When Nintendo last held a world championship back in 1990, Patrick Scott Peterson was a teen competitor.
“I was 14 and I choked under pressure,” said Peterson, who’s now a video game historian in Texas. “I remember being sad and telling myself I would get it next year, but there never was a next year.”
Nintendo didn’t hold another world championship, and Peterson said he had no chance for redemption — until now.
The company’s holding the first round of the 2015 world championship Saturday at eight nationwide locations, including the Best Buy in Schaumburg. This time around the competitors will be vying for the high score in the game Nintendo Remix, a combination of Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 3 and Dr. Mario.
Peterson said he’s waited 25 years for this chance, and he’s been practicing a ton. Unlike 1990, the Internet allows players to keep track of their competition’s scores. He said he feels confident: He is currently in third place among the folks posting their scores online.
Competitive gamer Caitlin Oliver, who’s from Hoffman Estates, has been in plenty of competitions, but this will be her first for Nintendo. She most recently won a Pac-Man Battle Royale tournament in suburban Chicago. Oliver holds the world record for the arcade game Slaughterhouse.
Oliver says her Dad bought her first gaming system, but her Mom just recently came around to the idea.
“She used to think I was wasting my money,” Oliver said. “After I won the world record in 2013, she became a lot more supportive.” She said her mom’s really happy she’s doing something she loves.
Oliver said she owns hundreds of games, and collects and repairs video game consoles in her spare time.
She’ll be one of the 750 competitors in Schaumburg. One winner from each of the eight stores will go on to the finals in Los Angeles June 14.