November 1, 2006
The first video game to introduce a high score table was Asteroids, and after that they were a key fixture in virtually every arcade game from the 80's and 90's. One of my favorite high score tables was in Gaplus, the little known sequel to the mega-popular Galaga, which was itself the sequel to Galaxian.
I thought the inclusion of blood type in the high score table for Gaplus was a clever commentary on the meaninglessness of high score tables by the game's developers. As it turns out, it's just a Japanese eccentricity:
If this is a Japanese game, this would make some sense. In Japan, blood type is matched with personality, much like horoscopes here in the US. It's not uncommon to see blood type given for different characters in a game or comic, along with sex, age, etc. It's an important vital statistic that gives more insight to a person!
We may not play arcade games any more, but we still have our high score tables.
Technorati maintains a ranking of the top 100 blogs based on their Technorati Rank:
We also have traffic metrics, which is what Alexa's top 100 websites is based on:
And of course, there's the most wizardly of all high scores, Google's PageRank:
What's your high score? And more importantly, what's your blood type?
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Heh. The whole point of getting a high score in a video game back in the day was so you could spell your name A-S-S. Then you and your friends would laugh everytime you saw the screen full of ASS.
Like videogames, blogging is pure vanity man: http://haacked.com/archive/2004/10/08/BloggingIsPureVanity.aspx
That's what the score is about!
Haacked: Perhaps you and your friends were more couth than me and mine. We always entered F-U-K.
I like games with high scores. It usually means I don't have to get too involved in the game, that is, I don't have to try and "beat it" to feel some sense of accomplishment. These kind of games let me play occasionally instead of being sucked into it (I still shudder at my Diablo days).
As for my current high score, I'm sure it's pretty low. And I don't know my blood type (although it's probably O).
Blood Type "O" -- Universal Donor. Popular with Vampires and the Red Cross.
I went through a phase of systematically dominating pinball machines. Some people might say I was cheating, but the way I saw it, anything that didn't tilt the machine was OK. I considered it a good outcome when I left with a score that was hundreds of times greater than the average score, and fifteen or twenty replays.
We may not play arcade games any more
Speak for yourself. I'll still pop a quarter or two into any Galaga, Ms PacMan, Astroids*, Centipede, Defender, Robotron, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Tempest, Star Wars, Zaxxon, Spy Hunter, Tapper, Elevator Action, Moon Patrol, Marble Madness, Gauntlet, 1942, TRON, Time Pilot, Qbert, Gyrus, maybe even Rally-X.
And every summer I really can : a href="http://www.funspotnh.com/gms-classic.htm"http://www.funspotnh.com/gms-classic.htm/a .
*Astroids intentionally misspelled due to content control : "Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: stroid* matching (stroid)" -- which even quoted must itself be censored; oh the irony
I disagree with the pointless ness of Hi-score tables, they promote constant striving for better things. What I do disagree with is pointless hi-score tables. an example would be what see to be common TV in uk, "the top tem worst..." Why rank and promote the worst of things surely that simply encourages people to produce the worst of something just for publicity? Bad is easy!
on the risk of getting my ass kicked, I thin k that highscore tables had a very good purpose back in the day of arcades, etc:
to provide replay value.
A game that has no real levels and is all monotonic can still get kicky if there's a highscore involved that can be compared with others...
iPerhaps you and your friends were more couth than me and mine. We always entered F-U-K./i
Which is close to the reason the name of the game was changed from "Puc Man". Another neat fact: the original plan was to have a camera installed so people could have their picture next to their high score, but that was nixed when some enterprising lad exposed himself.
Help save the youth of America.
I think the idea of score tables was to give people something to achieve, and inadvertently build a community around the arcade game. I remember there was one dickhead called DHX in my youth who consistently one-upped me in StreetFighter 2.
Jeff, if you don't mind me asking, what is your technoratic score, or do you have one? I am always amazed by the "50 million" blogs stat that tecnorati use.
We would always enter FUQ for the initials. I guess that was only cool in my circle.
what camera? Which game are you referring to?
Asteroids was not the first with a high score table. Released a good 6 months earlier, Exidy's Star Fire was actually the first.
My website just hit a 4 page rank, which I'm quite pleased with. I think it's a pretty solid feat for a site that had only a placeholder until 3 months ago and currently with less than 10 pages of content.
And my blood type is O. I can't remember if it's positive or negative. Whichever is more common, I think.
Haacked, I felt yer shudder.
Diablo had cred without hi score tables. Now we build up things, and keep our "highness" across machines without worrying about our records being erased when we unplug the arcade box!!!
O-. Don't care about high scores, just my monthly check from Google ;-).
I love the old school arcade games mainly for a point the Des Traynor kinda hinted at. The feeling of accomplishment when you would do the 1 up thing to people who you never even would know.