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Doris Self (September 18, 1925 - October 3, 2006) was a video game competitor who gained recognition back in the 1980s as "the world's oldest video game champion." In the 2007 Guinness World Records Book, Doris was recognized as the world's oldest video game competitor. The documentary film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters detailed Doris's quest to recover her standing as the "oldest champion" from John Lawton, the 72-year old co-founder of the Funspot Family Fun Center in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, who had captured the world title on Depthcharge.[1][2][3]

Biography[edit]

On July 1, 1984, Doris Self made video game history when, at the age of 58, she gained recognition as the "world's oldest video game champion." As a competitor on Q*Bert at Twin Galaxies 1984 Video Game Masters Tournament, Doris scored a world record mark of 1,112,300 points on Twin Galaxies' Tournament Settings (TGTS) -- the most difficult settings that allow for only five-men in the game.[4][5][6]

In 2005, Doris traveled to London to continue her quest to regain the Q*Bert World Record. She was one of the featured stars at the Classic Gaming Expo-UK, held Saturday, August 13, 2005 in Croydon, United Kingdom.[7] As an honorary member of the U.S. National Video Game Team, she was part of a contingent of video gamers who traveled to Paris, France on Napoleon's birthday (August 15, 2005) to hand-deliver an 8-foot (2.4 m) tall proclamation signed by hundreds of British players that challenged Paris to a London vs. Paris video game championship.[8][9]

During the weekend of April 6–9, 2006, Doris Self faced-off against Kelly Tharp, of Sellersburg, Indiana, in a highly publicized Q*Bert contest, held at Apollo Amusements in Pompano Beach, Florida. Titled the "The King vs The Queen Q*Bert Smackdown," the event was filmed as part of the King of Kong documentary.[10]

In the 2007 Guinness World Records Book, Doris was recognized as the world's oldest video game competitor. In The King of Kong, Doris' quest to recover her standing as the "oldest champion" was documented, as she tried to regain the title back from John Lawton, the 72-year old co-founder of the Funspot Family Fun Center in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, who had captured the world title on Depth Charge.[11][12]

Doris had still been practicing and preparing for her next world record attempt on Q*Bert when she died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Plantation, Florida on October 3, 2006.

Doris's Q*Bert career had been preceded by a flight attendant career. At the age of 19, she was among the first female flight attendants at Eastern Air Lines, graduating in 1945 as a member of Eastern Air Lines’ first class of airline stewardesses. And, in 1954, while working with legendary air ace Eddie Rickenbacker, she co-organized "The Silver Liners," history’s first association for ex-stewardesses. Today, the DC-3 Doris used to fly on back in the 1940s is hanging from the ceiling of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.[13]

References[edit]


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