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Man Spends 2,200 Hours Defeating Bejeweled 2 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the wins-complimentary-straight-jacket dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A California steel contractor spent 2,200 total hours over the last three years racking up a high score in Bejeweled 2. He exceeded the 2^31-1 maximum score programmed for the score display, proving that there is, in fact, an end to the game. I suppose congratulations or condolences are in order."
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Man Spends 2,200 Hours Defeating Bejeweled 2

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  • Signed int (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eudial (590661) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @10:51AM (#32056070)

    Ah well, 2,147,483,647 points ought to be enough for anyone.

    • by arcite (661011) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @11:18AM (#32056228)
      You all saw The Last Starfighter right? This guy has skills! Who know when unmatched matching of coloured gems could come in handy. Maybe we'll be invaded by variously Gem shaped aliens who (through a quirk in quantum mechanics no doubt) have a fatal weakness when matched in pairs of three. This guy could someday LITERALLY save the world!

      Conversely, he may have a bright future as a stockboy at Walmart (or if you will, Target), which requires speed, precision, and the ability to organize matching products in rows of three, five, up to infinity. Clearly, he is a credit to the species.

    • But... Bill Gates said 640k was enough for anyone!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sonicmerlin (1505111)

        That's actually an often misattributed quote. From Bill Gates's wiki article:

        Often attributed to Gates in 1981. Gates considered the IBM PC's 640kB program memory a significant breakthrough over 8-bit systems that were typically limited to 64kB, but he has denied making this remark. Also see the 1989 and 1993 remarks above.

        I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time I keep bumping

        • by Zordak (123132)
          Never let the truth get in the way of a good quote. (See also: "I can see Russia from my front my back yard").
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by camperdave (969942)
          I'm sure he's said it at some point or another. You can't go through life having a misquote following you around like a love-sick teen following his crush without repeating the misquote somewhere along the line, even if it is "I never said 640K is enough for anybody"
        • by gringer (252588)

          640K of memory is enough

          -- Bill Gates, Career Opportunities in Computing — and More (1996), as cited in http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1637882&cid=32056488 [slashdot.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by danny_lehman (1691870)
      well shit.. i thought my highest score of 2mill was pretty good.. Why do i even try at these things.
  • x64 (Score:5, Funny)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @10:54AM (#32056092) Homepage

    THE reason to upgrade to x64

    (Also, I thought my 5 days continuous freelancer game at university was extreme)

    • (Also, I thought my 5 days continuous freelancer game at university was extreme)

      It's really not that much when you think about it. 2200 hours divided over three years is only 2 hours a day.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MrNaz (730548)

        Yes, 2 hours per day does sound rather manageable. Until you step back, take in a bit of perspective, and realize that he spent about as much time as the modern worker spends with his/her children on a cheap iPhone game.

        When the life energy of the members of our society is of such little value that such a huge chunk of it would be spent on such a mind bogglingly empty pursuit, one has to question the values that we as a society hold dear.

        Oh wait, we're free, that's right. Who am I to ask questions like that

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          aww, sounds like someone is having an existential crisis...
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So? The average american spends far more than 2 hours a day watching TV. We all waste our life in different ways.

          • Have you heard of Farmville? It's a major time waster. But it's cheap. Cheaper than ordering cable, for instance. Sometimes you have to find ways to keep busy just to make ends meet. I know every time I leave the house and go somewhere other than work, I'm out of at least 20 bux.
            • Re:x64 (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Beezlebub33 (1220368) on Sunday May 02, 2010 @10:27AM (#32063680)
              Dude, have you never heard of a park? Visit a library? Take a walk along a river? Volunteer someplace? Build something? Try doing a local biodiversity survey. Collect stamps, or leaves, or something!

              There are so many opportunities for people to do things that don't cost money (or at least in amounts that are far less than $20). I think that you've been over-consumerized.
              • by Thanshin (1188877)

                Dude, have you never heard of a park? Visit a library? Take a walk along a river? Volunteer someplace? Build something? Try doing a local biodiversity survey. Collect stamps, or leaves, or something!

                Dude, have you ever heard of sex?

          • by Kiuas (1084567)

            We all waste our life in different ways.

            Sorry to nitpick here, but I feel this is kind of important, even if it's just a matter of semantics.

            No, we all live our lives in different ways. Unless one believes in some kind of supreme metaphysical being against all evidence, then the only purpose our lives have is one that we assign to ourselves.

            I couldn't personally give a damn about Bejeleweled, or tv for that matter, and I wouldn't waste my time on them, but if somebody gains fulfilment and happiness from doing so then why should it be called a was

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Bill Dog (726542)

          Oh noes, we're free, so we don't spend every waking moment of our lives working either for the man or society or the state. Individual leisure pursuits -- how terrible.

        • so you're doing what on slashdot?
          What's that? Sorry didn't hear you the first time. :P

      • (Also, I thought my 5 days continuous freelancer game at university was extreme)

        It's really not that much when you think about it. 2200 hours divided over three years is only 2 hours a day.

        Yet in those 2200 hours he could have learned two or three languages fluently, or he could have written a new application, compiler, OS, or he could have writen a book or two, or he could have learned to play a musical instrument...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HyperQuantum (1032422)

      THE reason to upgrade to x64

      If the developer had used an UNsigned int, the game could have been twice as long.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        But then how would you show negative scores?

        Oh wait...

    • by 7 digits (986730)

      Best part of the article:

      "In order to beat it, Little Gray killed 390,895 creatures, dealt 7,255,538,878 points of damage, completed 5,906 quests, raided 405 dungeons and hugged 11 players. We think he had sex zero times."

      Upgrading to x64 would probably be darwin award worthly...

    • by istartedi (132515)

      Recompiled... recompiled... RECOMPILED!! -- (gamer dude wakes up), Oh thank God, it was just a dream.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @10:57AM (#32056108)
    So, who wants to bet that most of the time he spent playing Bejeweled he was also billing someone for contract work?
  • In the article the author raises an interesting point:
    "I just made fun of Little Gray's sex life for raiding 405 WoW dungeons, but am I any better? Are any of you? Maybe we are, maybe we're not....It might not be considered a "real" accomplishment to beat Bejeweled 2. It's not like Mike Leyde is a New York fireman or a scientist making lifesaving medical breakthroughs. At the end of the day though, he's achieved more through playing Bejeweled 2 than we have through pouring derision upon him and his ilk via
    • Re:Why this is sad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Devout_IPUite (1284636) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @11:17AM (#32056224)
      There are a LOT of WoW players who average more than 2 hours a day. When I played I averaged 3 hours a day. This guy enjoyed bejeweled and came home and played Bejeweled after work. A lot of americans watch about that much TV per day and they're not even posting a high score. Healthy? No. Worse than a typical high end raider in WoW? No. Worse than a typical American watching TV? No.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Surt (22457)

        The way it is worse is that bejeweled has a very limited repertoire of activity. This guy programmed his brain full of that limited range for 2k hours. At least with tv and wow you get a variety of social inputs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          With Bejeweled you're using your brain for problem solving. With TV you're not doing anything. You're just sitting on the couch like a very warm potato.
        • by hitmark (640295)

          tv so formula there is a whole wiki full of cookie cutter parts, and wow where one get ones ability to reproduce dissed by some tween using text speak in voice chat?

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        According to my Xfire Profile [xfire.com], I've spent twice as much time as this guy but playing way more than any one game.

        Even so, I probably have anywhere from an additional 1,000-2,000 hours in Diablo II in the days before Xfire existed. There's very few games I could imagine playing for that long...

    • Re:Why this is sad (Score:4, Insightful)

      by McGiraf (196030) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @11:21AM (#32056254) Homepage

      Q: "how many hours does the average American watch TV a day? "

      A: "According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day"

      They should be locked up for that.

      • Q: "how many hours does the average American watch TV a day? "

        A: "According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day"

        They should be locked up for that.

        if we locked them up, then what would we do to the criminals?

      • by kenp2002 (545495)

        Q: "how many hours does the average American watch TV a day? "

        A: "According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day"

        They should be locked up for that.

        The difference is I can vaccume and do dishes while watching tv, try vaccuming and playing Halflife at the same time. Your cats will hate you 4evah.

    • Re:Why this is sad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IANAAC (692242) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @11:22AM (#32056264)

      Although maybe I shouldn't talk: how many hours does the average American watch TV a day? Although they wouldn't lock someone up for watching TV for 2 hrs a day, but if they did something crazy like, throw rocks at a tree for 2 hours, everyday, for 3 yrs, someone might notice. I think this guy needs professional help.

      Oh, so what...

      Really. Yes, plenty of people watch 2 hours of TV a day. Frankly, that's not all that excessive. Figure one 1-hour newscast and one 1-hour length drama/show. Does that put it more in perspective?

      I'm not a gamer, so personally, I wouldn't spend 2 hours, let alone 2 minutes, playing a computer game, but the guy hasn't caused anyone any harm, so who cares, really?

      It's not sad, it's just the way he chooses to spend his free time. Just as I might choose to spend my free time trying to learn another language - something that many other people would find boring and/or a waste of time.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think this guy has a hobby he enjoys. It's one where no one else is being harmed, unless his playing has damaged his relationships with friends and family. No worse than someone who watches any kind of TV program or reads books two hours a day. IMO, no one has a beef long as this guy obeys the law, pays his taxes, etc. There are people all over the world who indulge in some kind of pastime for themselves, and even if no one else ever benefits from it, in the end all that matters is it made their lives mor

      • by fyrewulff (702920)

        People seem to think doing anything for longer than $VAGUE_TIME per day is 'crazy' or stupid. You'll never get an 'appropriate' time out of them, though.

        2 hours is nothing. As stated before, the average TV time for Americans is 4 hours a day. Or to put it this way:

        Let's say the guy works 9am to 5pm.

        He gets up at 7pm, to catch the morning news and get ready for work. He plays the game @ 8AM for 15 minutes, leaves at 8:15 for work. Total time in game: 15 minutes.

        He gets home from work @ 5:30. He plays the gam

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vellmont (569020)


      but if they did something crazy like, throw rocks at a tree for 2 hours, everyday, for 3 yrs, someone might notice. I think this guy needs professional help.

      Throwing rocks at a tree is crazy? Talking to a tree and hearing a response is crazy. Throwing rocks at it might just be a new sport.

      Why is it you seem to think something you don't understand is crazy? I don't understand anyone that watches their local news on TV every night. The sensationalist simplistic nonsense that comes out of it makes me want to t

    • by kwerle (39371)

      See, what makes him really cool is that he was playing WoW *at the same time* - 2-boxing, as it were.

      And watching TV.

      So this guy was getting 6 hours (average) of amusement crammed into 2 hours/day. I'm pretty sure he spent his other free time saving baby seals.

      NOW what do you have to say?

  • Why criticize? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cvnautilus (1793340) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @11:46AM (#32056442)
    I, for one, don't consider time playing video games as "wasted." If it made this guy happy, why does it matter so long as he isn't killing and eating your goats or something?
  • Could they just put out a fix that uses an unsigned int and double his playtime? :)
  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@@@phroggy...com> on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:24PM (#32057186) Homepage

    Why would you use a signed integer for a value like this? I mean, you're never going to have a negative score, and it's not like there's a performance benefit to using a signed integer instead of an unsigned integer. It would take up the same 32 bits of memory. Sure, a score of two billion should be enough and four billion is overkill, but that's really not the point - if you know you're never going to need negative values, why would you reserve a bit for them?

    I see this sort of thing all the time. For example, various IMAP clients (including Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail) use a signed integer for the message UID, which breaks horribly in the unlikely event that you happen to have a message in your mailbox with a UID above 2^31. (Unlikely, unless your IMAP server stores the UID within the message itself as an X-UID header, and your SMTP server doesn't strip X-UID headers from incoming messages, allowing spammers to cause all sorts of interesting problems.)

    Is it really that much easier to use signed integers? Or are people just idiots?

    • by wmbetts (1306001)
      It is so much easier to use signed integers. Think about all the productive lost typing unsigned!
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      ``Why would you use a signed integer for a value like this?''

      Probably because you would be programming in a language that makes it easier to use signed integers than, say, a type that could actually represent arbitrarily large values, as long as there were enough bits of memory available. Had the program been written in, say, Common Lisp, Ruby, or Python, using such an unconstrained numeric would actually have been the easiest thing to do.

    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @02:26PM (#32057772) Homepage Journal

      Why would you use a signed integer for a value like this?

      An honest, practical answer:

      Because most people who develop software link to other libraries, and many of those libraries don't have overloaded functions that take unsigned ints as parameters.

      For example, C#'s String.Substring function [microsoft.com] takes Int32s as parameters. So if you're using an UInt32 called x to hold some kind of index that you want to use in that function, you have to 1) check to see if x is less than zero (or better yet, less than UInt32.MinValue), and if so, throw an exception, then 2) cast x to an Int32, which takes a miniscule amount of time and resources.

      It's much easier just to define x as an Int32, even if you never intend for it to be negative.

      In the case of Bejewelled, I can only guess as to what dependencies might exist. Maybe the graphics routine to display the score on the screen is some kind of DisplayNumber(Int32 number,...) function that is generic enough so that they can write the function to display any number, positive or negative, and not have to build and maintain (and risk breaking when the code is updated) yet another function to do the same thing with uints because some weird bizarre edge cases exist where people use numbers > 2^31 but for whatever reason can't just use an Int64 instead.

    • Perhaps the software was originally written in Java, which subscribes to the philosophy that "We don't need no stinkin' unsigned numbers!"
  • I want to point and laugh at him and yeah I still think he's done something worse than I have but still I have played virtually every Pokemon game and completed most of them even giving up socialising with friends for the latest Heartgold version and I've turned 33 this year. So really I shouldn't point and laugh at him.
  • The Topper (Score:2, Funny)

    by edunbar93 (141167)

    Oh that's nothing. I spent more time than that changing my newborn's diapers and/or clothes. Just today.

  • Why not just use a memory modification tool and set the score to something high (e.g. a few less than milestone scores like 2^31-1)?

  • The only winning move is not to play.

  • Writting and publishing articles for free on a website? puff... I suppose congratulations or condolences are in order.... that I extend to all these people that climb mountains. And.. oh... to all these people that explored the world. Poor Columbus, soo sad man. Also, all the scientist, advancing our knogment of how the world work for not other reason than "just because".

    Inventors, explorer, editors, people that beat things.. .IDIOTS!.. could be having sex, or doing something that give direct money instea

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