Man Versus Machine: Breaking The Unbreakable High Score

As you read this, history is in the making. Asteroids is being played with great verve. High scores will topple.

Right now John McAllister sits in a game room somewhere in Seattle playing Atari's 1979 arcade classic Asteroids while cameras and a friend watch on.

He's been playing since Saturday, now roughly 45 hours later McAllister is within a day of toppling an arcade high score set back in 1982 by Scott Safran. Safran managed to rack up an impressive score of 41,336,440.

McAllister, as of 9.30am Pacific time was at 33 million, within striking distance of the hair over 40 million record for the Asteroid high score number two spot.

It is a gruelling task McAllister has set for himself. Guiding a virtual ship through endless asteroid fields as he manages thrusters and slaps the button non-stop to blast away the floating rocks.

Lives are lost when McAllister stops his endless button mashing to use the bathroom or take a breather. This isn't literal death, but dying in the vernacular of gaming. The classic Atari arcade cabinet McCallister is playing on has no pause button and even if it did he couldn't use it, not and make the high score count.

So instead when McCallister wants to take a break he just steps away from the machine and leaves his tiny triangular black and white space ship to the whims of fate and fortune. In the live video streamed across the Internet during the record attempt McCallister, dressed in a black t-shirt and shorts, can be seen wandering in and out of the shot, pacing, eating chicken, not playing Asteroids.

After these short, five minute breaks, McCallister returns to the game, boasting once that he could run a marathon after beating the high score.

Watch the play live below and see a record topple... or maybe just a man.

Easter Marathons [Aurcade, via Examiner]


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