The small Iowa town that once again finds itself as the Video Game Capital of the World is celebrating the anniversary of a historic day in gaming.
The city of Ottumwa became internationally known in the early 1980s when the original Twin Galaxies arcade began to keep track of high scores from around the world. In more recent years, it has become the site for the International Video Game Hall of Fame (IVGHOF), the first true attempt at building a location that celebrates all of video gaming history.
On January 28, 1984 the first civic event to celebrate a video game achievement took place. Twin Galaxies arcade gamer Tim McVey became the first gamer in video game history to break the 1-billion point mark on a video game, doing so on Rock-Ola's Nibbler in 44.5 hours.
The City of Ottumwa then celebrated "Tim McVey Day" with gamer McVey awarded the key to the city. This event marks the first and only time in video game history that a civic day was named by a government body to celebrate a gaming accomplishment.
The anniversary of this event is being celebrated to help raise funds for the IVGHOF in Ottumwa, and will take place at Flipside Body Piercing in Ottumwa, located at 116 North Green Street on Saturday, January 29.
At the event, Tim McVey returns to the Nibbler machine to attempt to set another World Record mark on the "Tournament Settings" track set up a few years ago by Twin Galaxies. This track limits the player's lives to five, removing the need for 44 hours to break a record on the title.
Retired Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day will be making an attempt to regain the World Record on Make Trax, a maze game released by Williams Electronics in 1981. Day once held the record score in 1982 and still ranks in fifth place all-time.
IVGHOF board member Liz Bolinger will also be making World Record attempts of her own as she takes on all 44 songs on Just Dance 2 for the Nintendo Wii.
According to Bollinger, gaming legend Billy Mitchell will also be in attendance.
Space to view these activities live is limited, however all of the record attempts will be viewable online as a streaming web broadcast. Viewers wishing to donate funds to help build the IVGHOF will be able to do so via PayPal.