John McAllister has been crowned the new Asteroids champion after breaking the 1982 record set by Scott Safran.
Scott set the record way back then by playing for a marathon of 60 hours and ended up with a score of 41,336,440. John was able to topple it after a marathon run (broadcast live on justin.tv) of 58 hours (over three days, continuous) in which he scored 41,338,740 to beat Scott’s 28-year-old record; Playing on an original Asteroids arcade cabinet.
The new record was set at 10:18pm Pacific Standard Time (USA) on April 5th, 2010. Although Twin Galaxies still has to review it, but given the fact that it happened live and was all recorded and given the integrity of John himself, it will undoubtedly stick.
The original record (set on November 13, 1982 by Scott Safran) was thought impossible to break due to the length of the process, the concentration involved (as in any world record) and given the fact that there is no pause button in Asteroids. So to take breaks players literally have to walk away from the machine to do their business and risk losing lives. 60 hours is a long time to play or do anything no matter what it is.
In fact in 2002 the founder of Twin Galaxies (THE authority on videogame records) said to Newsweek, quote: “Everyone always talks about records that will never be broken, well this is the one that really won’t.”
Although this is a great day for John McAllister (a 41-year-old locksmith from Seattle, Washington), I was sad to learn that Safran wasn’t around to defend his title. He tragically passed away in 1989. His death was the result of a fatal fall from his two-story apartment balcony as he was trying to rescue his cat Samson. He was posthumously officially awarded and honored by Twin Galaxies in 2002 and the award was presented to his family. This after the organization spent years trying to track him down, only to learn of his tragic death.
“This was such a family gift when we found out,” Safran’s aunt, Hana Safran Kramer, told the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time the award was given. “It’s like all of a sudden, Scott is alive again.”
Here is a short news video covering Asteroid record-break by John McAllister.