My inner 11-year-old is jealous of Kyle Goewert. Here's a guy who managed to realize the youthful shared dream of Generation X by tracking down a copy of every single NES game ever released in the US.
My outer 35-year-old, meanwhile, is very jealous of Goewert's all-original red Donkey Kong machine...
Finding all of those NES games could not have been an easy task, especially since more than twenty years have passed since any of them were last sold in retail stores. As far as I know, the feat is unmatched.
33 and a Kansas City native, Goewert's quest inspired an entrepenurial venture—JustGoVintage.com—where he sells hundreds of classic game cartridges for dozens of systems (usually at much-cheaper-than-eBay prices), along with toys, t-shirts, and other oddities.
Goewert (as one might expect) is a master and multiple record holder on several NES titles, including the world champion of Super Mario Brothers 3. He acquired his Donkey Kong machine three and a half years ago, having never played the game before that point.
In January of 2011, after years of steadily-rising scores, Goewert claimed a sudden fourth place on the Twin Galaxies Donkey Kong leaderboard with 970,300 (a great score that, to put the ensuing 22 months of competition into perspective, would nonetheless barely crack the top 10 today).
The lineup for the first Kong Off had been set just days before Kyle's score was verified. But, to paraphrase Richie Knucklez, how do you not bring in the guy who just put up 970? Richie was happy to extend the invitation, and Kyle more than happy to accept.
Goewert's performance at the Kong Off was on the lower end, but he did cross the million-point mark this past April, proving that he was no fluke and showing that he had what it takes to qualify for "round 2." A true Kong devotee and a strong all-around gamer, he should not be underestimated.
If you're coming to the Kong Off 2 and still have your NES lying around, bring it along and ask Kyle to autograph it. It wouldn't be the first such console bearing his signature.
Next: Eric Howard »