You know, I think Joystiq summed up today’s gaming-world fandango-in-a-teapot best when they said:
It’s an inspiring tale of perseverence, one that teaches a valuable lesson: if you want to be the best at something, pick something nobody else has ever heard of.
Which has always been my theory when it comes to the sport of Speed Nostril-Flaring.
Joystiq was referring, of course, to a far less obscure pastime. The target of their huzzah is 38-year-old Justin Baxter, who rescued a Cosmic Monsters console from the junkyard seven years ago and recently skunked the 1983 world record of about 105,000 by hitting 145,680.
Small World News Service has the full-on skinny, including the fact that Baxter’s most telling quote was: “I don’t have any plans to stop – I’ve got to beat my own record.”
Cosmic Monsters, in case you aren’t the biggest console-game geek in the world, is a barely-remembered Space Invaders clone so obscure it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page (!). The name also, however, was used for a rippin’ White Zombie tune (on La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1), the title of an unrelated National Geographic show and the title of an equally unrelated ’50s science fiction movie.
Weirdly, though, I remember the console game — vaguely — from my childhood, without remembering either the ’50s movie or the White Zombie song.
Kotaku’s post on the topic netted some insightful comments, like for instance:
On the one hand, I think that breaking records on obsolete games is not worth nearly as much praise as it gets.
On the other hand, most games don’t provide scores anymore, so there aren’t really any objective records to break.
…which is about as bland as it is hard to argue with, and fairly well sums up my feelings on the matter. “As much praise as it gets” seems to be a chorus of gaming-geek snickers in the form of blog posts.
Speaking of which, this all leaves an important question open: When humans have finally conquered disease, pestilence, poverty, and all forms of deprivation, will there still be ’80s video games we forgot about?