Having been a nerd all my life, tempering it with a couple of sports I was good at, and knowledge of a few others that would dwarf most of the people playing those sports, I am still amazed that being a nerd and loving video games isn't as ridiculed as it once was back when I was alternating between playing video games on the earliest of home systems, reading Richie Rich comics and watching Star Trek reruns.
Anyhow, back on January 5, 2015, a man named Steven Kleisath spent nearly six hours in front of Mario Bros., and set a world record on the 1983 arcade game from Japan's Nintendo with 5,424,920 points. That's him in the photo above, hugging his machine. I also love his picture on the wall of Incredible Hulk #102, daringly called the premiere issue despite him having a six-issue beginning many years earlier (I have #3 & #5 of that). Hulk became a part of the shared line-up in Tales To Astonish beginning with issue #60, which was renamed The Incredible Hulk (volume #2) with that issue #102. Yes, I have that. Nerd.
Being a video game loving nerd, as I am sure many of you are, we all know that spending six hours doing what we love doing is hardly anything special. I did that a few night's ago playing Civilization Revolution on my Sony PS3.
But this... this was a coin-op video game... which means you don't get to hit pause to go to the washroom or to yell out to your mom to make you a grilled cheese sandwich. No... you have to stand there and concentrate and win.
The fact that Kleisath had enough confidence in himself to live stream his attempt in front of the world will tell you something as well - that he has been practicing a hell of a lot in his basement.
His score of 5,424,920 points absolutely smashed the previous world record of 4,678,440 points set by Tom Votava in 2009 or 1985, depending on whom one asks.
"I feel amazing," Kleisath stated after his record-setting playing. "I definitely know now it can be pushed up even further, but you gotta have the time and stamina and focus to pull it off."
And adult Depends, I would think. And somebody getting you food and drinks, too.
After beating the high score, the adrenalin wore off a bit for Kleisath, as he noted that the pressure was no longer a factor.
He notes: "I was tired but determined and because at that point I had one extra man still, I viewed it as a safety net which alleviated pressure if I would have been on my last man."
Kleisath did eventually lose his last man after five hours and 43 minutes.
In an interview with the Examiner in March of 2014, Kleisath says he, like millions of other nerdy kids, first discovered Mario Bros. in the mid-1980s... but it was as a nerdy adult that he found the focus to beat the world record set by Votava.
It's good to have goals. What's next for Kleisath? Finding a cure for cancer like many a tortured young nerdy kid has attempted?
No... he's thinking about breaking the world record on a Turbo Ms. Pac Man game.
Regardless, Kleisath is a world-record holder, up there with Robert Hughes for world's heaviest man, and other nerds like the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt.
If you have a lot of free minutes and aren't married or have a job, you can watch the entire streamed video of Kleisath taking things to the next level on this YouTube video: