The global authority on record-breaking, Guinness World Records, announces the latest and greatest achievements in the world of videogames in the new Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer's Edition released today. Featuring a fascinating array of new record holders, the book demonstrates the extent to which gaming is being embraced by people from all walks of life young and old. Also announced today are the fascinating results of a search to find the greatest videogame characters of all time.
The oldest gamer to make the book is 85-year-old John Bates from Onalaska, Wisconsin, USA. The former high school principal hadn't played a videogame until April 2009 when he received Wii Sports as a gift. John soon became hooked on Wii Bowling, becoming so good that he went on to achieve the Most Perfect Games on Wii Sports Bowling (2,850). John, who also bowls for real at his local alley, said "The fundamentals of being good at 'virtual' and 'real' sports are the same: You have to be focused, yet remain relaxed."
At the other end of the age spectrum is 9-year-old Ryota Wada from Tokyo, Japan who has been recognised as the Youngest Gamer to Achieve a Perfect 'AAA' Score on Dance Dance Revolution. Dancing since he has been able to stand, Ryota said: "I am so happy to get the record. My school class are so happy for me!"
Mitsugu Kikai (25) from Tokyo, Japan, is recognised for having the Largest Collection of Super Mario Memorabilia (5,400 individual items). Mitsugu's studio flat is covered wall to wall in everything Super Mario, a product of keen collecting since he was a child. "I want people to see how cool Mario is, how happy this little plumber makes people!"
Female gaming sensation Annie Leung (26) from San Francisco, California, USA, is featured for achieving the Highest Score on Guitar Hero 3 for a Female (789,349 points). Annie, an inspiration to female gamers across the world, said: "Being a female in gaming has been hard; there's harassment and guys can under estimate you. I've had to work hard to prove that I'm just as good as anybody out there."
Also included in the gaming Almanac are some spectacular efforts from Brits, including Croydon's Ryan Hart who achieved the Most Consecutive Victories Against Human Opponents on Street Fighter IV (169); Primary school teacher Chris McGivern from Horsham, West Sussex, broke the record for the Longest Marathon Playing a Dance Game, an incredible 13 hours 33 minutes 56 seconds; and British acting legend Christopher Lee who became the Oldest Voice Actor in a Videogame at 87 years old when he featured in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days last year.
Other wacky new records from Gamer's Edition 2011 include the Most Swearing in a Videogame (The developers of the 2005 PS2 game Scarface earned its 18-rating with over 5,000 expletives); the Most People to Sing to a Karaoke Video Game (10,490, achieved by the crowd at Los Premios 40 Principales, Madrid, Spain); and the Most Popular Facebook Game (Launched in June 2009, farming simulator FarmVille quickly became the most popular application in history with 60 million monthly active users).
Guinness World Records Gaming Editor, Gaz Deaves, said: "It's been another great year for gaming, with incredible records broken by players from all walks of life. Gaming has become a hugely important part of popular culture and this year's Gamer's Edition reflects just that."
Also revealed are the results of a poll conducted by Guinness World Records to find the Best Videogame Character of All Time. Over 13,000 gaming fans voted and, in the end, there was only one winner, Mario, with over 10% of the vote. In second was Link from the popular Legend of Zelda (Nintendo, 1986) series, and taking third spot was the genetically engineered super soldier, Master Chief, who made his first appearance a decade ago in Halo: Combat Evolved (Microsoft, 2001).
Nintendo dominated the chart with eleven characters in the top 50. In second place was Sony with six characters, and third came Capcom with five. The poll reveals that the best year for great characters was 1996, with five familiar faces in the top 50 making their first gaming appearance in that year, including the UK's very own Lara Croft (seventh in the chart). The original gaming star, Pac-Man (Namco, 1980) came sixth in the poll, and Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega, 1990), who rivalled Mario for gaming supremacy in the 90s, finished in a disappointing tenth.