Sports gamers aim for Guinness records

No mercy: English teenager Jacob Gaby beat the computer by 189 goals in 'FIFA 12' to set a new record. Paul Michael Hughes/Guinness World Records

Many of us grow up dreaming of setting a Guinness World Record, but it takes a special breed to become the record holder for most balls juggled (Alex Barron: 11 balls, 23 consecutive catches), largest collection of Hello Kitty memorabilia (Asako Kanda: 4,519 items) and most high-fives in a minute (until recently, yours truly: 107).

There’s another category of record holders out there who, until recent years, went unnoticed by the Guinness braintrust. Thankfully, sports gamers are now being recognized for their extraordinary, record-setting feats.

In honor of today’s launch of the sixth edition of the Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition, here’s a sampling of new record holders -- as well as some records that are ripe for being challenged.

• Highest Margin of Victory Against a Computer

In the battle of man vs. machine, man still has the advantage in "FIFA 12." That’s thanks, in part, to Jacob Gaby of Bushey, England. In August 2012, the teenager beat his virtual opponent 189-0, setting the record for “highest margin of victory against a computer.” In the game, he played as FC Barcelona against Fulham FC. Amazing feat and all ... but Fulham, Jacob? Really?

• Longest NHL Video Game Marathon

Long NHL lockout? No problem for James Evans and Bruce Ashton of Orillia, Ontario. Those two made a league of their own, playing 45 games of "NHL 10" (EA, 2009) in 24 hours and two minutes (Winnipeg Jets vs. Detroit Red Wings). And they did it all outside of their town’s Walmart Superstore on the last two days of July in 2011.

In the 45-game series, the Jets (played by Ashton) beat the Red Wings, 32-13. That poor digital Zamboni logged a lot of miles over those two days. In a semi-related story, I once watched a 24-hour marathon of "Finding Bigfoot" over two days.

• Oldest Video Gaming Record Holder

John Bates is the Pete Weber of "Wii Sports Bowling." The American video game kingpin, who, in June 2012 was 85 years and 205 days old, has bowled 14,000 perfect Wii games. The guy bowls at least 50 matches a day and almost never scores below 300. In fact, his longest streak of perfect games is 350. Of course it’s easier to bowl a 300 when you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect ball. Still, impressive numbers.

• Most Fans on EA Sports Football Club

Truth isn’t always stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to soccer and video games. There’s little doubt that in real life, Manchester United is the most beloved team out there. And the same holds true in "FIFA 12," which asks every gamer to select his or her favorite team. Manchester United leads them all, with 737,451 supporters (as of September 2012).

• Most Sports Gamers Online Simultaneously

Leave it to soccer to bring people together. That’s what happened Sept. 30, 2012, when more than 800,000 gamers logged on to play a game of the newly released "FIFA 13." Just a few days later, on Oct. 3, gamers had already played more than 66 million "FIFA 13" games, amounting to more than 600 million minutes. Now that’s what I call the ultimate time burglary.

Good luck to those of you attempting to set a Guinness World Record. As a bonus, if you do get a record I’ll totes give you a high-five.

Seriously, (humblebrag) I once did hold the Guinness World Record for most high-fives in a minute.