Q*bertTwenty-eight years ago, Rob Gerhardt set a high score of 33 million in a single game of Q*bert. And while countless gamers have set their sights on topping that in the following decades, they've all fallen short.
The latest attempt came this weekend, when one gamer spent 59 hours playing the platform jumper, but still fell far short, racking up a total of just 28 million.
That's the third time this year someone has tried to claim the Q*bert crown, but so far no one has come close. Perhaps Rick Carter, who led the most recent charge, might have fared better if he hadn't launched into the attempt after driving for 16 hours to the tournament.
Arcade game records aren't for the weak of heart. There's no stopping once you press play. To succeed, those vying for the record must play continuously without any notable breaks for food, rest or the call of nature. If you walk away from the game, Q*bert will eventually be pounced upon by Coily (the purple snake that's the game's primary enemy), Ugg or Wrong-Way (the purple creatures running along the sides of the cubes).
Gerhardt's record reportedly came after a 70-hour nonstop session.
Still, you can't blame Carter for trying. 2011 has been a banner year for toppling once-unbreakable arcade game record.
Last month, Flemington, NJ arcade owner Richie Knucklez more than doubled the existing record for Space Invaders, marking his sixth arcade record to date. And earlier this month, 11-year-old Zach Kaczor set a new high score on the lesser-known Ice Cold Beer (a cross between a pinball machine and an arcade game) — which has also stood for 28 years.
Carter might be disappointed, but he was hardly alone. All of the contestants in the Iron Man tournament Carter was competing in this weekend eventually succumbed to fatigue and/or glitches with their games. Guess they don't make 'em like they used to.