#3. Playing the Same Civilization II Session for 10 Straight Years
Sid Meier's Civilization II is a strategy game where you start out with a small, primitive tribe and slowly build it into a massive modern-day empire. The game was pretty popular in the late '90s, but it slowly faded into relative obscurity as most players moved on to games with better graphics and the ability to voice chat with racist teens. But not all of them did. In June 2012, Reddit user Lycerius revealed that he had been playing the same game of Civ II for almost 10 years, which translates to nearly 4 millenniums for his virtual ant colony.
You see, the game stops keeping track of the score when you reach the year 2020 and declares a winner, because that's as long as the programmers assumed anyone would care to play, but it also gives you the option to continue playing without points for as long as you want (which, in Lycerius' case, meant forever).
So what does his futuristic utopia look like? Well ...
Those skull icons do not mean "utopia."
By the year 3998, huge chunks of the world were covered by irradiated swampland, the ice caps had melted 20 times over, 90 percent of the world population had died from famine or nuclear attacks and the entire planet was locked in a perpetual war between three super-nations that lasted 1,700 years. It's like a completely different game, with a story that's somewhere between 1984 and Idiocracy.
Also, bear in mind that Lycerius wasn't intentionally trying to create the most nightmarish scenario possible -- it just turned out that way, because apparently a civilization was never meant to last this long.
"Glee has just been renewed for 1,000 more seasons."
When Sid Meier (of Sid Meier's ... fame) learned about this, his response was basically "We didn't know. We didn't know." The original Reddit post went viral and inspired an entire community where others can share possible solutions to the apocalyptic scenario, as well as stories and fan art based on it. Lycerius even posted his save file, and within hours, another Reddit user was able to clear the pollution ... in "only" 102 years.
We say print this guy's post and keep it in a vault somewhere, just in case.
#2. Creating Gigantic, Destructive Performance Art in Crysis
No game pushed the graphical limitations of PCs more than Crysis, the groundbreaking first-person shooting game released in 2007 that actually required more processing power than it was possible for computers of the day to match. In other words, the game was so demanding of a computer's resources that it technically required technology from the future to play it ... wait, isn't that the entire plot of the game or something? Damn, EA, well played.
But the game also included a level editor that let you play with the physics engine, creating beautiful sculptures intended only to collapse and explode. So combine the most advanced game engine ever created with the almost disturbing time-wasting powers of the Internet, and you get magic.
Sure, some people were simply satisfied to stack the same object thousands of times, one by one, into skyscraper-sized piles ...
"OK, who's up for some God-Jenga?"
... like this tower made out of 8,000 red barrels:
Donkey Kong got a boner of about that same size when he saw this.
Apparently, creating one of these is just a simple matter of taking one barrel from the game and duplicating it again and again until you're left with thousands of it forming your preferred geometrical shape. So, what do you do once you have a virtual tower that would make any PC not belonging to NASA melt just for trying to render it? Why, you knock it the fuck down, of course.
Rinse and repeat until the sadness in your heart goes away.
But remember that these objects explode, too. So in the game, if one car is next to another and explodes, it takes the other car with it. So how about a game of exploding car dominoes:
Pretty sure this is an actual attraction somewhere in Texas.
Or this HD video of thousands of cars falling from the sky:
If you're thinking "There's no way my computer could produce something like that," well, neither could theirs. The sheer awesomeness of these scenes are so impossible for a present-day computer to render that the players have to capture those images frame by frame, then put them back together like a slideshow, over the course of hours and hours. Just for the hell of it.
#1. Playing 8,550 Perfect Games of Wii Sports Bowling
Wii Sports (statistically speaking, the reason you bought a Wii) is the best-selling console game of all time, so chances are you've played it. Or at least you've played the part of the game that actually worked: bowling. It's pretty much just like real bowling, but without the arm cramps or having to go into a crowded building that smells like butt sweat and old nachos.
Finally, bowling is made accessible to people who can't bowl, or have floating balls for hands.
It's an incredibly fun game, but most of us probably just laughed our asses off playing it with friends a few times and then put it in the back of the closet with our hula hoops and Family Matters-themed Pogs ... unlike Wisconsinite John Bates, who kept going and going until he achieved the distinction of having bowled almost 9,000 perfect games of Wii Sports bowling. Oh, and he's 85 years old. Who's the grandpa now?
Via Star Tribune
Still him, actually.
In October 2010, Bates received the Guinness World Record for scoring 300 points on Wii Sports bowling 2,850 times since 2008 (although we're guessing he could have gotten one just for playing Wii bowling that many times). Less than a year later, by August 2011, he was up to 8,850 perfect games. At this rate, he'll reach figures beyond what mortal numbers can keep track of pretty soon.
So what kind of dedication does this take? Bates says he plays between 10 and 21 games a day, which translates to about an hour and a half of gaming -- not exactly Skyrim, but pretty impressive for a guy who predates television.
"The rest of the day I spend on GTA, running up bitches."
As for how he got so good: It helps that he's an actual bowler, but even then, his best score at the real thing is only 281. The secret is in how you grab the controller: Bates says he "got up from 22 percent strikes to nearly 90 percent" when he started holding the Wii remote with both hands. Like this:
Put a few drinks in him, and you'll be surprised by how quickly this ends with a broken television.
We're not here to hate on his style, though. He's a Guinness World Record holder, after all: He can roll it any way he damn well pleases.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Whether or Not to Eat Wang-Shaped Food.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how you can become a Pac-Man expert.
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