Twin Galaxies' Walter Day Does Honors For Guinness At Hugo Awards Bash

Posted On: 8/31/2017

  • Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
  • PDF

HELSINKI, Finland -- Walter Day, the former proprietor of the Twin Galaxies arcade (Ottumwa, IA) and organizer of the International Video Game Hall of Fame, presented a Guinness Record to the World Science Fiction Society at the opening of its 2017 Hugo Awards ceremony here on Aug. 11. That ceremony highlighted WSFS's 75th annual Worldcon event.

The renowned Guinness World Records organization chose Day to present an award recognizing the Hugo Awards as history's longest-running science fiction award program. The "Hugos," named in honor of pioneering science fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback (who launched the magazine Amazing Stories in 1926), were first presented by WSFS in 1953.

Day's groundbreaking work in establishing rules and compiling records for competitive videogame play led Day to commemorate his arcade by setting up the popular Twin Galaxies Internet platform, which is online at . He laid much of the groundwork for the service, which maintains a game score database and up-to-date player leaderboards, while working as assistant editor of videogame scores for the Guinness Book of World Records from 1984 to 1986.

He also initiated an ongoing series of collectible cards devoted to individuals who have made substantial contributions to the videogame industry and community. As a longstanding enthusiast for science fiction, Day has applied the experience gained through this project to producing science fiction trading cards, a task that involved him in researching the genre's authors and illustrators. And that introduced him to the Hugo Awards.

Day told the Ottumwa Courier that, while speaking with the editor of Guinness World Records, he mentioned that the Hugo Awards might be the oldest sci-fi awards in the world. "I asked him what he thought, and he said he loved it," the videogame industry veteran said. Accordingly, Guinness appointed him as a representative and sent him to Helsinki.

His extensive research and compilation also enabled him to secure official recognition of Ottumwa as the "birthplace of competitive videogame play."

ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: Walter Day (l.) of Twin Galaxies, representing Guinness World Records, presents plaque to Nicholas Whyte, host of the 2017 World Science Fiction Society's Worldcon conference, at the start of the Hugo Awards ceremony. The plaque certifies the WSFS Hugo program as the oldest science fiction awards program in the world. The Hugo awards first were presented in 1953, at the 11th WSFS confab.