Playing Asteroids for 58 Hours

YouTube / Adam Cornelius
YouTube / Adam Cornelius / YouTube / Adam Cornelius

On April 6, 2010, John McAllister broke the world record for points on the arcade game Asteroids. He played on an original arcade cabinet, and my friend, the documentarian Adam Cornelius, was there to capture the event. McAllister's game lasted 58 hours, resulting in a high score of 41,338,740. This broke a record that had stood since 1982.

Playing an arcade game for 58 hours is really hard. McAllister took occasional bathroom breaks, and lost ships whenever he did. At one point he got down to just two ships (!!) and began hallucinating. Have a look at what arcade game mastery takes:

If you want to try your hand at Asteroids, there's a free browser-based version online.