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Hank Chien Reclaims Donkey Kong High Score

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the barrels-of-fun dept.

Classic Games (Games) 122

An anonymous reader writes "If you can say anything about Hank Chien, it's that he evidently doesn't take defeat very well. Sure, he knew not so deep down that his Donkey Kong World Record score wouldn't last forever, but he couldn't have foreseen that it would have been toppled so quickly. Twice, even. But he also knew that more Kong competition would be coming his way; namely Richie Knucklez Kong-Off in March. So Hank had something to prove, and prove he did. Scoring a massive 1,068,000 points in less than three hours, Hank has officially reclaimed the high score in Nintendo’s 1981 arcade classic."

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My Hero (3, Insightful)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834310)

I can't help but to admire people like this.

Re:My Hero (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834386)

I guess it was on like Donkey Kong (tm)...

Anyway, goes to show that even if you're an old geezer, you still have the reflexes to beat some young punks...

Re:My Hero (5, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834722)

With Donkey Kong, it's not about reflexes but rather the opposite: anticipating, so you don't run yourself into a situation you can't get out of, and pixel/frame precision, so you jump at exactly the right time and spot.
For high score chasing, judicious use of the powerup is also rather important, and this has to be planned, not done by reflex.

I'm personally not too impressed with Donkey Kong, Frogger and Pac Man scores, cause it's mostly repetitive action.
I'm much more impressed with masters of Defender, which requires reflexes, precision steering, and being able to handle a boatload of buttons. It's fiendishly difficult in its simplicity.

Re:My Hero (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835266)

Have you ever tried playing Robotron? Just two joysticks in place of the boatload of buttons and the levels are randomly generated. The sheer number of enemies you have to handle at once (while collecting people for points to keep you alive) makes for one of the most intense old-school arcades out there. My current MAME obsession.

Re:My Hero (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836106)

Get a high enough score without cheating and the aliens will teleport you to their recruitment facility.

Re:My Hero (1)

wanerious (712877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836460)

Wow --- blast from the past. I remember playing with a friend of mine in 9th grade at a local pizza joint. We each got good enough to roll it (I think that was level > 255) and play all day on a quarter each. That was really the way to do it since we got a break after each of us died. What a rush that game was.

Re:My Hero (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837472)

Robotron was a favourite of mine.
I remember screwing two Competition Pro joysticks to a sturdy board just for the few games that would use two joysticks.

Re:My Hero (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836444)

"Well, it's been a long time, Stargate Defender." "Indeed. It. Has. Dave."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an old sandwich waiting for me on the porch.

Re:My Hero (1)

GreenSeven (1970506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835534)

Agreed. Even though it's "just a video game", the dedication it takes to practice like you need to to get a world record says something about your character. I'd give this guy a job in a heart beat...

The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (4, Informative)

Buggz (1187173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834378)

I actually feel a bit bad for Steve "The King of Kong" Wiebe. Such a lovely film/documentary. I reckon he'll flex those Kong muscles once again and beat that score before summer.

Re:The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (3, Informative)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834480)

He actually already had a big meet and greet along with 3 world record attempts scheduled for this coming Saturday here in Chicago.

http://www.logan-hardware.com/ [logan-hardware.com]

Re:The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835072)

BTW, Logan Hardware is a cool store. Nice people.

Re:The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834492)

Wiebe will be making a public attempt in Chicago in four days.

http://www.logan-hardware.com/

Re:The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835702)

Everything I've read about "The King of Kong" indicates that it's more fiction than fact.

Re:The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837008)

Everything I've read about "The King of Kong" indicates that it's more fiction than fact.

Well, yeah, it's a documentary.

Re:The King of Kong 2: Kong Harder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835940)

Thank God it's not Billy Mitchell reclaiming the score. I don't root against many people, but that guy is just awful.

Well done!!! (3, Informative)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834382)

I think its a shame that he was omitted from "The King of Kong" movie. Wiebe took Hanks score and there wasn't so much of a mention of Hank. He's a good guy and Im happy for him. Also it there a theoretical maximum score for donkey kong? Just wondering what the asymptote is.

Re:Well done!!! (1)

Buggz (1187173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834394)

Aha! I was wondering why I hadn't heard about him..

As far as I remember - the movie touched this subject - there's no theoretical limit to the achievable score, but the kill screen usually thwarts each attempt when reaching those heights, doesn't it?

Re:Well done!!! (3, Informative)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834422)

Well there is a theoretical limit because of the time limit per board and the kill screen, but figuring it out would be very hard (and achieving it practically impossible). It would first involve figuring out the optimum strategy assuming that the various enemies behaved in certain ways - e.g. the fireballs on the pie factory all respawning and immediately heading towards you while you have the mallet, the fireballs and blue barrels all being worth 800 points, etc, etc.

But the odds of this happening are probably on a par with winning the lottery many times over. If the PRNG decides a blue barrel is worth 300 then that's 500 points lost and nothing the player can do about it. And the optimum strategy for a theoretical perfect game is probably very different to the optimum strategy for a typical game.

Re:Well done!!! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834764)

plus there is the side fact that the PRNG is NOT a true random number generator. So it is quite possible that getting perfect results from it every time is impossible.

Re:Well done!!! (1)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834902)

Oh God, you're right. That makes it even harder to calculate an optimum strategy. Maybe you're better off pausing for a fraction of a second and getting 300 for one fireball, so that you get higher points for that 8 barrel sequence that will reach you a few levels later (for those who don't know, the PRNG in dkong is really just the system clock). So there is still a theoretical highest-possible score (obviously, as you can't achieve an infinite score), but you'd have to be insane to figure out what it was.

Re:Well done!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34836150)

It doesn't seem like it should be hard to "calculate" an optimum strategy. With millisecond definition, there aren't even 100 million ways to play a 3 hour game. If you could reliably model the chip, ancient as it is, I'd think you could get an answer next week with some spare community cycles.

Re:Well done!!! (1)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837266)

I don't think that's right. With millisecond resolution (which is the resolution of the clock, but the input event loop will be much slower no doubt) you could pick any one second, and then have 3^1000 combinations of either moving left, moving right, or doing nothing for each tick in that second. As I say, the actual input response will be far slower, but even if it's 1/10th of a second, you only need a few seconds to get an astronomical number. Playing every possible game is entirely unfeasible. You could try to prune it, but even that is non-trivial. A left or right move can affect the behaviour of any barrel on a higher level, for example.

Re:Well done!!! (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836524)

So a Tool-Assisted run may be necessary?

Re:Well done!!! (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837792)

This is where the risk/reward idea alluded to in the article comes into play. There are play strategies that will maximize your score on average, but are slightly more dangerous. Let's say these work 10% of the time, increasing your score by 20%, and the other 90% of the time they crash and burn. Almost all of the time, this a losing approach. The more conservative player will avoid these, because it means almost all of your games are useless. But eventually, someone playing with that aggressive style will stumble on the magic game where enough risky gambits go their way, if they just keep playing over and over again without any concern for typical performance. Now, the real numbers aren't like that; it might be a 1% reward for a 10% risk instead. But there's just now getting to be enough games played at this level to start even estimating statistics like that.

I suspect this is why Billy Mitchell remains such a overconfident guy here. He has such a head start on the others working this problem I expect he already has the more aggressive play worked out. He just ramps up use of those techniques as needed when the competitors catch up with him again. He's just the sort of dick to have worked all that out twenty years ago, and is just reeling out the knowledge as needed. I actually like the guy for the way he's a devious no holds-barred competitor. Messing with your opponents psyche by things like quitting your game the minute you've beat their old score is a classic all out technique.

Re:Well done!!! (1)

franciscohs (1003004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834510)

I don't think there is a possible absolute perfect score, since score depends on number of barrels you jump and barrels you smash with the hammer, but at the same time, the bonus score (earned at the end of the level) is decreased as time goes by, so you can't keep jumping barrels to earn score. (it turns out to be increasingly difficult too)

Re:Well done!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835088)

Of course there is. That's a totally ignorant thing to say.

Re:Well done!!! (2)

HiChris! (999553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834954)

He wasn't mentioned in the movie, since it was watching the movie that inspired him to start playing.

This why Rome fell (4, Funny)

Madman (84403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834392)

Rome had bread and circuses, now we have contests for old games. When a civilization has the time to waste on things like this it's the beginning of the end.

Re:This why Rome fell (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834420)

Rome had bread and circuses, now we have contests for old games.

And thus we prove that any civilisation with both bread and circuses is pretty much over. They should build that into Civ VI but it might be a bit TOO much realism - "three people in your empire are playing Donkey Kong excessively, you have three rounds to stamp it out or lose the game".

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835712)

lose the game

Well played, sir. Well played.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834432)

You should be much more concerned that only a couple of weeks after Black Ops came out, players had spent 300 million man hours playing the game.

Re:This why Rome fell (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834616)

Good illustration. That's 34,000 man-years. 34,000 men for a year, or one man for 34,000 years (i.e. about 500 lifetimes). The pyramids didn't need that. The Apollo missions probably didn't need that. Most of modern physics and mathematics could have been discovered in that (it's like Archimedes still being alive and just as productive right through to the current day, and still only one-sixteenth of the way of the way through his useful working life).

To put it in context, though, going to the toilet takes much more time than that, per person, over the course of a single life (so multiplied by 6 billion, it's quite a lot of total "wasted man-hours"). We waste inordinate amounts of time doing silly things that aren't strictly necessary, too. Productivity can only be measured on a personal level, not a numerical one. Was Alexander Fleming productive enough (or incited enough productivity in others through his discoveries) even if he was also an accomplished glass-blower? (And that actually helped him make further discoveries in unrelated fields). How do you measure something like that? And how much do we waste in actual wars? I bet it's orders-of-magnitude more, given the budget allocated to it (and thus the tax etc. used to generate it, and the work used to generate that, etc. etc. etc.).

Adding it up, it's a waste of time that could theoretically be used doing better things. On a personal level? Fuck off, I want to play Counterstrike sometimes to rest and actually have a life, not be a machine. Both points of view are equally valid. Neither will ever change except in small details. And posting on Slashdot to complain about it, like the OP did, is probably the *greatest* hypocrisy ever. Let's take five minutes to hit buttons to send a comment over thousands of km of copper and infrastructure so that lots of other people can ignore it and nobody ever benefit from it.

Re:This why Rome fell (3, Funny)

e70838 (976799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834702)

I take my sudoku when I go to the toilets.

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834714)

Good illustration. That's 34,000 man-years. 34,000 men for a year, or one man for 34,000 years (i.e. about 500 lifetimes). The pyramids didn't need that. The Apollo missions probably didn't need that. Most of modern physics and mathematics could have been discovered in that (it's like Archimedes still being alive and just as productive right through to the current day, and still only one-sixteenth of the way of the way through his useful working life).

To put it in context, though, going to the toilet takes much more time than that, per person, over the course of a single life

Each person over the course of a single life spends more than 34,000 years going to the toilet?

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834746)

That's 34,000 man-years. 34,000 men for a year, or one man for 34,000 years (i.e. about 500 lifetimes). The pyramids didn't need that.

I'm sorry, you're flat-out wrong. The pyramids took more than 34 thousand man-years to build.

According to Herodotus, the Great Pyramid took 20 years to build and required the labor of 100,000 men. At just 8 hours a day that's 58,440 man-years, but the "builders" probably worked much longer days...

Note: That's just ONE pyramid, not "the pyramids," which would imply all of them.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834876)

At just 8 hours a day that's 58,440 man-years, but the "builders" probably worked much longer days...

Probably not all year round though. They probably stopped to do useful stuff in the appropriate seasons.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834962)

Far too many assumptions:

1) That's accurate (i.e. an Ancient Greek who could judge accurately how many separate people were involved on a 20 year Egyptian project 1500 years before his time without exaggeration)
2) The builder's ALL worked an 8 hour day, every single day, even religious festivals (and there wasn't, say, one man who knew how to do the bottom bits and then slunk off, or only lifted one stone before breaking his back, etc.) during the night, etc. on hard heavy-labour, as did every architect, priest, tile-polisher, boatsman etc. and there was never a flood, or rainstorms, or other problems that stopped work for even a single guy.
3) The Egyptian pyramids weren't slave-built (actually they were quite decently treated for the time) - so "the builders" probably worked no harder than anyone else, especially if it meant burning oil to be able to see.

Allow me to link to a really crappy, kiddies article: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pyramids/pyramids.html [nationalgeographic.com]

"Contrary to some popular depictions, the pyramid builders were not slaves or foreigners."
"Some of the builders were permanent employees of the pharaoh. Others were conscripted for a limited time from local villages."
"An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 workers built the Pyramids at Giza over 80 years. Much of the work probably happened while the River Nile was flooded." (suggesting 1.6m man-years assuming 24/7 working, or 53,000 man-years on a working-day, less than your estimate)

And that's the pyramids (plural), not your unfounded estimate of a pyramid (singular).

I'd be extremely surprised if there was more than 30,000 man years of productive work overall, and probably a lot less.

Re:This why Rome fell (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834466)

Are we talking about civilization or U.S.?

Re:This why Rome fell (5, Insightful)

krou (1027572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834484)

Uh ... bread and circuses was not the reason Rome fell, just one of many reasons.

And I think you quite miss the point of the effect of "bread and circuses" contributing to the fall of Rome. It was because millions [archive.org] in taxpayer money were being spent on bread and circuses (like a form of dole) for the non-working poor, and this had economic effects (obviously) when combined with other factors.

All these expenditures had to be recovered from the taxpayer. To compound the difficulties, there was an adverse balance of trade. Roman currency, for example, poured into India and the East to pay for luxuries. Even in the time of Nero, Seneca estimated that it cost Rome five million dollars a year to import its luxuries from the East. In a word, though seemingly prosperous, in the second century AD the Roman empire was overspending to such an extent that it was moving to an economic crisis. When in 167 AD Marcus Aurelius was faced by the attack of the Germanic Marcomanni and Quadi, he was forced to sell, is it were, the crown jewels as well as the household furnishing of his palace to finance the war.

When the US government starts spending millions of taxpayer money on Donkey Kong contests, then we can worry about it the role old computer games have on the destruction of modern civilization.

The only thing you could say here, really, is that this may be a symptom of overall decay, not a reason.

Re:This why Rome fell (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834560)

When the US government starts spending millions of taxpayer money on Donkey Kong contests, then we can worry about it the role old computer games have on the destruction of modern civilization.

But the government already spends million on welfare for blacks, which is equally useless.

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835032)

You're confusing "blacks" with "poor people". It's an understandable mistake, but still incorrect.

The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (5, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834684)

The economy of Rome is even funnier than that, actually.

For a start, it a right-wing paradise of sorts, in that the Senatorial class -- which was non-elected and hereditary by now in the Empire times that you mention -- paid no taxes, although they owned most of the land. Although many also set up merchant enterprises in the name of their freedmen, with them owning most "shares" so to speak and taking most profits... and again paying no tax whatsoever for that either.

As the rich quickly gobbled up more and more of the former free men's farms, essentially more and more of the Roman economy didn't contribute a cent any more to the state.

I would say that the spending of private coins to import stuff from the East was a much more minor factor than the fact that none of those coins would go into taxes anyway.

Imperial Rome almost at no point actually had a sustainable economy per se. It was a robber economy, simply put. They _had_ to keep expanding and plundering new countries, even to keep paying their legions.

Heck, they plundered even their own citizens, as essentially they paid all the wages in overvalued silver coins and demanded the taxes only in gold.

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (2, Insightful)

rla3rd (596810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834750)

Sounds like corporations here in the US

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835670)

You are correct. Many of the long-term senators who never seem to lose an election have their own companies and fail to pay their taxes. I would like to cite examples from both parties, but unfortunately it seems that only Democrats have been implicated recently.

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834868)

Cheers, thanks for that, very interesting!

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835040)

What about "inheritance tax"? IIRC starting with either Tiberius or Caligula the senatorial class had to leave a substantial part of their estate to the emperor or have their will declared invalid and the entire estate seized.

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837654)

What about "inheritance tax"? IIRC starting with either Tiberius or Caligula the senatorial class had to leave a substantial part of their estate to the emperor or have their will declared invalid and the entire estate seized.

I wouldn't call the 5% inheritance tax of Augustus to be all that substantial, actually, and certainly didn't even put a dent in the Latifundia. And hardly did much to balance the military expenses. In fact it barely almost covered the discharge bonus (think: pension) of soldiers who managed to not get killed during their very long term of service.

And most soldiers would be given land instead at discharge, which in 1 or 2 generations ended owned by the rich and no longer paying taxes. So if anything that discharge bonus was a way to leak even public land into the ownership of those who didn't pay taxes for it.

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835244)

Imperial Rome almost at no point actually had a sustainable economy per se. It was a robber economy, simply put. They _had_ to keep expanding and plundering new countries, even to keep paying their legions.

Isn't this the same of almost every currency that has been put into existence? We keep have to repaying the always inflating currency debt by exponentially expanding our economy.

Sorta, but not exactly (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835894)

Well, sorta, but not exactly. The Roman Empire didn't have to expand its economy per se, it had to keep attacking more countries to plunder them. Trajan needed the gold of Dacia to pay for his war in Persia, and so on. When they ran out of places to plunder, the collapse started. Then came a devaluing of coinage of EPIC proportions, attempts at price fixing, enlistment dropped like a rock because the soldiers' wage and "pension" (so to speak) became worth almost nothing, etc.

Re:Sorta, but not exactly (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836304)

The Roman Empire didn't have to expand its economy per se, it had to keep attacking more countries to plunder them.

I can't really see the difference. It had to keep on expanding, either through growth or plunder. How is it any different than, for example, the British Opium Wars with China, the Nixon Shock, the huge debts the United States is racking up with China, or if I'm really cynical, war with Iraq to keep oil trading in American dollars?

Re:Sorta, but not exactly (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836718)

At a basic level, the difference is that in one case it's "growth or plunder", while in Rome's case it had to be "plunder". One has two options, the other has one.

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836280)

How is the rich not paying taxes a right-wing paradise?

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34836958)

Because the right-wing doesn't want the rich to pay taxes.

Re:The economic aspects of Rome are more complex (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837928)

OK, I can play this game. You are wrong. No need for examples, references, or anything like that.

Re:This why Rome fell (2)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835208)

Bread and circuses wasn't a reason at all. It was a symptom.

do you know what a Credit Default Swap is? (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836506)

according to a large number of people on wall-street, it is nothing more than gambling. and we didn't spend "millions" to bail out the gamblers, we spent hundreds of billions.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834488)

So you want to go back to the pre-Industrial era where there's no leisure time (at least for the non state subsidized)? Count me out! And I'll get off your lawn, too.

Re:This why Rome fell (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834496)

Sod contests for old games. We have popularity contests beamed to your own personal section of the planet so you can judge people remotely using buttons without having to get out of the chair. We have people who've never touched soil eating nutritional balanced, rich, processed food every single day. We have people who spend most of their time tapping buttons to post ignored opinions on global virtual messageboards that nobody ever reads again.

There are any number of ways of not being productive. The better we are at doing things like growing food and producing things that save time, the more time we have to deliberately do nothing at all. 100 years ago, nobody had TIME to spend 8 hours a day updating their friends about what they did that day, even if those friends lived in the same house.

People doing nothing is actually a sign of how easy it is to stay alive with modern equipment and infrastructure and how little knowledge is required to survive in that atmosphere (I have absolutely no idea/experience about how to grow enough food to feed my family... do you?).

That said, I do think that this is hardly "news" even for a geek. So the guy got a new highscore in an old game. Good for him. And he probably spent months dreaming about the damn game, destroying his muscles and turning his mind to mush in order to achieve that "fame". That's his problem. In my entire life, I can't imagine it ever taking more than a second to acknowledge, even if I *was* interested in the exact area we're discussing. But yet I can afford five minutes to say what a waste of time it is. Modern life, eh? Truly wonderful. :-)

Sorry to break your bullshit bubble... (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834508)

Sorry to break your bullshit bubble, but Rome had its first gladiatorial combats in 310 BC, according to Livy, and yes often accompanied to distributing food to the poor. Not only it wasn't the beginning of the end, but it was followed by its most rapid expansion centuries. In the couple of centuries after those, Rome went from being a debatable leader of a leader of city states spanning barely half of Italy to an empire sprawled all around the Mediterranean, not to mention most of modern France and half of Britain.

If anything, historians from the era tend to agree that sponsoring lavish shows to boost morale actually served well to do just that, and helped Rome rebound after such massive defeats as Canae and emerge more powerful than ever before.

It would be more than 500 years after that, or still almost three centuries even after the peak of the popularity of gladiatorial combats in the 1st century BC, that Rome even started to decline. And almost 800 years after that, in 476 AD that the Western Empire fell.

Even if you want to go for a post hoc, ergo propter hoc [wikipedia.org] fallacy to associate the two, actually Rome fell shortly after they _stopped_ holding gladiatorial combats. So, hmm, maybe actually the bad sign is when you can't even afford to have fun any more?

So, sorry, but linking such shows to Rome's decline is fucking idiotic. If you want to make a historical case, do read some history first.

Re:Sorry to break your bullshit bubble... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834590)

Even if you want to go for a post hoc, ergo propter hoc [wikipedia.org] fallacy to associate the two, actually Rome fell shortly after they _stopped_ holding gladiatorial combats. So, hmm, maybe actually the bad sign is when you can't even afford to have fun any more?

So, like, if the Superbowl in the US gets canceled, they are going to Hell in a handbasket?

So, sorry, but linking such shows to Rome's decline is fucking idiotic. If you want to make a historical case, do read some history first.

This is Slashdot. We don't read, we just post. Read history? Hell, most of us don't even bother to read the article summaries.

I hope that you can appreciate that I merely joking . . . but maybe not.

Re:Sorry to break your bullshit bubble... (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834620)

So, like, if the Superbowl in the US gets canceled, they are going to Hell in a handbasket?

It's certainly more supportable than the opposite "OMG, we're going to hell because some people have fun" theory. Though still in a fallacious way.

But mostly it just shows that if you just hand-pick a pair of events connected only by chronology, you can argue just about anything. E.g., Rome expanded the quickest after they introduced crucifixion (learned from the Carthaginians actually, with the cross-bar being a Roman twist) and imploded the fastest after Constantine abolished crucifixion. So, hmm, maybe that's the real key to building a successful empire ;)

This is Slashdot. We don't read, we just post. Read history? Hell, most of us don't even bother to read the article summaries.

I'm ok with that too, actually, but then really I expect such people to not use pseudo-history for their canned moralizing points.

Re:Sorry to break your bullshit bubble... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835892)

Yeah, sweet bro.

Anyway, Donkey Kong...

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834512)

Come on, it's only a handful of people in the entire world that do this.

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834688)

at least he won't get laid and won't reproduce, so no need to worry.

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834728)

So reality TV, Sarah Palin, American Idol and Fox News are all perfectly fine... but a guy playing Donkey Kong is the end of civilization?

Sure, video games are pointless time wasters, the opium of the people... as oppose to commenting on slashdot, which as we all know, is the last bastion of resistance preventing the downfall of the western world.

"Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted." -John Lennon

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834890)

"Rome had bread and circuses, now we have contests for old games. When a civilization has the time to waste on things like this it's the beginning of the end."

OTOH, if bread and circuses cease to exist, so does civilization.

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34836868)

And don't forget the civilizations bred in a circus. I'm sure they're having a pretty good go of things these days.

Re:This why Rome fell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834926)

Rome had bread and circuses, now we have contests for old games. When a civilization has the time to waste on things like this it's the beginning of the end.

Funny, most historical texts that I've read suggest the real reason that Rome fell was the rampant homosexuality and hedonism. It's a very common misnomer that it was the lead in the Aquaducts (lead acts as a water purifier).

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

albyrne5 (893494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835860)

Please cite even one of these texts. Also, please check the meaning of "misnomer" in the dictionary.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837218)

Please cite even one of these texts.

Also, please check the meaning of "misnomer" in the dictionary.

I tried looking for "misnomer" in the dictionary and I couldn't find it. The closest I could find was "Misnom, Erin", and the definition was "555-0039".

People are always telling me to look things up in the dictionary, but really, I don't think it helps.

Apples and oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835008)

Let me guess: you're not quite old enough to understand that a ruling class (government) and a subject class ("the people") are NOT the same.

(It's obvious from your attributing to "civilization" the endeavors of a distinct group of individuals that you have fallen into the trap of believing that society somehow thinks as one borg-like unit, just as government has taught you all your life.)

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835632)

Contrary to popular belief, primitive people have plenty of free time and don't spend all day hunting animals and running away from animals. They just don't have awesome games like Donkey Kong to fill their time. They have to do boring stuff like sing songs and make babies.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836246)

I know this is Slashdot, but making babies isn't boring. HAVING them, yes, but making them is quite fun.

Re:This why aren't invited to our parties any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835640)

And stop comparing any of today's societies to the mighty Roman Empire. Rome stood for a thousand years, and it left a lasting legacy.

gimme a break (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835680)

In the '20s and '30s they had dancing marathons, to see who could dance the longest.

Eating competitions have gone on for who knows how long.

Even the Inuit have a game where two men stand across from each other and take turns punching each other in the shoulder until one gives up.

Shit's been going on forever. The world hasn't ended yet.

Re:This why Rome fell (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835742)

Yeah, god forbid that anyone actually have some fun and enjoy themselves. We must all be cogs in the glorious machine!

Welcome to 0 Galaxies.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834426)

...as the Death Star that is Slashdot has now fired its lethal ray, goodbye twin galaxies. . . .

AI solver (1)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834462)

I'm wondering when the time will come, when some guys start writing AI to defeat the game with optimal high-score. Even if a coin-op is required, the robot parts to handle input shouldn't be that difficult to program, and would make the whole thing even fancier. Screw chess, arcade AI solvers sound immensely more fun!

Re:AI solver (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834498)

Part of it is already really based on random chance. Since there is a kill screen and the way certain events occur is (somewhat) random, the person with the highest score usually is the one that just got lucky a few more times than the runner up. At the level he, Wiebe, and Mitchell are at, I doubt there is really much of a "skill" difference between them.

Re:AI solver (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837260)

Part of it is already really based on random chance. Since there is a kill screen and the way certain events occur is (somewhat) random, the person with the highest score usually is the one that just got lucky a few more times than the runner up. At the level he, Wiebe, and Mitchell are at, I doubt there is really much of a "skill" difference between them.

They should all get together for a match of Smash Bros. Chien can play Mario, Wiebe can play Donkey Kong, and Mitchell can play Kirby and spend the whole match hiding in a corner mashing the "taunt" button.

Re:AI solver (1)

MrMarkie (1079197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834506)

Today the Donkey Kong highscore, tomorrow The World!

Sincerly
MrMarkie
Lead Developer, SkyNet Deveolment Team

Is there a maximum possible DK score? (2)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834566)

From watching King of Kong I learned that it has a killscreen (a level that is impossible to beat). Based on that, I've assumed that there is therefore a theoretical maximum score in Donkey Kong.

There are a lot of variables affecting how many points can be scored on each level (bonus timer, how many of Pauline's trinkets Mario picks up, how many hazards he jumps or hammers, etc.) so this isn't as easy to calculate as the maximum possible score in Pac Man is.

Does anyone know what the highest possible score on DK is, or have a rough estimate for how close this new record is to that score?

Re:Is there a maximum possible DK score? (4, Interesting)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34834694)

I've partly answered this in a previous comment, but as an illustration of how much higher the score can go, take a look at level 1-1 (the first barrel round). In Wiebe's highest scoring game, he scored ~8000 points on that level. Twingalaxies opened a track for who could get the highest score on that level, and although the site is slashdotted, from memory it was well in excess of 12000. The barrel rounds are by far the most common in the game so that suggests a huge margin for improvement.

Of course, the 1-1 barrel round is quite different from the 5-1 barrel round. In the latter the timer counts down far faster, so there's less time to points press. On the other hand, you have far more control over the barrels, which makes higher scoring easier (if you ignore that whole 'death' thing).

If I had to make a guess, I'd say there's theoretically hundreds of thousands more points to score. Maybe even break 2 million if the game cooperates?

Re:Is there a maximum possible DK score? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34836096)

There is a theoretical maximum, but no one knows what it is. No one even knows what the theoretical maximum on the first board is. The game is far too complex to figure out a maximum. The theoretical maximum is probably 1.5-2M. That will never happen. The feasible maximum is about 1.2M.

Hank? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834596)

Wow, this guy looks like one of my very quiet classmates from High School. I had no idea he played Donkey Kong.

March? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834644)

Why is TFS talking about March? Is this 9-month old "news"? Was the tournament held in Cambridgeshire? Or is that part just completely irrelevant to the meat of the story?

Re:March? (1)

dave024 (1204956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835310)

What? The article is dated yesterday. The summary is talking about the upcoming competition in March that he was preparing for.

Re:March? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837278)

What? The article is dated yesterday. The summary is talking about the upcoming competition in March that he was preparing for.

Yeah, they have March every year.

Just some perspective on King of Kong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34834968)

http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1303

"Too bad it’s loaded with falsehoods. And by loaded, I mean packed, and by packed I mean like the last Japanese subway car before they have to shut down the line. "

Re:Just some perspective on King of Kong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34836240)

by packed I mean like the last Japanese subway car before they have to shut down the line.

The irony here is that the Japanese subway is most crowded at rush-hour. Those late-night trains that are the last ones to run are hardly crowded. In fact, if you're drunk and in need of a place to lay down, those trains usually provide ample opportunity.

Single? (-1, Flamebait)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835000)

5 bucks he's single, lives with his parents LOL

Re:Single? (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835094)

I don't know whether or not he's single, but I highly doubt he lives with his parents. The guy's a plastic surgeon after all.

Re:Single? (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837964)

Lives with his brother in Manhattan [vgchartz.com] , so presumably single. If you live someplace as nice as a NYC apartment, go ahead and cast those stores. Used to live there myself, and everybody I know who has a nice place there doesn't say LOL; not placing my bet on you so far.

Obligatory (1)

bogidu (300637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34835808)

You have to use your hands?? That's a baby's toy!

Re:Obligatory (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837294)

You have to use your hands?? That's a baby's toy!

Those kids must have been Kinect fans or something.

I certainly hope the hoverboards will be released according to schedule...

Hank CHIEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34835880)

You could say he was dogging the old high score.

Awesome! (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34836132)

Honestly, I don't care who has the high score as long as it's not Billy Mitchell. I hate that guy with a passion.

Re:Awesome! (2)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837318)

Honestly, I don't care who has the high score as long as it's not Billy Mitchell. I hate that guy with a passion.

Based on King of Kong?

Documentaries lie. In fact, in general, editing lies. It'd probably be best to base hate on first-hand impressions instead of being swayed by drama.

When will Google solve Donkey Kong? (1)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838032)

Why is Google fooling around with Soduku when they could be figuring out the maximum score on Donkey Kong? C'mon Google, put your brainpower to something important! Google engineering, consider yourself challenged.
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