Q*bert isn't the only arcade classic with multi-day record attempts taking place. Sweden's Victor Sandberg is taking aim at the world record on Atari icon Missile Command in an attempt that could take as many as 68 hours to accomplish.
"I was born in 1985, so I am definitely too young for the arcade era," Sandberg said. "I became aware of the arcade scene, like many others, from the King of Kong film. When I saw the documentary with Bill Carlton about Missile Command, I bought an actual machine."
Unlike many retro arcade champions, Sandberg states that he decided to aim for the all-time high score before his hand ever hit the Missile Command trackball.
"I believe my approach to the record was somewhat different than other players. I made a deal with myself to go for the world record before I had touched the actual game," he said. "In other words, my inspiration didn't grow out of the love and passion for the game. I consider myself a very competitive individual and I have always made statements about my ability to become the best about this or that, so beating a classic arcade record was my way of putting my attitude to the test."
Sandberg's first attempt took place during the holiday season, ending with a final score of 56.6 million points in 45 hours, good enough for sixth place all time. While stating that he was happy with his gameplay, he misjudged how long he would need to play to reach the top.
"What ended my game was the sleep deprivation. I started to have really weird thoughts and my reflexes became so slow I usually noticed afterwards that my cities and missile bases were gone," he recalled. "My strategy worked great but I underestimated the time required to reach the record, and I was looking at a 68 hour marathon. Shortly before I died, I had played over 45 hours and I was in no condition to play for another 20."
This time, Sandberg believes he has a strategy that will allow him to push his score higher while reducing the amount of time to play. He believes the different approach and the support of friends will help him in beating the 80,364,995 point world record, which has stood since 1982.
"This time I am better prepared," he said. "I believe my skill level has increased a bit since I practiced a lot during the Christmas break in January. I have also developed a more aggressive strategy which will reduce the required time to 57-63 hours. I also want to thank the arcade community for their support."
A live stream of Sandberg's attempt, which is slated to begin on February 22, can be watched at http://sv.twitch.tv/diskborstemc.
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