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How to Get a World-Record High Score

So, you're pretty good at games, huh? If only there was a way to prove it to the world. Oh, wait, there is: The Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard (http://twingalaxies.com) is the Guinness-endorsed clearinghouse for videogame high scores, and adding your name to the list is easier than you think (and I should know: I have the world record in "Balloon Fight," Game C).

How can you follow in my footsteps? Read on.

1. Pick a game. The bad news: Unless you have literally hundreds of free hours to spare, you're not going to be able to get good enough to challenge the records on the high-profile classics like "Donkey Kong" and "Ms. Pac-Man." The good news: The Twin Galaxies database has thousands of games, and a large majority of them don't have a single high score on record. You can even compete for the fastest completion times in games that don't have "scores" per se. Look through the list online, pick an obscure personal favorite (one you're comfortable spending a lot of time with), and get cracking.

2. Research and practice. No matter how good you think you are at a game, there's always room to get better (unless you're Billy Mitchell). Search out FAQs and post on message boards (including Twin Galaxies' own) for gameplay tips. Be sure to search TwinGalaxies.com for the game's official tournament rules and settings -- some strategies or tactics might be prohibited. Then, it's time to practice, practice, practice. Keep at it: Setting aside even an hour a day can quickly build your skills to a world-class level.

3. Setup and recording. Twin Galaxies needs videocassette proof of a high-score attempt, so you'll need to dig up a VCR and hook it up to your videogame system before you start your run (Twin Galaxies Recording FAQ has more information). Once that's done, make your play space as comfortable as possible. Remove any distractions (phone, pets, spouse, children, etc.) that could interrupt your playing. Go to the bathroom before you start -- nothing can ruin a run more than an urgent bladder pain. Don't let a bad attempt ruin your mood; just take a deep breath, keep your cool, and dive in again.

4. Send it in and gloat. Once you have video proof of your achievement, sign up for an account on TwinGalaxies.com and fill out a score submission form. Mail the form along with the tape to the indicated judge and, in a few weeks, your name will be alongside the greats! Don't rest on your laurels, though -- another competitor could be along any minute to challenge your record. Maybe you'd better add a few thousand more points to that record . . . just in case.

For more videogame news and information, visit http://www.crispygamer.com.

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