Walter Day in January 2009
|Born||Walter Aldro Day, Jr.
May 14, 1949
|Education||Salem State College (left before graduating)|
|Occupation||Video game referee and scorekeeper|
|Known for||Twin Galaxies|
|Home town||Fairfield, Iowa|
Walter Aldro Day, Jr. (born May 14, 1949) is an American businessman, historian, and the founder of Twin Galaxies, a video game related company. Day is an authority on video game scorekeeping records who in 2010 retired from the industry to pursue a career in music.
Early life and education
Day was born in Oakland, California on May 14, 1949. His father worked for the Federal government of the United States as a purchaser of jet engines. Day enrolled at Salem State College in 1967 and left the school in 1978 without obtaining a degree. He later moved to the city of Boston and pursued the practice of Transcendental Meditation.[dead link]
Day has had several professions and hobbies during his life, including being an oil trader, landlord, vintage-newspaper vendor, musician and video arcade owner.
After moving to the town of Fairfield Iowa, Day sold commemorative newspapers for a living and in 1980 went to Houston, Texas to become an oil futures trader. Discouraged, Day moved back to Fairfield and became a landlord and purchased the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1981. After reading the January 1982 issue of Time, which featured video games on its cover, Day was inspired to create an international scoreboard database. According to Day's company web site, six months later he began receiving 50 to 75 phone calls per day from video game players around the world wanting to report their high scores. Later, Day became "known as the king of video game stats" and appeared on the cover of Time in 1982. He became so well known for his video game record-keeping that Guinness World Records chose him as their assistant editor of video game scores for their 1984 to 1986 editions of the Guinness Book of World Records. Day closed his Ottumwa arcade in 1984 but continued his international score keeping activities through his company Twin Galaxies.
In 1997, Day co-authored a 1,000-page volume of video game record scores and created a team of volunteers to verify scores nationwide. Day and his staff created the first book of rules for competitive electronic gaming, and his company Twin Galaxies produced an annual 1,000 page book of records and rules. A second edition, of 1500 pages was published in 2008. The publication has become the "official record book for the worldwide electronic gaming industry". Day appeared at "hundreds" of video game gatherings and competitions wearing a black-and-white-striped referee shirt and became an "iconic" figure in video game record keeping.
In 2005, Day led a contingent of video game players to France to issue a formal video game challenge involving video game players in both London and Paris. Day was featured in a three part documentary filmed by VBS.tv and published on the Internet in 2009, under the title Walter Day: Twin Galaxies and the Two Golden Domes. Day's contributions to the video game industry were portrayed in the 2007 documentaries The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade.
Day retired from the video game industry in May 2010 to pursue a career in music. Since then Day has helped to establish the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa and attended the video game art exhibition at the Smithsonian art museum.
Day is depicted in the Pixar movie "Wreck it Ralph" as the manager of the video arcade who closes up shop at the end of the day. His character does not speak
- (May 17, 2009) Iowa town seeks status as video gamers' mecca The Guardian, retrieved March 19, 2012
- McKenna, Aaron (July 27, 2005)Bitter games rivalry erupts between France and England The Inquirer, retrieved March 19, 2012
- Walter Day Retires on YouTube Twin Galaxies
- "Walter Day - Biography". Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Finney, Daniel P. (March 16, 2012) Iowan Scores a Place in Video Game History, Des Moines Register, retrieved March 18, 2012[dead link]
- "Walter Day - About". Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Smith, William (March 16, 2012) Area gaming icon to be honored at Smithsonian, The Hawkeye, retrieved April 2, 2012
- About TwinGalaxies - Our Unique History
- "Walter Day retires from Twin Galaxies, gaming hall of fame to be opened (March, 6th 2010)". By Ben Gilbert of Joystiq. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Walter Day Interview on "We Talk Games" Episode 04, Volume 02 (Timecode 02:42:20) June 16, 2009
- The Hawkeye news article