Todd Rogers (gamer)

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Todd Rogers
Personal information
Born (1964-12-01) December 1, 1964 (age 55)
NationalityUnited States
Nickname(s)The King of Video Games, ToddZilla, Mr. Activision
Career highlights and awards

Todd Rogers (born December 1, 1964) is an American video game player. In the 1980s, he claimed to have achieved many record-setting high scores and was the first professional video game player.[1][2][3] In 1986, he was invited to be part of the U.S. National Video Game Team.[4][5] However, many of his records have since been found to be impossible or unverifiable.[6][7] In January 2018, Twin Galaxies removed all of his scores from their leaderboards and banned him permanently, and Guinness World Records stripped his records the following day.[8][9]

Disputed records[edit]

Several of Todd Rogers' records had come under scrutiny for being seemingly impossible or lacking sufficient proof. As listed on the Twin Galaxies leaderboard until January 2018, Rogers' record in the 1980 Activision game Dragster was a time of 5.51 seconds from 1982.[2] Previously, in 2012, Rogers was awarded the Guinness World Record for the longest-standing world record for that record.[10] However, a speedrunner named Eric "Omnigamer" Koziel disassembled the game's code and concluded that the fastest possible time was 5.57 seconds while Activision claims 5.54 is the fastest time. With a tick time of 0.03s the record claim is two ticks away from Omnigamer's data and just one from Activision's claimed minimum time. Previously, Rogers' score was believed to have been verified when he set it in 1982 by a Polaroid photo sent to Activision; however, no copy of the photo exists today.[6]

Prior to 2018, several other Todd Rogers scores had been individually disputed or removed as well. More stringent investigation into Rogers' record-setting scores began when YouTubers uploaded analysis of several of his disputed scores.[11] Rogers' score of 15 million points in the NES port of Donkey Kong was removed from the Twin Galaxies leaderboard after it was disputed and a referee discovered that the video tapes of the feat were missing or non-existent.[6] Rogers' time of 32.04 in Barnstorming was removed from the Twin Galaxies leaderboard after it was discovered it was impossible to achieve even when all the obstacles are removed.[7] Other disputed scores included Wabbit (where he had a recorded score of 1,698, but the game normally ends when the player reaches 1,300 points and the score only increases in increments of 5), Fathom (where, based upon other players' verified scores and playtimes, his claimed record would have taken over 325 hours of play to achieve), and Centipede on the Atari 5200, for which he claimed a score of exactly 65,000,000 with the next best recorded score being 58,078.[6]

On January 29, 2018, in the wake of many disputes being raised and several scores being proven impossible, the site decided to remove all of his scores and ban him from the site entirely. They notified Guinness World Records regarding their decision.[8] The next day, Guinness stripped all of Rogers' records.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yadron, Danny (August 7, 2010). "City Resorts to Pac-Man for a Reboot". Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Longest-standing videogame record". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on January 29, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Moultrie, Tamika (January 5, 2013). "Interview: Video Game Legend Todd Rogers Talks About Being The First Pro Gamer Ever". Complex. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Good, Owen (April 13, 2012). "There was Once a U.S. National Video Game Team, and This Guy Was Its Captain". Kotaku. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  5. ^ Compton, Shanna (October 26, 2004). Gamers: Writers, Artists and Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels. Soft Skull Press. p. 280. ISBN 9781932360578.
  6. ^ a b c d Alexandra, Heather (July 7, 2017). "Doubt And Drama Still Haunt An Old, Seemingly Impossible Atari World Record". Kotaku. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Beschizza, Rob (January 24, 2018). "Video game record-setter accused of cheating". Boing Boing. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Wang, Amy B. (January 29, 2018). "A man accused of cheating at video games may lose his Guinness World Record". Washington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Alexandra, Heather (January 30, 2018). "Guinness Officially Nixes Todd Rogers' Dragster Records". Kotaku. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Gamers on the Edge: Meet Todd Rogers". WMOR-TV. May 5, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Dragster Designer David Crane Has No Doubts Of Todd Rogers' Record [UPDATED]". Twin Galaxies.