Some people might think that it would be impossible to beat a score of 79,976,975, but Billy Joe Cain of Austin, Texas, thought otherwise. He calculated that it would take at least 80 hours to get 80 million or more points to beat the current marathon record. He estimated it would take a little more than 1 million points per hour to make it happen. Having won not only the First Annual Texas Video Game Championships in and setting records recently for VGS for fastest time to a million and most points scored in an hour, he should know.
The game in question? Defender.
But Biily wasn’t just wanting to break a world record on Defender, he was wanting to do some good as well and with, Josh Jones, his event coordinator and RecordSetter officiator, they settled on raising funds for the Mission Soup Kitchen in Killeen Texas. The kitchen provides meals for homeless and limited income clients.
They called the event “Defender Marathon – Charity Drive” and are seeking to raise $1,000 for the soup kitchen. The fundraising end date is targeted for Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Billy received numerous useful tips and advice from record setting marathoners, including but not limited to Tim McVey of Nibbler fame, Lonnie McDonald, who is known for rolling Joust scores throughout the U.S., Ed Heemskerk, who is known for his Qbert attempts that were thwarted by power issues, and many others.
The week leading up to the event was plagued with technical difficulties. A bad ribbon cable caused a number of issues – but once it was replaced, things seemed to go smoothly. Several sponsors endorsed the event, including local companys — Chuy’s on Barton Springs and Mr. Natural — and Kings Isle which provided perks for people who donate specific amounts. VGS also sponsored the event, providing T-Shirts to be given away.
The event was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Nov. 16, but as Josh told me, Billy was wide awake and ready to go, so they started early, around 8:30 a.m.
Josh posted regular score updates to both the event page for the Defender charity run as well as his own profile. A little after noon, Billy passed the 4 million point mark. A little more than an hour and a half later, he hit 5.66 million. By 10:22 p.m. he passed 15 million points and was still going strong. At 2:17 a.m. Nov. 17, he had achieved 19 million points and by 10:10 a.m. he was at 26.5 million points. Billy continued playing, averaging over a million an hour. At 4:09 p.m., Billy was at 32 million, but then something happened – fatigue set in.
Billy started losing ships at a fast pace and after 32 hours and 35 minutes of game play, the marathon ended with a score of 33,644,725.
Billy posted this on Facebook regarding the difficulty of a marathon:
“In order to get your mind around this marathon run, combine rolling the million points, rolling the 256 ships, rolling the 256 smart bombs, and rolling the 256 waves into one giant mess, and while you’re doing that… keep track of:
– your food intake
– your water intake
– your ship count
– your smart bomb count
– your needed restroom breaks
And general human interaction while having news crews, online webcasts, online and in person interviews…
All the while being streamed on the interweb, managed by a referee, and not sleeping or leaving the machine for any reason without the game continuing to run, at a rate of losing ONE SHIP EVERY 7 SECONDS!”
One of the important tips Billy received was the he needed to stay mentally engaged, have conversations with others, etc. Josh, while verifying the score and making sure Billy was okay, helped out with that, bringing in special guests, getting people to call in, reading questions to Billy for him to answer while he played.
After Billy and Josh get some rest, we intend to do an interview with them regarding the event.
Even though Billy didn’t achieve his goals of 80 million in 80 hours, he should still be recognized for setting an impressive record as verified by both RecordSetter and Video Game Scoreboard. It was an amazing run even if it was cut short. Congratulations Billy.
While the marathon attempt has concluded, the fundraising is still open for the Killeen Mission Soup Kitchen. So far $803 of the $1,000 goal has been raised. Donations can be made here.