Photo 1,2,3: Donn Nauert, Photo 4: Left to Right: Jim Allee, Donn Nauert, Shane Olivo
Donnell W. Nauert
Other players with Donn Nauert are Jim Allee and Shane Olivo from
the US National Video Game Team.
The "American Video Game Players League", made up of 3 guys and 2 girls is
the alternative to competing against the US National Video Game Team.
Donn Nauert, January 13, 1985
The 3rd Annual Player of the Year Coronation Day contest was conducted at Captain
Video in Los Angeles. It was covered by ABC-TV News, USA Today and ABC-TV's
Entertainment Tonight, and the results were featured in the 1985 Guinness Book
of Sports Records. This tournament was one by Phil Britt on January 13, 1985.
The Fourth Place winner of the Player of the Year Contest at Captain Video,
Los Angeles, CA. was Donn Nauert. He was also listed as being the third person
ever to be listed in the Video Game Hall of Fame as recognized by the Guinness
Book of World Records 1985 edition.
December 14th, 1984
The 1985 GUINNESS BOOK OF SPORTS RECORDS will be giving a full page to
the new Video Game Sporting Event:
Guinness Sports Record Book (1986)
Player of the Year 1985
First Place, Phil Britt, Second Place, Mike Sullivan, Third, Jeff Peters
(1985 Player of the Year)
Phil Britt, Mike Sullivan, Jeff Peters
Jeff Peters (1986)
US National Video Game Team
In the early 1980's Jeff Peters was a founder of the U.S. National Video Game Team
and has organized the international video game contests and promotions on
its behalf. He further went on to co-found a publishing company,
and help to create "Electronic Game Player; 1988", and
"(EGM) Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine; in 1989." Latest News Link
In 2003 EGM became the largest circulation multi-platform magazine in United States.
US National Video Game Team (1985) Chicago Tradeshow
Dwayne Richard, Gary Hatt, Brent Walker, Donn Nauert, Steve Harris, Jeff Peters, Perry Rodgers
In 1986 US National Video Game Team was present at many Tradeshows and Video
Game Expo's and several were flown to San Diego to test the new Atari Video
Games and were questioned on how to make the prototype game better and more
interesting for the video game player. Gary Hatt made the suggestion of putting
numbered levels as a distinction instead of the previous color non numbered
system that was being used. Many prototype games had bugs in which the game
could not continue to the next section, so the US National Video Game Team
would play the game to were the game got stuck on a level and would say,
fix this, there is no way to continue the game because of a programming error.
The US National Video Game Team would also go to arcade locations were new
prototype games were put into these test arcade locations. Everybody wanted
to be the first to play the new games and the US National Video Game Team
knew exactly when and where the new test video game would be located.
Some of the popular Los Angeles area test arcades were the following:
1. Aladdin's Castle in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, CA, Link
2. Starship Video Arcade, Upland, CA.
The Upland, CA, contest site - a place called Starship Video - was billed as
"The Arcade Shaped like a Starship."
3. Captain Video Arcade, Los Angeles, CA.
All three 1985 Coronation Day Winners, Phil Britt, Mike Sullivan and Jeff Peters
lived within twenty minutes
of each other in Riverside, California Link
Paul Dean, Spy Hunter Champion of June 28, 1985 Third Annual Masters Tournament
as well as Mike Quarles, Crystal Castles Champion, January 15, 1985 also lived in
Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard
"3rd Annual North American Video Game Challenge" -
The yearly invitational video game challenge that crowns the "player of the year."
The US National Video Game Team was sponsored by Twin Galaxies International
Scoreboard and (later) Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, and then (TGIS) Twin
Galaxies International Scoreboard took back that sponsorship back from
Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine a few years later.
This event was sponsored and funded by the U.S. National Video Game Team
and numerous video game manufacturers. The tournament features the invitation
only, 50 best players, in North America facing off in a two-day classic,
Jan. 12-13, 1985, at Captain Video, an important and well known Los Angeles
competition game room.
The premier stars of the event will be invited to sign professional
video game players' contracts with the U.S. National Video Game Team.
Perry Rodgers (1986) (Perry Rodgers United Kingdom 2005)
US National Video Game Team - 1986
Perry proved his skills as a player in the early 80's earning world
record scores on Galaxian, Mario Bros., and Centipede, and a spot on the
U.S. National Video Game Team.
Billy Mitchell wearing the vintage Coronation Day T-Shirt from the 1980s.
Billy Mitchell Centipede High Score (1982)
Billy Mitchell Centipede High Score of 25,000,000 in 1982
with a bug hunting technique which took 47 hours.
US National Video Game Team
The 1984 Coronation Day Ceremonies was on January 14, 1984.
The best three players of the year were Billy Mitchell, Tim Collum and Ben Gold.
The three 1984 Coronation Day winners are on Billy Mitchell's T-Shirt. (Photo Above)
Ben Gold (1982)
(1982) Ben Gold Stargate High Score of 40,001,150
It took 36 hours of game to achieve the Stargate world record at Richardson, Texas.
Ben Gold 1983 - Stargate
Ben Gold Achievements: (link)
US National Video Game Team
1983 North American Olympics, Third Place in "That's Incredible" TV Show. Link
Ben Gold - That's Incredible Event
Ben Gold played Stargate at Prowood Video Arcade near Prestonwood, Texas for
Thirty-five hours and 50 minutes for a new world record of Star gate – 40,001,150
that lasted two weeks according to the Manufacturer Williams Electronics. By
Maggie Kennedy, Dallas Times Herald, January 26, 1983.
Ben Gold won the "That's Incredible" competition for a first place prize which
was a gold medal which he later donated to Twin Galaxies. He had just
Won history's first Video Game World Championship Link
Ben Gold (20 year Reunion)
Funspot, Wiers Beach, New Hamphire
1984 Tim Collum, co-player-of-the Year and winner of "ABC-TV's "That's Incredible
Ms. Pac-Man Contest (October 11, 1982).
In January 1983 Billy Mitchell appeared in the Life Magazine, and the Electronic Circus"
as well as heading up the US National Video Game Team. (Actually, clean cut, Steve Sanders
was made the Leader)
January, 1984, Billy Mitchell was selected by his peers as the 1984
Player of the Year during a cold ceremony broadcast on CBS News.
Also in 1984, Billy Mitchell was recognized as the "world's most famous video
game player." because of his amazing feats.
Phil Britt was the first to sign such a Professional contract during the
Coronation Day Ceremonies" on January 13, 1985. He won the Player of the
Year Competition at Captain Video Arcade, Los Angeles, Ca. This event went
from January 12-13, 1985.
Phil Britt was named player of the year on January 13, 2005 after winning
the Coronation Day event at Captain Video Arcade at Los Angeles, CA.
Hall of Fame in the
1985 Guinness Book of World Records followed by Phil Britt and Donn Nauert.
This was the first and last time the Hall of Fame was ever received in the
Guinness Book of World Records.
U.S. National Video Game Team
Early 1980's Highlights of the U.S. National Video Game Team have been reported by
Steve Harris, (EGM) Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine until Steve Harris had
retired from the business. In 2005 Paul Drury of Retro Gamer Magazine in the United Kingdom
has brought back of taste of the 1980's era by interviewing many of the best players
of the world from the U.S. National Video Game Team which follows through to what they
are doing today and how gaming has created some of their life goals both in career
selection and as a life time hobby.
Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine (EGM)
Electronic Gaming Monthly
The most famous arcade, Twin Galaxies, 226 East Main Street, Ottumwa, Iowa opened
on November 10, 1981, at about 6:30 p.m. The first customers that walked inside asked,
"What? An arcade?" These games have wrecked my radio communications, announced the
police officer. It was Qix, made by Taito, so the game was quickly removed and from
then on business was a great success.
The Below are Magazines which covered Video Game Champions:
(Time Magazine) January 1982 -
The Year In Pictures - Life Magazine
"year-in-review" edition for 1982
A Year In Pictures - Life Magazine Special Edition (1982)
Life Album 1982: A Year in Pictures; Released: January 1983 - Special Issue (1982)
Life Magazine, Video Game Masters Photo; November 7, 1982
The video game players and their accomplishments as published in Life Magazine
Sam Blackburn, NC; Jeff Brandt, Bloomington, IL, world-class on Donkey Kong Jr.
(DKJ); Matt Brass, MT, also world-class on DKJ; Leo Daniels, NC, world record
holder on Asteroids and Tempest, world-class on Asteroids Deluxe, and Reactor;
Kent Farries from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was another world-class DKJ player;
Eric Ginner, Mountain View, CA, world record holder on Moon Patrol, and world-class
on Dig Dug, Robotron, Tempest, and Centipede; Ben Gold, Dallas, TX, world record
holder on Stargate; Mike Lepkosky, Houston, TX, world record holder on Ms. Pac-man;
Billy Mitchell, Hollywood, Florida, world record holder on Centipede, world class
on Donkey Kong; Doug Nelson, CA; Darren Olson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, world
class on Centipede; Mark Robichek, Mountain View, CA, world record holder on
Frogger and Tutankham, world class on Moon Patrol; Steve Sanders, Clinton, MO,
world record on Donkey Kong, Ned Troide, Palm Harbor, FL, world record holder on
Defender; Todd Walker, San Jose, CA, world record holder on Joust and Joel West, NC.
Kent Farries, Donkey Kong, Jr. 948,000 from Calgary, Alberta, almost did not make the
shoot do to over sleeping.
The above Life Magazine cover has within its pages the famous Video Game Wizards
Photo that featured a lot of the top gun 1980's gamers, who gathered in front of the
famous Twin Galaxies arcade and International Scoreboard (226 East Main Street, Ottumwa,
Iowa.) The January 1983 issue was the special "Year in Pictures" issue for 1982, and
featured the classic gamers on main street with the games that they had mastered.
The street photo was shot on the morning of Sunday, November 7, 1982.
The inspiration for the U.S. National Video Game Team started with the
LIFE photo session in 1982. It all started with six red and white shirts, each
with the last name of a player emblazoned on the back and the Ottumwa, IA. logo
on the front. Ottumwa, IA is considered the video game capital
of the world because it its headquarters for the Twin Galaxies International
The original players to be inducted into the US National Video Game Team
were Billy Mitchell, Steve Harris, Tim McVey, Jay Kim, Ben Gold and
Captain and founder, Walter Day.
First Inductees into the US National Video Game Team
Left to Right (Ben Gold, Jay Kirn, Steve Harris, Billy Mitchell)
T-Shirts Lettering: (Ottawa, U.S. National Video Game Team)
Walter Day - Founder, Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard
Billy Mitchell with Player of the Century award 1999
Tim McVey Day
Tim McVey Modern Times - 2008
Magfest 7 - Nibbler World Record Attempt - January 2, 2008
Tim McVey in 2008 tries to beat his own January 28, 1984 Billion
point score and ends up short on 1/2/08 at Magfest 7 with a total
high score of 648,615,390, beating Dwayne Richards. link
Tim McVey Scores One Billion on Nibbler, Sunday, January 28, 1984 (1,000,042,270)
Tim McVey got more than a billion points on Nibbler in 1984, and
he did it with one quarter — that was 44 hours of Nibbler for 25 cents.
The goal was to go from town to town across the nation beating all players who
dare to challenge these hot shot players.
Ned Troide, Defender
Best known for having played DEFENDER for 62 1/2 consecutive hours on a single quarter.
Ned Troide Defender Champion 1982
Video Game Champ Gets Recognition
By Christina K. Cosdon
Clearwater Times Staff Writer
Palm Harbor - Two months ago Ned Troide became the top Defender video game player with
a score of 72,999,975. He racked up the points with just one quarter, and it took him
62 1/2 hours to do it.
For this feat, the Palm Harbor youth was pictured this month in Life Magazine's
"The Year in Pictures" issue. He posed for the picture with 15 other video game
wizards at 7 a.m. Nov. 9 in the middle of a street in downtown Ottumwa, Iowa, site
of the official video game International Scoreboard. "The police blocked off the
street, "Troide recalled Thursday.
Life reporter Drew Greenland, who covered the event, called it "a weekend of the
Is Troide excited about the national publicity? He says "yes," but he's cool about
it. "It means a lot to me," he said about his score. His sister Janel, 12, on the
other hand, bubbles with enthusiasm. "It's great!" she exclaimed. And his father
Ed says he is delighted. "I didn't know how difficult the game was until I tried
it myself," he said, adding he now has new respect for his son's abilities.
So how did the 18-year-old computer engineering student wind up in Ottumwa posing
Entrepreneur Walter Day, 33, who put Ottumwa on the map when he began keeping track
of the nation's to video game scorers, invited Troide there for a weekend of --
what else? video games. He also invited the nation's other to video scorers.
Day opened up Ottumwa's Twin Galaxies Arcade a year ago and displays the names
and tallies of the top players on a giant scoreboard. When the video wizards
arrived, Day put them up in a Holiday Inn and paid the tab, said Trodie, who drove
to Iowa with his father.
Three weeks after he set the Defender title, Troide said, he set another: 66,999,975
on Stargate (an advanced Defender game). It took him 61 hours. He has also set
other records, he said, and he's playing for more.
Leo Daniels, his web page link
Leo Daniels, Wrightsville, North Carolina, world record holder on Asteroids
and Tempest, world-class on Asteroids Deluxe, and Reactor.
His Asteroids Deluxe current world record was actually done in September of
1983 at the Ocean View Amusements at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.
Video Game V.I.P. (1982 Video Game Champs - Life Magazine Shoot) November 7, 1982
Leo Daniels LIFE MAGAZINE QUOTE:
Physicians claim that maneuvering a joystick too many hours can lead to
"video elbow" and "arcade arthritis." The mental side effects can be equally
serious, according to U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. "There's nothing
constructive in the games," says Koop. "Everything is kill, destroy, zap the
enemy." Retorts TEMPEST virtuoso Leo Daniels, "I think Koop is a quack."
October 10, 2005 UPDATE: LEO DANIELS BIOGRAPHY:
A new movie is coming out recognizing the players and their life stories from
The original 1982 Life Magazine Video Game Champions Story:
The production company, Men At Work, has been working on a new
movie called (Chasing Ghosts) shot in Hi-Def about the early 1980's
arcade gamers and the Life magazine shoot. Just 3 weeks ago the
Life magazine spread was shot again with almost all 20 of the
original players in attendance!
Leo Daniels is in the documentary of video games directed by:
Lincoln Ruchti, "Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade". Link
Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade Synopsis:
Twin Galaxies Arcade, Iowa, 1982: the birthplace of mankind's obession with
video games. The fate of this world lies in the hands of a few unlikely heroes.
They are the Original Video Game World Champions and the arcade is their
Here are the Walter Day conversations with Gary Vincent regarding the re-enactment
of the November 7, 1982 LIFE Magazine shoot with many of the original 16 most
famous classic gamers appearing in the original famous LIFE magazine issue
from the 80's in Ottumwa, Iowa with a reunion weekend at the biggest retro arcade
in the country, Funspot Arcade on September 24-25, 2005. The Movie Shoot and photos
were partly at the Funspot Arcade, Weirs Beach, New Hampshire. (603)-366-4377
Men At Work Productions: "where are they now?" piece on Video Game Champs of the 1980's
They've collected quite a bit of retro articles and pics and news reels
from that era. Leo Daniels still plays video games, not so much in home
games though he still enjoys the arcade feel which can't be matched at
The original November 5, 1982 LIFE Magazine players who were photographed were the
Sam Blackburn, North Carolina
Jeff Brandt, Bloomington, Illinois (Donkey Kong Jr.: 787,400; Age 20)
Matt Brass, Montana
Leo Daniels, North Carolina
Kent Farries, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Eric Ginner, Mountain View, California (Moon Patrol: 536,470; Age 20)
Ben Gold, Dallas, Texas (Stargate: 40,001,150; Age 16)
Mike Lepkosky, Houston, Texas
Billy Mitchell, Hollywood, Florida (Centipede: 25,000,000; Age 17)
Doug Nelson, California
Darren Olson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mark Robichek, Mountain View, California
Steve Sanders, Clinton, Missouri (Donkey Kong, 3,165,300; Age 18)
Ned Troide, Palm Harbor, Florida (Net Troide,
Todd Walker, San Jose, California (Joust, 700,000; Age 19)
Joel West, North Carolina
Leo Daniels Bio. Continued:
Leo Daniels states, "Most kids today have never even stepped into a arcade."
I'm now a part owner of a wrestling company N.A.C.W www.nacw.net and I design
and hosts websites and chatrooms, like FreedomChat Enterprises and I'm a part
time actor in the TV and movie industry. Matter of fact you can catch me on the
new NBC TV series "Surface" on Monday nights at 8pm est, I play the local sheriff's
deputy on the show.
Leo Daniels didn't do a lot with the US National Video Game Team At that
time he didn't have the time to do all the traveling that was demanded upon
the US National Video Game Team.
Leo Daniels remembers the some events like the Asteroids "3 minute championships".
He hated the fact that most people didn't know about it until we were already there,
and that there were a few that had inside information on it. His Asteroids record
was for his Asteroids high score was done on the "fast chip" version. At the time
Atari recognized the score because the ship made the game faster and harder,
not easier for the player. It did however make the scoring much faster though.
Only problem was that high scores sometimes turn over fast and Leo Daniels score
was beat only a few months after he had set it.
Leo Daniels had the high score on Asteroids Deluxe, by Atari with a total score
of 2,240,120. Link
Leo Daniels also had the Tempest high score of 3,086,355.
Leo Daniels, was offered a magazine contract to write articles on game tricks
known only by the experts. He was paid $100 per trick. None of the other players
could get Leo's tricks to work. "Man, he's got to be making these tricks up,"
laughed Ben Gold. "They're bogus!" When I asked Leo about it, he would just smile
and say, "These tricks are only for experts." Link
Leo P Daniels
Coin-Operated Video Game Arcade Scores:
Asteroids 40,101,910 World Rank #2
Asteroids Deluxe 2,240,120 World Rank #1
Dark Planet 133,000 World Rank #2
Donkey Kong 398,000 World Rank #9
Firefox 595,130 World Rank #4
Journey 86,750 World Rank #8
Knock Out 11,165,570 World Rank #1
Reactor 295,400 World Rank #6
Robby Roto 447,150 World Rank #2
Robotron 169,595,225 World Rank #8
Space Invaders Deluxe 399,990 World Rank #2
Stargate 27,615,800 World Rank #9
Street Fighter EX Plus 1,144,750 World Rank #1
Strikers 1945 2 454,843 World Rank #4
Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo 461,759 World Rank #2
Tekken 3 06:09.410 World Rank #28
Victory 999,999,999 World Rank #1
Terry Branstad Proclaims Ottumwa Iowa Video Game Capital of the World (March 19, 1983)
On March 19, 1983 luminaries gathered in Ottumwa, Iowa, to declare the city the Video Game Capital
of the World. From left to right, Jerry Parker, Mayor of Ottumwa, Don Osborne, President of Atari,
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies (who is holding special award
from Atari). Also present, but standing slightly out of the photo, were Eddie Adlum, Publisher of
RePlay Magazine, Glenn Braswell, Executive Director of the AGMA (Amusement Games Manufacturers Assn.)
and jim Riley, creator of the Electronic Circus. Photograph donated by Darlene Engleman, of Fairfield,
With the Twin Galaxies Scoreboard as a backdrop, Jerry Parker, Mayor of Ottumwa, Don Osborne,
President of Atari, Darlene Engleman, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Walter Day pose on this
prestious day. (March 13, 1983)
Walter Day (Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard) March 19, 1983
In March 19, 1983 the above photo was taken at the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Some of the video gaming superstars are in this long ago photo posing in front of the
Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard. Walter Day, Founder of Twin Galaxies Arcade and
scoreboard is wearing a suit in the back row of this photo. Ben Gold and Billy Mitchell
are near the front middle sections.
The US National Video Game Team Tour Thru America to Japan (1983)
The biggest home run was with the success challenge against the Japanese
players Walter Day went to the Japanese Embassy and brought forward the challenge
for an international face-off between the two video game superpowers America,
Proclamation (August 24-28, 1983)
Village of Lake Odessa, Lake Odessa, Michigan 48849
Village Of Lake Odessa
Page Memorial Building
Lake Odessa, Michigan 48849
Proclaiming August 24-28, 1983
Cystic Fibrosis Video Game Challenge Week
In Lake Odessa, MI
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has sent the U.S. National Video Game Team on a tour of the U.S.
which culminates in a visit to the White House, and . . .
The U.S. National Video Game Team is scheduled to visit Lake Odessa, MI and . . .
The U.S. National Video Game Team is on its way to Washington D.C. to issue a challenge to
Japan for a world championship match on video games, and . . .
The U.S. National Video Game Team is collecting proclamations of support from Mayors and
Governors to present to President Reagan and the Japanese Ambassador, and . . .
The North American Video Game Challenge contest featuring the games: Mario Brothers, Bubbles,
Star Trek, Congo Bongo, Sinistar and Spike's Peak is being held in Lake Odessa during
August 24-28 in order to find any Michigan players talented enough to join the U.S. National
Video Game Team and uphold America's honor in international competition, and . . .
The Michigan State Video Game Team will compete in the North American Video Game Challenge
contest as a preliminary to this international challenge which is an enriching cultural
exchange for both Lake Odessa and the nation.
I, Steven L. Secor, Mayor of the Village of Lake Odessa, MI do hereby proclaim the week
of August 24-28, 1983 to be Cystic Fibrosis Video Game Challenge Week in Lake Odessa.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Village of
Lake Odessa, Michigan to be affixed this 8th day of August, 1983
Steven L Secor, Mayor
But first there was the 1983 Video Game Masters Tournament which at the time
was called the 1983 State Teams Tournament.
The 1983 Tour of the U.S. National Video Game Team brought the group across
the country stopping at any event that would accept their challenges en route
to the White House and the Japanese Embassy."
1985 Masters Tournament
On June 28, 1985 The Third Annual Masters Tournament had begun. The tournaments
results would determine which high scores would go into the Guinness Book of
World Records to be published in 1986.
1986 Guinness Book of World Records
In 1997 Twin Galaxies International scoreboard put out there own high score
book which hadn't been done since the 1986 publication of the Guinness Book
of World Records. The Guinness Book of World Records published video game
high score from (1985-87 US edition), and most of the data was collected during
the annual masters tournament which was once a year from June 28-30, 1984, 1985,
Twin Galaxies Official Video Game Book
On July 3, 1999 for the first time ever, a perfect score of 3,333,360 gives
Billy Mitchell a perfect score on pacman and Namco, the company that created
Pac-Man, named Billy Mitchell the greatest video game player of the century.
The book "Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records" by Sunstar Publishing
was edited and created by Walter Day of Twin Galaxies, released in 1997.
Billy Mitchell, Perfect Pacman (1999)
WEIRS BEACH, NH -- The Coronation Day Championship, whose first edition was
televised by ABC-TV's That's Incredible on February 21, 1983 under the name
"The North American Video Game Olympics," was conducted by Twin Galaxies
on January 8-9, 2000 at the famous Funspot Family Fun Center in Weirs Beach, NH
for the first time since 1986, accompanied by an awards ceremony that
commemorates the greatest video-game playing accomplishments of the 20th Century
including Billy Mitchell's Perfect Pacman score in 1999.
Though originally created as an invitational-only "player-of-the-year" tournament
that admitted only players who had achieved major scores or world records, the
year 2000-2005 events have been open to the public in order to participate and
compete against the world champions.
The yearly Coronation Day Championship Tournament draws top players from Canada,
Europe, the U.S., and South America.
San Jose Mercury News, California, USA
It's Not Just a Game Anymore, San Jose (1984)
1984 Video Game Masters Tournament (San Jose, CA.)
Photo Credit Permission on 7/23/2012: Video Paradise Arcade, Owner: Wade
San Jose, CA
Video Paradise Link
TEXT OF ARTICLE
By Heather Miller, Mercury News (Saturday, June 30, 1984)
Text Version of the article, "It's Not Just a Game Anymore."
It's Not Just A Game Anymore, By Heather Millar, Mercury News, San Jose, 1984
Video virtuosos joust with joy sticks at national tourney in S.J.
Video champs Perry Rodgers, Les Lagier, Bobby Martin, Jeff Peters, Gary Hatt and
Competitors solemnly bend over joystick. Fingers pump buttons that make figures
on the screen jump, dodge and fire. Eyes zero in on Donkey Kong, Joust, Zaxxon,
Tron. But this is not just a casual visit to the Space Shuttle Video Arcade in East
San Jose. This is no longer a game. This is a national 1984 Video Game Masters
Several hundred video "masters" are expected to show up this weekend at the Space
Shuttle arcade to try their hand at the 60 official arcade games being judged in
the contest. The results of the jousting and shooting and konging going on in San
Jose - one of nine contest sites from Manhattan to Anchorage - will separate the men
from the boys of the video world.
The use of gender isn't accidental - almost all the competitors are male.
The winners will have their names, and perhaps their pictures, published in the
1985 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. They also will have the satisfaction
of beating the mechanical - and the human - competition.
"It's a highly controlled contest," said Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies
International Scoreboard, the tournament sponsor and, in Day's words, "the
official video game scorekeeper for the entire planet."
In addition to sponsoring contests and founding the U.S. National Video Game
Team, Twin Galaxies of Gladstone, Mo., serves as a video score clearinghouse.
It verifies video game records, often going so far as to require a photo of
the score on the game screen or interviewing people who witnessed the record-setting
Walters said he expects a whole new crop of world records - verified by tournament
officials and signed by two notaries - to come out of this weekend's masters
tournament. Joy sticks in hand, fingers poised, the San Jose video aficionados hope to
capture 40 of the 60 records up for grabs, said Gary Crawford, who manages
the Space Shuttle arcade on North Capitol Avenue. The contest is open to anyone
for a one-day registration fee of $3 or a two-day fee of $5.
"Most of the people holding world records live around here," Crawford explained.
The dark, almost dingy, San Jose arcade hosted many video hotshots Friday
afternoon, and more were expected to crowd into the noisy arcade throughout
the competition, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. today and from 10 a.m. to
10 p.m. Sunday. After today's competition ends a 1 a.m., the arcade will stay
open through the night for those who want to practice for Sunday.
"The biggest thing is playing a lot."
Continued on Page 4b
4B Saturday, June 30, 1985 San Jose Mercury News
Video game jocks jump for joy sticks at contest
Continued from Page 1B
"You come up against familiar situations," said Les Lagier, 20, who scored the world
record on Pole Position, a racing simulation game.
Lagier, a De Anza College student who lives in Sunnyvale, set the record at Space
Shuttle. Sometimes playing as many as 40 games a day, Lagier has been trading the
title back and forth with Mike Klug of San Jose. Of this contest, Lagier said, "I hope
I win. It's either going to be me or Mike. But I haven't played in two months. When
I take a break I do better. When I play too much... I start getting shaky and I
start hitting cars."
Roy Shildt, 28, of Los Angeles, the world record holder of Missile Command offered
this victory formula, "How do you win? Practice, talent and a little bit of luck."
Day said he thinks it goes much deeper than that.
"It's mental process that's being stressed: the mental ability to get an overview of
something," the tournament sponsor said. "They may not get that if they learn a
Mozart piano piece. As to the value of playing Zaxxon versus Moonlight Sonata...
Video Paradise - Mike Klug and Les Lagier (Pole Position Rivalry) San Jose, CA.
by Wayne Coombs
A lot of the detail about my arcade is at the Video Paradise web site, including
many photos. This includes how I met Mike Klug and Les Lagier. I was in business
at Video Paradise for about a year and a half. Mike was a player first and ultimately
a very valued employee. Mike was the only one who followed me in the move to downtown.
From close to the beginning I was posting the current high score on every game I had,
including who made it. Walter Day and Twin Galaxies was involved in the International
Scoreboard which I supported.
Twin Galaxies Masters Tournaments - Involvement of Wayne Coombs
1983 San Jose - Video Paradise - referee
1984 San Jose - Space Shuttle - referee
1986 Valdosta GA - arcade unknown - referee
I have always had a keen interest in Pole Position. That had to do with it being the
most profitable game in my arcade, "Video Paradise" from the time I got it, every
week thereafter. My interest was down by getting 2 sit down PP games, the only sit
down game I ever had. That interest was heightened when first Mike was playing the
game and kept getting better and better. I put part of the soundtrack on my arcade
answering machine and Les happened to call and heard it. This further heightened
my interest as Mike and Les competed to better each other. Both Mike's and Les'
high scores were made on the same Video Paradise game. BTW, the date IS and WAS
July 1, 1984. I was in attendance when both high scores were attained. I was not
in San Jose in the summer of 1986.
In the late 90's, probably the most of anyone anywhere. All known arcades
(at the time) in Texas, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida and
maybe a couple more. Also saw most other amusement places such as mini golf, water
slides, batting cages, etc. in those states.
Video Paradise link
US National Video Game Team (November 11, 2005)
Issued: November 11, 2005
United States Video Game Team Tryouts
New England Chapter Video Game Team Leader
David Nelson of Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard begins looking
for the best player in the USA to compete against Great Britain and many
The US National video Game Team is starting tryouts to get the best
of the best to qualify for the prestigous US National Video Game
Team positions. After qualifying, these team members will go to
Washington D.C. to proclaim to all other nations a competition
to see which country indeed has the best video game players in
David Nelson is holding tryouts for the US National Video Game Team
from November 12-19, 2005 at the world famous New Hampshire Video
Game Arcade, Funspot in the city of Weirs Beach.
The main focus will be on modern console games.
Modern Console Games
The 2004 sales figures are impressive Link
Annual 2004 U.S. retail sales of video games, which includes portable and console
hardware, software and accessories, reached more than $9.9 billion - a decline of
less than one percent when compared to $10 billion in the previous year.
Sales remained strong, thanks in large part to the console software, portable
game software and portable game hardware categories, which saw dollar sales
percentage increases of 7 percent, 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively. For
the first time ever, sales of portable software titles broke the $1 billion mark.
"No other entertainment industry has posted the sustained growth over the last
decade generated by the video game sector, and given the technological and creative
advances ahead, all signs point to surging growth and more record sales for many
years to come."
Annual 2004 Top 10 Video Game Titles Ranked By Units Sold
RANK - TITLE - PLATFORM - PUBLISHER
1 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PS2 - Take II Interactive
2 - Halo 2* - XBX - Microsoft
3 - Madden NFL 2005* - PS2 - Electronic Arts
4 - ESPN NFL 2K5 - PS2 - Take II Interactive
5 - Need For Speed: Underground 2 - PS2 - Electronic Arts
6 - Pokemon Fire Red W/ Adapter - GBA - Nintendo of America
7 - NBA Live 2005 - PS2 - Electronic Arts
8 - Spider-Man: The Movie 2 - PS2 - Activision
9 - Halo - XBX - Microsoft
10 - ESPN NFL 2K5 - XBX - Take II Interactive
*Includes Limited & Collector’s Editions
Up to date Reports on the video game industry by NDP Group, the leader in
market information in the video game industry. Link
NEW HAMPSHIRE/NEW ENGLAND
David Nelson, Laconia, NH
Co-founder of New Hampshire Pro Video Game Team
U.S. National Video Game Team
History's first professional video game team, founded in July, 1983,
is chartering a New England Chapter under the directorship of
video game superstar David Nelson, who will be selecting team
members during the month of November, 2005. To apply for a position
on the team, contact David through Twin Galaxies.
David Nelson is a superstar video game player who is compared to
people like Dwayne Richards as being one in a handful of the best
players in the world. He will lead the "All-Star" team that will
represent the United States in competitions and challenges to
Japan, Great Britain, Italy and France just like they did in
the heyday of the video game craze of the 1980's when the
U.S. National Video Game Team was lead by Walter Day as chief
Referee and Billy Mitchell as the team captain to issue the
challenge to the world at the steps of Washington, D.C. in
August of 1983.
The U.S. National Video Game Team has traveled the world challenging
various countries and they have always come out on top. Let's see
how they do this time, as they start again, the countrywide
search for the best players in the country to fly across the
seas to compete against our neighbors in a goodwill competition
to find out who is best in the world, much like the Olympics.
Twin Galaxies Article on the US National Video Game tryouts in 2005: Link
Twin Galaxies Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion (Announcement)
bernard- David Nelson, Twin Galaxies Senior Referee and New England Captain
Location: Derry, NH
Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:08 am
Official New England Team Roster (USNVGT) US National Video Game Team Link
Thank you for bearing with me through such a long delay... but finally without
It is my pleasure to announce the starting line-up for the New England chapter of
the US National Video Game Team.
(in alphabetical order)
David Nelson - team captain
Michael Sao Pedro
I want to congratulate everyone that made the team; you are all exceptionally
talented video-gamers, and I look forward to working with all of you on what is
sure to be a most excellent adventure!
* APPLAUSE *
Many of you have inquired about representing the USNVGT in your area of the
country... please stand by, further details are coming, and I thank you for your
-David Nelson : New England captain US National Video Game Team
What are they doing now?
Leo P Daniels
Wilmington, NC - Biography Link
Leo Rules Page by Leo Daniels Link
Ned Troide is a Real-Imagined character and is compared using imagination
against the furniture art type furniture produced by Paul Davies, June 2008 Link
Click At Desired Graphic Text For Each Introduction
Biography Commentary Questions
Click On Below Graphic Text For Spy Hunter Introduction
Tournament and Guinness Book Results From 1983-2004
Click On Below Graphic Text For All Video High Scores thru 2004
The Golden Era
Click On Below Graphic Text For Material On
The Golden Years Of Video Games 1980's
Click the Below Graphic Text to read my Conversations With Walter Day
June 9, 2004 Walter Day states, "No Replay Necessary" for Paul Dean
Find A Video Game Auction Near You