Last night I watched a Netflix documentary, “Man V Snake”
Nope, not a nature film, it was actually about computer games and a chap called Tim Mcvey. On 15 January 1984, Tim took part in a gaming marathon lasting 44 hours and 45 minutes at Twin Galaxies Arcade, Iowa, USA. Playing a game called Nibbler, he racked up 1,000,042,270 points, which he did using only 1 quarter.
He goes down in gaming history as the first gamer to reach a Billion points, and is even in the Guinness Book of Records.
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“What the fuck is Nibbler?”
So before you think my language has taken a turn, this is actually a direct quote from the documentary, as a gamer, who impressed with Tim learning a billion points, literally had never heard of the game. While other games, PAC Man and King Kong where more popular, Nibbler was a relativity unpopular and unheard of game.
So what is Nibbler?
“It’s an arcade game released in 1982 by Chicago-based developer Rock-Ola, in which players navigate a long snake through an enclosed maze consuming food along the way, while the length of the snake increases with each object consumed.” - Wikipedia
I played a variation of this game on my Nokia mobile phone in early 2000’s, called Snake. And I can honestly say, I got no where near a billion points. I was pretty rubbish.
44 hours and 45 minutes
My first thought when watching this documentary was, wow, Tim, that’s a lot of time to spend in front of a computer screen. But Before we get all judgey about a marathon 44 hours (and 45 minutes) playing a computer game, according to the statistics we aren’t much better.
Reports show British adults spend 7 hours and 56 minutes a day consuming media.
In fact, our thirst for screen time has reached high proportions, with statistics showing some pretty drastic amounts of time spent interacting with media:
Time spent online (for any activity) continues to rise and now stands at 4 hours and 43 minutes per day (an increase of 27 from 2016). source
Smartphones have become so pivotal to the lives of millennials in Great Britain that 65% of them are looking at their phone within five minutes of waking and 60% look at their phone within five minutes of going to sleep. source
Social networking services, which are now capturing 2 hours of online time a day – half an hour longer than they were in 2012. source
Netflix UK viewers are bingeing so hard that they’re watching 13-part dramas in 24 hours. source
Users spend an average of 35 minutes per day on Facebook - source
There are 500 million Tweets sent each day. That’s 6,000 Tweets every second - source
Users under 25, now spend up to 32 minutes a day on Instagram, on average, while those 25 and above spend more than 24 minutes per day. - source
While I’m not sure I could do 44 hours straight gaming, I’m not really too keen to add up my overall screen time on a weekly basis, so tonight I think I might read a book.