Ottumwa leads to Twin Galaxies and Walter Day leads to the birth of competitive gaming leads to King of Kong…..
Twin Galaxies is the world authority on player rankings, gaming statistics, and championship tournaments, with pinball statistics dating from the 1930s and video game statistics from the early 1980s.
As the electronic gaming industry’s premiere statistician, Twin Galaxies preserves the history of gaming in a historical database, which documents the historical milestones of the electronic gaming hobby as it evolves into a professional sport.
Founded in 1981, Twin Galaxies grew from modest origins as an arcade chain operator to gain recognition as the “official scorekeeper for the world of video game & pinball playing,” vested with the authority to verify “official” world record high-scores and crown new world champions.
The Twin Galaxies scoreboard was the creation of Walter Day, Twin Galaxies founder, who, on June 6, 1981, embarked on a series of business trips that took him through 15 U.S. states in 4 months. Though his role as a traveling salesman was the focus of his trip, Day’s real passion was to visit as many video game arcades as possible and record the high scores he found on each game.
Thousand of miles later — and after visiting approximately one hundred arcades, Day, on November 10, 1981, opened his own arcade in the sleepy Midwestern town of Ottumwa, Iowa. It was called Twin Galaxies and its tranquil existence was altered when, on February 9, 1982, Day’s growing database of high score statistics were made available to the public as the Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard. As the organizational center of competitive video game playing, Twin Galaxies received immediate recognition from the major game manufacturers of the day: Atari, Midway, Williams Electronics, Universal, Stern, Nintendo, and Exidy, in addition to recognition from RePlay Magazine and Playmeter Magazine — the two premier coin-op publications of that era.
Twin Galaxies’ role as the scorekeeper grew in importance as “player-rankings” became a major focus of the media. As the pioneer in ranking the top players, Twin Galaxies was called upon to bring the superstar players together for many well-publicized contests and media events. For example, on November 7, 1982, LIFE Magazine visited Twin Galaxies to capture sixteen of North America’s best players in a group photograph. Two months later, on January 9, 1983, ABC-TV’s “That’s Incredible” came to Ottumwa, Iowa, to film nineteen of the world’s best players competing in the first-ever video game world championship.
As Twin Galaxies’ fame spread further, Walter Day was designated an assistant editor in charge of video game scores for the the 1984-1986 editions of the U.S. edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Under Day’s direction, Twin Galaxies wrote the first official rulebook for playing electronic games and established the rules and standardized settings for each game. Today, this rulebook has evolved into Twin Galaxies’ most well known product: Twin Galaxies’ Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records (ISBN 1887472-25-8), a 984-page book containing scores from players in 31 different countries compiled since 1981. A second edition, totaling approximately 800 pages that focused exclusively on high-score records achieved on coin-op arcade games, was released on June 1, 2007. A third edition of the arcade volume, filled with hundreds of updated world records on arcade coin-op games, was released in June, 2009.
Today, Twin Galaxies is recognized as the world’s premiere electronic games referee, having judged contests and high scores submitted by console gamers, arcades aficionados, and PC gamers worldwide.
On February 14, 2014, ownership of Twin Galaxies was transferred to Jace Hall, of HD Films, in Hollywood, California. Walter Day now spends his time producing collectible trading cards while working on a musical.
Then on October 19th, 2017, The Yankees, owned by Yankeee Global Enterprises (Steinbrenner family controlled) became the largest stockholder in Twin Galaxies and related E-sports businesses, Echo Fox and Vision Entertainment.
The International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Ottumwa, Iowa, the Video Game Capital of the World, is pleased to announce the Class of 2016.
The 2016 class of inductees were selected by accomplished gamers, journalists and video game industry executives who have extensive knowledge of the achievements in gaming. There were three phases in the decision process: Open nomination, public and board input for narrowing down of the ballot and a final voting pool which decided which gamers, games, developers and industry leader would be inducted. The Community Action Award and Walter Day Lifetime Achievement Award were determined by open nominations and input from attendees of the Class of 2015 induction with the board selecting the inductees.
We are pleased to announce the following individuals and video games are being inducted:
Golden Age Gamers
Lonnie McDonald has a number of world records on Joust, was a U.S National Videogame Team member and has rolled over the score on a Joust machine in all 50 states.
90’s eSports Competitor
Chris Tang is an accomplished gaming tournament champion and game designer who is best known for winning the Sega World Champion competition on MTV and as a Nintendo World Championship City Champion. He was a designer and consultant for Sony and eBay in the past and is currently a Senior Game Designer on the “Stroke Harbringer” project.
2000’s eSports Competitor
Isaiah “TriForce” Johnson is an accomplished, record holding gamer and founder of Empire Arcadia, which holds the record for “most documented tournament wins for a gaming team.” Johnson has been a part of several gaming documentaries and recently retired from competitive gaming.
Golden Age Game
Super Mario Bros.
90’s Era Game
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
2000’s Era Game
World of Warcraft
Current Era Game
Hideo Kojima is a Japanese video game designer, director and producer who is best known for the Metal Gear series. He is the director of Kojima Productions and former vice president of Konami Digital Entertainment. He also directed or produced games in other series, including Zone of the Enders, Boktai, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Satoru Iwata was the fourth president and CEO of Nintendo and broadened the appeal of video games to a larger audience with the types of games he developed. He is most well known for working on the development of Pokemon and the Super Smash Bros. series. Satoru passed away July 11, 2015.
Community Action Award
Patrick O’Malley has been a force in planning gaming events, both large and small, which contribute to his local community and the gaming community as a whole. He has sponsored numerous events and fundraisers in support of gamers, industry pioneers and his community.
Walter Day Lifetime Achievement Award
Steve Wozniak has an incredible history as a competitive gamer, game designer and developer of the Apple computer which was a driving force in early gaming. Steve’s contributions as a competitive player, game developer and system designer set him apart as one of the most accomplished people in the history of gaming.
The induction ceremony will coincide with the annual ICON Trading Card Event to be held in Ottumwa, Iowa, in August 2017 with a date to be announced in the near future.
For more information: http://www.ivghof.info/
About the International Video Game Hall of Fame
Located in Ottumwa, Iowa, the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to honoring excellence in the field of electronic gaming by recognizing the champions, industries and professionals related to this popular activity. We will build and maintain a state-of-the art interactive facility containing historical archive exhibits describing the historic milestones of the video game industry, and preserve significant video gaming relics, memorabilia and artifacts of the times past and present.
Best selling Indie game of all time – 60 million copies sold
First Release to public as a beta in 2009
Minecraft’s music and sound effects were produced by Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld
Mojang, Created by Markus “Notch” Persson
Microsoft bought Mojang for 2.5 billion dollars
Available on PC and all modern day consoles
As of 2014, Xbox 360 users spent 1.75 billion hours playing
“Rock the Rock” $25,000 SEGA World Champion as broadcast worldwide on
MTV in 1994, Hawaii State Nintendo Champion, NWC 1990 City Champion, &
many other titles.
– Designer/developer from age 14 at Atari Games/Tengen (“Primal Rage”
1&2), Capcom (“Street Fighter III 3s”/”Alpha 3”), BPS (“Tetris”
titles),etc. Currently developer on indie game “Strike Harbinger”.
– As a cosplayer, winner of over 40 awards at competitions and events.
– Classic Tetris World Championship eSports announcer since 2010; voice
of “Boom! Tetris for Jeff!”.
– Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona
– Favorite arcade games: Street Fighter II’ Turbo Hyper Fighting, Dance
Dance Revolution Extreme
– Favorite game console is the NEC PC Engine (TurboDuo)
– Won the Hawaii State Nintendo Championships – his first competition –
– City Champion of Los Angeles in the Nintendo World Championships in
– Won 3rd place in the very first officially recognized Street Fighter
II Tournament, held on May 30, 1991 at Sunnyvale Golfland, the original
site of the eSports tournament series now known as “EVO”.
– Won the Sega World Championships “Rock the Rock” in 1994; $25,000
prize, televised internationally on MTV.
– Misc. Titles: 3-time CAX Street Fighter II Turbo Champion, winner of
Hawaii State Mortal Kombat & Mortal Kombat II Championships, 3rd place
E3 Street Fighter Alpha 2 Championship, winner of E3 Marvel Vs Capcom 2
Championship officiated by Walter Day, Working Designs Raystorm $10,000
high score contest winner, and many others.
– As a cosplayer, winner of over 40 awards at various events and
competitions including Best in Show at Wondercon and Best Craftsmanship
at Anime Expo.
– At 14, began working at Atari Games/Tengen on games such as “Gauntlet
IV”, “Rampart”, and the unreleased “Cyberstorm” for which he designed
the first use of a combo meter in a video game, which was copied by
Capcom and used in Super Street Fighter II and countless games since.
– Game Designer on “Primal Rage” and “Primal Rage II”, implementing game
play and characters, writing the lore and story for the franchise used
for action figures, books and comics.
-Worked at Capcom on fan-favorite hits such as “Street Fighter III: 3rd
Strike”, “Marvel Vs. Capcom 1”, “Rival Schools”, “Street Fighter Alpha
3″, “Tech Romancer” and others.
– Design Consultant for BPS/Blue Planet Software on various “Tetris”
– Featured in films such as the award-winning “Ecstasy of Order: The
Tetris Masters” and “Gamer Age”, and on the HBO TV series “Entourage”.
– Ongoing guest appearances at conventions and events, often speaking
and presenting on topics such as game development and the history of
– In 2016, invited to join the modern-day U.S. National Video Game Team
– a dream come true since reading of their adventures and positive
mission throughout the 80’s.
– eSports commentator: advisor and finals announcer of the Classic
Tetris World Championship since 2010, and the voice of the “BOOM! Tetris
for Jeff!” meme from the 2016 event with 6 million+ views.
– Currently an indie game developer: Senior Game Designer and Programmer
– working with other former Atari veterans on the upcoming game
code-named “Flight Armor Project: Strike Harbinger” for arcade, PC and