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Portland man in 27-hour Asteroids marathon

Portland man's world record attempt ends when Asteroids machine malfunctions 27 hours into single-quarter marathon.


Almost 20 years since the last arcade game marathon world record attempt, Bill Carlton of Portland, Oregon, recently set his sights on Scott Safran's 1982 Asteroids world record at the Ground Kontrol Arcade in Portland. Carlton had notched up some 12.7 million points when, after 27 hours of play, the aging arcade machine malfunctioned and brought his record attempt to an abrupt end. According to Walter Day, editor of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, Carlton would have needed to play for more than two more days to beat Safran's score of 41 million.

"Long-range, high-scoring marathons like Carlton's were the meat and potatoes of the video gaming world back in the early '80s," said Day, who personally organized many such marathons for Twin Galaxies back in the classic age of gaming. "You were deemed a star if you could take a game for days on a single quarter. It brought tremendous prestige, and everybody tried to master their favorite game and marathon it."

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