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Review: US and Europe set for a showdown at CGEUK 2005

by Nick Haywood on 11 May 2005, 00:00

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Big Showdown Planned on Classic Video Games

Big Showdown Planned on Classic Video Games

The Classic Gaming Expo UK and the editors of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records are planning an international classic arcade event that pits Americans against European arcade players.

Scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 2005, the event, titled: "Crowning the Classic Video Game Champions of Europe," will be a featured activity at the 2005 Classic Gaming Expo UK, at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, a suburb 20 miles south of Central London on Highway A23, near Gatwick Airport.

Conducted by Walter Day, chief editor of Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, the official record book for the worldwide electronic gaming industry, the event will monitor high-score game play on five classic games to determine a European Champion.

As Day says, :

"It's more than just a European event, it's an open event and the top Canadian and US players are crashing the party, coming to prove that European players can't match North American talent and that Gary Whelan's recent accomplishment on Galaxian was a one-time fluke."

A classic gaming rivalry has been smoldering since last August when Gary Whelan, of Dukinfield, UK, broke the world record on the classic arcade video game Galaxian to become the first English gamer in more than 20 years to beat an American for a world title on a vintage '80s arcade game. Until that moment, American or Canadian players had held every significant classic gaming record, from Pac-Man to Donkey Kong, and from Pole Position to Frogger.

With UK pride on the line, this new rivalry has evolved into a significant gaming initiative with British gamers competing in this forthcoming tournament to show they can hold their own against America, Canada, or the rest of Europe.

Among the North American invaders expected to appear are Todd Rogers and Dwayne Richard, both legendary gamers with long histories as record holders. Rogers, of Brooksville, FL, has held hundreds of world records over the past 25 years and is known as "Mr. Atari" throughout the classic gaming hobby. Rogers said, :

"This could be an historic moment in classic gaming. The European and North American communities have never competed face-to-face before, and the European players feel its time for America to be put in its place. So, we'll see how we do."

Dwayne Richard, of Grand Prairie, AB, Canada, was America's classic gaming champion in 1986, 2000 and 2002 and hopes to add this European belt to his collection.

These visiting champions will also participate in a public panel discussion, talking about the growing popularity of competitive classic gaming. Scheduled for Saturday, from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, the discussion will be led by Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day with participation from the UK's own Gary Whelan, plus Todd Rogers, Brian Kuh, Dwayne Richard and Billy Mitchell, famous for being crowned the "Player-of-the-Century" during the 1999 Tokyo Game Show.

At 6:00 PM, the champions of the tournament will receive their prizes and certificates of recognition from the Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records. In an additional ceremony, Gary Whelan will be honored for his Galaxian achievement, which, coincidentally, was scored exactly one year earlier on August 13, 2004.