Image: Moby Games
The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed to Kotaku that it has removed Todd Rogers' record Dragster high score from its database, as well as his record for the longest-standing video game high score, following Rogers' disqualification from the Twin Galaxies scoreboards yesterday.
Todd Rogers has long been credited with setting the world record time for the Atari 2600 racing game Dragster in 1982, completing a race with a time of five seconds and fifty-one milliseconds. Since no one had been able to beat or even tie the score according to the video game record keepers at Twin Galaxies, Rogers was also entered into the Guiness Book of World Records as having the "longest-standing video game record."
The score came under intense scrutiny last summer, after a speedrunner offered evidence suggesting that Rogers' time was impossible. Yesterday, all of Rogers' scores, including this record time, were removed from the Twin Galaxies leaderboards. They were removed from Guinness' database today, a representative from the organisation said.
"Twin Galaxies is Guinness World Records' trusted advisor on video game high scores and as such we rely on it to monitor high score gaming records and handle any and all disputes that occur within its community," Guinness told Kotaku via email.
"Consequently, we have removed the Guinness World Records title for Longest-standing video game record from our records database, along with any other records that Mr. Rogers currently holds and we will continue to partner with Twin Galaxies for further video game record verification."
Earlier this morning, Rogers responded to Twin Galaxies' decision to remove his scores in a public Facebook post.
"Although I disagree with their decision, I must applaud them for their strong stance on the matter of cheating," Rogers wrote. "While I do maintain that Twin Galaxies is wrong in my particular case, if the investigation into my score(s), and subsequent banning, can serve as a catalyst to clean the database of questionable scores and facilitate methods to catch future cheaters, this is a positive thing."
In the statement, Rogers repeats the claim that he successfully performed a 5.51 run for employees of Activision during the 1980s, when Rogers, a well-known expert gamer of the time, was flown to trade shows and the company headquarters to perform gaming feats for staff and the public.
Reached for comment by Kotaku this afternoon, Dragster designer David Crane said that he did witness Rogers perform the game live at one of these events, but did not remember if he saw him achieve the 5.51 score.
"He took the controls and confidently played our games — in front of the creators of the games — with a proficiency that amazed us all," Crane said in an email. "I remember him showing us scores in various games that exceeded those that anyone at Activision had been able to achieve. After more than 30 years I can't remember what those scores were, but I don't have a shadow of a doubt that he achieved the scores he claims."