Sports heroes are a familiar fixture in Oxford, Mississippi—from Archie and Eli Manning, to Michael Oher and Todd Wade. But lesser known is the fact that Oxford is also home to the World Champion of real life sports’ video game counterparts, such as Tecmo Super Bowl and NBA Jam.
Daniel Lee Perea, perhaps better known as a musician and filmmaker, appears in the 2016 Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition three times. He’s listed for having the Biggest Blowout score for the Nintendo Wii’s NBA Jam as well as NBA Jam: On Fire Edition for Xbox 360. For sports video games, the Biggest Blowout high score is calculated by the margin of points by which a player wins over the computer-controlled team.
Perea, or “El Bebop Kid” as his music fans know him, has been breaking world records since 2008 when he had his first score for Polaris, an obscure Atari 2600 submarine game, verified by record-keeping website Twin Galaxies (www.twingalaxies.com). From there, he was hooked.
“One record wasn’t enough. I grew up a huge fan of professional wrestling and wanted to brag about being a 16-time world champion like Ric Flair. I passed that up a long time ago,” boasts Perea. No surprise then, that Perea’s Fastest Victory record for the old Super Nintendo wrestling game, Raw appears in the WWE section of this year’s Guinness book as well.
Twin Galaxies has been tracking world record high scores since 1981, and gained a renewed round of notoriety after the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters became a hit, influencing numerous TV and movie plots, such as Pixels and Wreck-It Ralph. The Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition was created in 2008 and Twin Galaxies is one of several sources of records utilized by Guinness in their Gamer’s Edition books and other media.
“I grew up reading the Guinness World Record books as a child. I had a Guinness Book of Sports Records from the 80s that had a section of arcade game high scores, and I actually penciled my own name and personal record for an Atari game into it. Holding a world record was kind of a silly childhood dream that I came around and revisited as an adult, and set out to make that happen.”
The 2016 edition isn’t the first Guinness book Perea found himself in. He’s also listed in the 2010 and 2012 editions for multiple games. “Twin Galaxies tracks so many video game variations that there wouldn’t be room in the Guinness book to print them all. The editors select an assortment of highlights to print in their annual book. It’s always fun to see whether any of my records are in the book from year to year.”
At time of press, Perea held 71 records on Twin Galaxies, and several additional or overlapping records on other sites, such as RecordSetter.com and Wii-records.com. But what’s his greatest accomplishment?
“It’s not any one single record on a single game. NBA Jam is my all-time favorite sports game. Whether it’s the old-school version or the modern remakes, I love the perfect balance of strategy, skill, and cartoony silliness. I set out to make the case for not just being the best NBA Jam player in the world…but the Greatest of All Time. Once I accomplished breaking 13 world records across four different versions of the game on four different game consoles across five different record-keeping organizations—I think it’s safe to say, I’m the Michael Jordan of NBA Jam. Boomshakalaka.”