World Record for Atari Dragster is Thrown Out

Twin Galaxies, a group that tracks top performances in video gaming, has announced that it will throw out a record that has stood for 25 years.

The player at the center of the controversy, Todd Rogers, submitted proof in 1982 for a record performance in the Atari Dragster game. The game is a side-scrolling driving simulation that challenges the player to switch gears at precise moments in order to speed up a car. Rogers supposedly beat the game in 5.51 seconds and took a Polaroid photo of the time before submitting it to the developer of the game.

The Dragster record was added to the Twin Galaxies system in 2000, which qualified it as a Guinness World Record for being the longest held video game record. For years, other players tried to match or beat Rogers’ time, but the next closest performance was 5.57 seconds.

The decision by Twin Galaxies to nullify the Dragster record came after the video game community gathered evidence to suggest that Rogers had fabricated his performance. Software analysis has suggested that 5.51 seconds is a physically impossible time for a human player in Dragster. As part of its finding, Twin Galaxies has erased all of Rogers’ other video game records from its database as well.

Rogers has yet to publicly respond to the decision by Twin Galaxies, but he has previously argued against his detractors by claiming that he used a special shifting strategy when setting the record for Dragster. The developer of the Atari game has not produced any new evidence to validate Rogers’ original time of 5.51 seconds, but the debate over this record in speed video gaming is likely to continue into the future.

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