The Return of Real Arcade Action: ScoreWars Galaga World Championship


Galaga World Championship
March 29-April 1, 2018
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Prize: $10,000

Details on the event and sign up 

It’s been a long time coming. Real classic arcade tournaments. The kind that used to happen, say back in ’81, back when tournaments were a common occurrence and not something someone put on once a year for kicks.

Naw, back in 1981 video game tournaments were a way of life, and for many, an extended part of their identity.

Some called them “aces”. Others called them “wizards”.  What they were was exceptional. They were players, largely male, average age 14, who dominated arcade games with the uncanny ability of being able to play the game on a  single quarter for hours…sometimes days. Most of them mastered a game within 8 months of it being released. And if you know anything about the mercilessness of gameplay on a classic arcade machine, that’s a big deal right there.

Between 1978 and 1984 these kinds of supreme players made the newspaper headlines across the nation. They were completely original. The first of their kind. They were the kids who put competitive gaming on the map of American consciousness.

I’m happy as hell to see someone is resurrecting that way of life once again.


Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe based artist collective has partnered with live streaming gurus  XSplit to bring forth the  dazzling retro-awesomeness that is ScoreWars, a tournament  series dedicated to resurrecting the old school 80s gaming competitive platform. This means LIVE, baby….on classic arcade machines.

The initial ScoreWars event  –billed as a 4-day event to give you time to party-  will be streamed live on March 29 through April 1 as the best players in the world compete against each other on Namco/Midway’s 1981 smash hit GALAGA.

There are pro and amateur competitions: Competition details here

The amateur competition for highest score achieved on a single play has an award prize of $1500.

Those who think they have the magic can take on old school aces Andrew Barrow, Phillip Day and Andrew Laidlaw  in a marathon challenge where the top prize award is $10,000. But do study up and hone your skills hard. These guys are monsters. They will not go down easy.

galaga contest

Another feature for this event is BEYOND GALAGA featuring the the top 7 greatest classic competitors the USA has ever produced:

Dwayne Richard (Nibbler / Super Pacman)
Tim McVey (Nibbler)
Tom Asaki (Nibbler)
Donald Hayes (Centipede)
Pat Laffaye (Frogger)
Hector Fly (Track & Field)
Abdner Ashman (Robotron: 2084)

Tim McVey, Dwayne Richard and Tom Asaki starred in the astonishing gaming documentary Man Vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, the story of the quest for the First Billion Point Performance achieved by Tim McVey on January 17, 1984. I’m not over-rating this movie at all when I say it’s the best gaming film ever made and will it leave you cheering.


As I said before, I’m glad to see this sort of action coming around again, and I’m thrilled to see Galaga get the respect and honor it deserves. Even better is seeing these games get played by the champions who first rocked them in hopes that they can encourage others to join them in the ranks by becoming some of the greatest arcade competitors ever known.

Hopefully we’ll get to see Defender, Missile Command and Stargate streamed in live competition somewhere down the road. I certainly hope so.

May all your quarters be red ones.


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