Todd Rogers disgraced as world record Dragster score is discredited
Todd Rogers disgraced as world record Dragster score is discredited
01 February, 2018, 23:50
For more than 35 years, nobody has been able to post a faster speed run in Dragster, a racing game for the Atari 2600, than the 5.51 seconds that had been officially recognized as the record by the game's publisher, Activision, along with The Guinness Book of World Records and Twin Galaxies, a gaming organization that tracks video game world records.
This story begins way back in 1982 when a man named Todd Rogers submitted a Polaroid to Activision showing his score time of 5.51 seconds.
The achievement was even recognized by Guinness World Records in April a year ago as the world's longest-standing gaming record, but it is now officially off the books. But one Reddit user sums up Rogers better than anything I could ever say: "biggest cheater in video game history?" Koziel constructed a frame-by-frame model of Dragster to reveal that, even with the assistance of a computer, the fastest time that could possibly be achieved in the game is 5.57 seconds.
In July 2017, Twin Galaxies announced a new process to dispute scores, and Rogers' Dragster time was among the first records to receive a challenge.
Regardless of whether it's legitimate or not, seeing Rogers' score knocked from the top spot after 35 years brings other claims made by him and other early speedrunners into question.
Last August, another player named Dick Moreland filed an official dispute with Twin Galaxies challenging Rogers's 5.51-second time, citing Koziel's analysis.
In addition, Twin Galaxies said it received "compelling and relevant" circumstantial evidence of impropriety, and as such has chose to remove not just the Dragster score, but all scores submitted by Todd Rogers. "We have notified Guinness World Records of our decision".
A number of other players have used empirical evidence to confirm a time of 5.51 is impossible. Twin Galaxies said. Former Twin Galaxies Contributing Editor and Chief Referee Robert Mruczek had also noted in a lengthy post on Twin Galaxies' forums other records that were suspect due to unverifiable information and lax moderation standards allowing self-entry into the leaderboards. It was further complicated by Rogers' many supporters, including Dragster game designer David Crane, who continued to defend the 5.51-second score as recently as last week. A high score on a video game?
Rogers could not be reached for comment Monday.
The group claims that there is no evidence to confirm the record by Activision but Roger's score was not able to be validated by anyone working there, either.
"We cannot change Activision's acknowledgement of this score but we have an overall responsibility for gaming achievements and can no longer accept their historical records as the sole justification for scores set at the time. If you have some times that are blatantly impossible and will stand forever, that's a great discouraging piece to a whole lot of people who would otherwise try it".
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