billy Mitchell have been called into question and found to be fraudulent. [52] Rogers was revealed to have entered bogus records into the database either by himself or a referee friend, [53] whereas Mitchell used an emulator to reach his scores while claiming to have played on an original arcade machine, in violation of the Twin Galaxies rules. [54]

See also

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References

  1. Twin Galaxies is the official supplier of video game scores to the Guinness World Records books - GuinnessWorldRecords.com Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine .
  2. California Tops Carolina in Video Challenge - RePlay Magazine, October, 1982 Archived 2007-10-23 at the Wayback Machine .
  3. What is the Video Game Capital of the World? - Cashbox Magazine, April 2, 1983 Archived March 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  4. The King of the Video Game Addicts - Toronto Sunday Star, March 27, 1983 Archived October 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
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  6. Seek Individual Excellence - Associated Press Wire Story in Miami Herald, August 21, 1982 Archived October 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  7. Records, like promises, are not always meant to be broken - USA Today, July 7, 1983 Archived March 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  8. Video Game Records - USA Today, April 22, 1983 Archived March 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  9. 1 2 Twin Galaxies' Coronation Day Crowns Video's Best of '83 - RePlay Magazine, February 1, 1984 Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
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