August 10, 2005

From John Henry to Ms. Pac Man

by Nick Montfort · , 6:25 pm

In rather disturbing news, CNN reports that a South Korean man died after playing “online battle simulation games” for 50 hours in a Taegu cybercafe, almost non-stop.

On a happier note, Abdner Ashman broke the Ms. Pac Man record last year, getting through 141 screens and scoring 921,360 points. Twin Galaxies has finally approved the record and posted an extensive writeup of the game along with a board-by-board recap. There is some very interesting and detailed description of Ms. Pac Man in there, along with the wonderful sports-like commentary:

One stage from the kill, and the game is not done yet with throwing him a few fast ones. In the middle of clearing the board, the ghosts break pattern. Abdner reacts quickly and defensively, running to the nearby upper right energizer, but this is still not enough this time, and he is herded, literally towards the top left energizer. Already way off his normal pattern, he is left with a veritable mess of dots to deal with.