The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition has just launched and if you're not a fan of the words largest, first and most, then this article might not be for you.
On the other hand, if you're interested in learning about the world's most technically advanced gaming set-up, about which country was the first to ban all videogames, or about which game was the first to be recognised as an official sport, then you should read on...
Largest gathering of people dressed as game characters
On 18 March 2008, 80 people in full, glorious costume gathered on the Millenium Bridge, London, UK.
Largest mass-participation LAN party
The social aspect of gaming was evident at the largest mass-participation LAN party, where 203 gamers "partied" for 36 hours at NVISION 2008, San Jose, California, USA.
Largest cash prize won in a professional game tournament
In 2005, the CyberAthlete Professional League offered a prize fund of $1 million for a Painkiller tournament, in which Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel (USA) walked away with the largest cash prize won in a professional video game tournament - a first prize of $150,000 (Â£81,000)
Largest collection of playable videogame systems
In the last decade, 33-year-old Richard Lecce (USA) has amassed the largest collection of playable videogame systems. The 483 pieces include 73 Game and Watches, 260 cartridge or CD-based systems and another 126 miscellaneous handheld games. He also owns 39 Game Boys and full sets of every game ever released for 12 systems, including the NES, Sega Master System and Atari 5200.
Most technically advanced gaming set-up
Jeremy R. Kipnis (USA) owns the largest, loudest and most expensive gaming set-up. It has taken 38 years of professional experience as an audio-visual engineer to collect the equipment and create an acoustically and optically ideal gaming room. At its loudest, the audio levels reach 132 decibels at one metre from each of the 8.8 surround sound channel arrays; the current screen is a 5.4m x 3m Stewart Snowmatte Unity Gain Laboratory Grade Motion Picture Screen.
Largest collection of Pokemon memorabilia
The largest collection of Pokemon memorabilia belongs to Belle Starenchak (USA), a.k.a. "PikaBelleChu", who has been collecting for over ten years and owns 5,435 items as of 1 April 2008. As well as a vast assortment of general Pokemon merchandise, she also owns a Volkswagen Beetle car kitted out to look like a Pikachumobile.
First arcade game debated by government
In 1981, George Foulkes, the Labour MP for Ayrshire South, UK, tabled a private members' bill to have Space Invaders banned, citing a connection between gaming and child "deviancy". The "Control of Space Invaders (and other Electronic Games)" bill was debated for 22 minutes before being narrowly defeated by 114 votes to 94.
Longest continuous play of a first-person shooter
At the UK's largest multiplayer gaming event, i33, on 22 March 2008, all-girl gaming team the Frag Dolls continuously played the Xbox 360 version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 for 24h 4m, marking the longest recorded session playing a first-person shooter.
Longest game of Space Invaders
Between 29 August and 2 September 1980, Eric Furrer (Canada) set a world record for the longest marathon session of Space Invaders. The machine on which 12-year-old Furrer played was fitted with a special button that he used to pause the game for bathroom breaks, which no doubt helped him set his impressive record time of 38h 30m.
Largest voice cast in a videogame
GTA IV has a total credited cast of 861 voice actors, including over 174 actors playing named characters, radio DJs and TV voiceovers. The voices of Liberty City's many inhabitants were recorded by an additional 687 different performers, many of whom were GTA fans who volunteered their voices for a chance to appear in the game.
First controversial videogame
Originally titled Pedestrian, Exidy's 1976 game Death Race is usually cited as the first controversial videogame. It was based on the movie Death Race 2000 and was a simple driving game that challenged players to run over as many "gremlins" as possible within a time limit. Many were concerned that it might inspire reckless driving and the game's notoriety provoked press coverage in the National Enquirer and television outrage on 60 Minutes.
The most games refused classification by a single country
The total number of games that have been refused classification in Australia is 14 as of August 2008, the most games refused classification by a single country.
Most animated spectators
Race Driver: GRID, built with Codemasters' bespoke EGO graphical engine - an enhanced version of the neon engine used in the Colin McRae: DiRT game - allows each of the game's tracks to be filled with up to 40,000 fully modelled, animated spectators.
First country to ban all videogames
On 30 July 2002, the Greek government hastily attempted to curtail illegal gambling by introducing law "3037" banning all electronic games. This, very briefly, led to Greece becoming the first country to ban all videogames, including the innocuous My Little Pony: Best Friends Ball. On 25 September 2002, the law was amended to allow the playing of all electronic and computer games providing there was "no financial gain for the player or any third party".
First virtual pop star to launch a global fundraising event
In July 2007, the Live Earth Tokyo concert was launch by a hologram of former US vice president Al Gore, who had been introduced by Lumi, the lead singer of Genki Rockets. The surprising thing is that Lumi is an 18-year-old girl who was born on 11 September 2037. She's actually a virtual-reality construct, created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi and musician Kenji Tamai, and she made her debut in Mizuguchi's puzzle game Lumines II.
First videogame endorsed by the UK government
In 2006, Sony unveiled Buzz! The Schools Quiz. Designed for use in classromms, it features more than 5,000 questions based on subjects covered by Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum - from "Ancient Egypt" to "weather". It was the first console game to be created in partnership with the UK government. It's now used by thousands of children in primary schools across the UK and was launched in Spain in 2007.
First videogame busking session
On 6 April 2006, Luke Albiges (UK) played Guitar Hero for two hours at Leicester Square tube station in London. He thrashed his way through all 30 songs featured in the game and donated all the money he raised to charity.
First song to sell more on Xbox Live than iTunes
Real-life rock band Motley Crue released the song "Saints of Los Angeles" simultaneously on iTunes and via Xbox Live for Rock Band players to download. The track shifted 47,000 copies in its first week on Xbox Live, outselling the 10,000 downloads for the iTunes version by almost five to one.
Longest drum marathon on Rock Band
The longest marathon playing drums on Rock Band is 26h 40m, achieved by Sean "Phr44k" Feica (Canada) in London, Ontario from 26-27 July 2008.
First game to feature full quick time events
Quick time events are graphical, cinematic sequences that occur at critical story points in a game. They are usually characterised by graphical sequences that are of higher quality than the game at large and allow the player limited control over their avatar. Dragon's Lair, released in 1983 on Laserdisc, is best remembered for having practically all of its gameplay as quick time events.
Youngest gamer to 5-star Through the Fire and Flames on Expert
Ben Eberie (USA) is the youngest person to achieve a 5-star rating on the hardest song on Guitar Hero III on expert difficulty. On 24 November 2007, Ben blasted through the Dragonforce track aged just nine years and 167 days.
The first videogame recognised as an official sport
The first game recognised as an official sport (in Norway in 2003), Dance Dance Revolution was certainly the most taxing of the physical games. The internet is choked with stories of how people have lost weight playing this game - and it's even been used by schools in the USA to encourage physical activity among students who don't like sports.
Most controls on a videogame peripheral
The controller for Steel Battalion features 49 different inputs, including foot pedals, a gear lever, two control sticks and a button that activates the in-game windscreen wipers. Designed to provide a simulation of piloting a walking tank, it is the most elaborate game controller to be commercially released.
First game to let players choose the sequel
In May 2008, Sony ran a poll to let SingStar fans decide what the next instalment in the series would be. Those who took part were also allowed to vote on which tracks they'd like to see in the game. Votes were registered via MySpace, Facebook and the PlayStation forums and the winning title was SingStar: Boy Bands versus Girl Power.
First console to feature a satellite modem peripheral
In 1995, Nintendo launched the Satellaview, a satellite modem add-on for the Super Famicom, Released in Japan, the gizmo enabled gamers who signed up with the relevant subscription services to download remixed versions of existing games that were "broadcast" over a satellite TV channel between 4pm and 7pm every day. While the Satellaview did have a number of exclusive titles, including the only Legend of Zelda games not to feature Link, gamers needed to keep an eye on the broadcast schedules, as each game was only available for a short time during a specific time slot. Sadly, the service never launched worldwide.
First RPG to prompt a change in State law
When Alex Edwards of Illinois, USA, tried to cancel his Final Fantasy XI account, he soon found that there was nowhere online to allow him to do so. This prompted his parents, Frank and Cinda, to call on their friend State Representative Raymond Poe, who introduced a successful bill that forces all internet gaming services to provide a method of online cancellation for residents of the state of Illinois.
Most protracted game development
Originally announced on 28 April 1997 with a release date of mid-1998, Duke Nukem Forever has now famously been in development for over eleven years spanning two millennia and beating the previous longest production cycle held by Prey. During development, the world has witnessed Britney Spears' entire musical career, the filming and release of all three Star Wars prequel movies and the entire Harry Potter series of books and five movies.
Fastest Portal completion time
The fastest completion of the PC version of Portal is an impressive 14m 27s by Michael "DemonStrate" Yanni on 26 February 2008. This includes a five second penalty because the demo recording cuts out at the start of each level and the time was officially verified by speeddemonsarchive.com.
Highest-grossing videogame movie
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, released in 2001, is the highest-grossing videogame movie with $274 million taken at the box office.
Fastest knockout in Wii Sports Boxing
It took Troy Whelan of the USA just 14 seconds to knock out his computer-controlled opponent in round one of Wii Sports Boxing. He achieved this record on 10 February 2008, shaving 35 seconds off the previous best time of 49 seconds.
And five of the best from the Guinness World Records 2008 Gamer's Edition
First console in a nuclear weapons conspiracy
In December 2000, it was reported that the FBI and US Customs were investigating the shipment of up to 4,000 PlayStation 2 console to Iraq. As they were designated videogame systems, rather than hardware, it was rumored that this allowed Saddam Hussein to avoid UN sanctions prohibiting the sale of computer hardware to Iraq. It was speculated that the consoles could be adapted for use as guidance systems for long-range missiles.
Longest prison sentence for playing a videogame
In September 2002, the UK's Faiz Chopdat was jailed for four months for playing Tetris on his mobile phone while on a flight home, "endangering the safety of an aircraft". Cabin staff warned Chopdat twice to turn off the game and he was arrested on touching down in Manchester, UK.
Most broken bones by a sim game
Three players broke their arms on the arcade simulator Arm Sprint while testing their strength against the game's mechanised arm. The game's distributor, Atlus, recalled all 150 units for inspection in August 2007 as a precautionary measure. They stated: "We think that sometimes players get overexcited and twist their arms in an unnatural way."
First Second Life millionaire
Anshe Chung (real name Ailin Graef), is an entrepreneur within Second Life. Her character was "born" on 26 March 2004 and is best known for being a virtual real estate broker. In November 2006 it was announced that she was the first person to achieve a net worth exceeding $1 million, a fact celebrated on the May 2006 cover of BusinessWeek magazine. It also earned her the moniker the Rockefeller of Second Life.
Longest game title
The longest game title was for a Japanese-only PS2 game released in 2005. It's called White Princess the Second - Yappari Itto ni Ittemo Soujyanakutemo Ok-na Gotsugou Shugi Gakuen Renai Adventure, or in English, White Princess the Second - Love Adventure in the School That Follows the Principle of Convenience, Where It's Okay to Stray From the Path or Stay on the Path.
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