Twin Galaxies is the official supplier of video game scores to the Guinness World Records books.
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 1970s.
In 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, realised that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular. He was right!
Twin Galaxies is the electronic gaming industry’s premiere statistician, dedicated to preserving the history of video gaming in a huge database that documents gaming milestones.
Founded in 1981, Twin Galaxies grew from modest origins as an arcade chain to gain recognition as the ”official scorekeeper for the world of video game and pinball playing,” invested with the authority to verify ”official” world record high scores and crown new world champions.
Founder Walter Day was working as a travelling salesman in the early 1980s, which allowed him to pursue his interest in arcade gaming. Covering the length and breadth of the US for his work, Walter took time out to visit as many video game arcades as possible to record the high scores he found on each game.
On 9 February 1982, Walter’s growing database of high score statistics was made available to the public as the Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard. The release received immediate recognition from the major game manufacturers of the day – Atari, Midway, Williams Electronics, Universal, Stern, Nintendo and Exidy – in addition to support from RePlay and Playmeter magazines, the two premier coin-op publications of the era.
Twin Galaxies’ role as scorekeeper grew in importance as ”player rankings” became a major focus of the media. As the pioneer in ranking top players, Twin Galaxies was called upon to bring the superstar players together for many well-publicized contests and media events. On 8 November 1982, for example, LIFE magazine visited Twin Galaxies to capture 16 of North America’s best players in a group photograph. Two months later, on 9 January 1983, ABC-TV's That’s Incredible came to Ottumwa, Iowa, to film 19 of the world’s best players competing in the first-ever video game world championship.
Following this exposure the first US video game team was formed, made up of the very best talent. With Walter as the founding captain, the US National Video Game Team issued international video game challenges to Japan, Italy and the UK, even hand-delivering proclamations to their respective embassies in Washington, DC! Eventually, the team toured America, Europe and Asia during the 1980s.
By 1985, Twin Galaxies had enjoyed major media coverage in LIFE magazine, Marvel Comics, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Stern, the Washington Post and nearly 100 TV appearances, including ABC-TV’s Entertainment Tonight and NBC Nightly News. As fame spread further, Walter was designated an assistant editor in charge of video game scores for Guinness World Records. Under his direction, Twin Galaxies wrote the first official rulebook for video game playing and established the rules and standardized settings for each game.
Today, Twin Galaxies continues to be recognized as the world’s premiere electronic games referee, having judged contests and high scores submitted by console gamers, arcades and PC gamers worldwide. Currently in its 27th year, Twin Galaxies still creates the contests, enforces the rules, maintains the records and crowns the champions on home consoles, PC-based releases and arcade games.