Flint — A 2002 graduate of Kettering University in Flint has earned the distinction of being among the best in the world at playing the classic Donkey Kong arcade game.
Michael Groesbeck, 34, an electrical engineering graduate, finished eighth recently among about 40 competitors at Kong Off 3 in Denver, according to The Flint Journal. Donkey Kong players from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii and Australia battled for the title.
The Shelby Township man scored 1,020,700 points. He also registered one of the top scores ever in Donkey Kong earlier this year with 1,023,600 points, according to a report on Kettering’s website.
“I was happy with finishing 8th in this competition,” Groesbeck said in an email to the newspaper. “The Kong Off is similar to other competitions in that, everyone would like to finish 1st and beat everyone else…but it is also different in that…it is also a battle against the machine.”
The competition was witnessed by a few thousand spectators who watched the event throughout a November weekend.
The Donkey Kong arcade game has been around since 1981. Players must maneuver the character across platforms while jumping over obstacles.
“The best way to describe the atmosphere as a player is that you’re kind of in your own isolated bubble that contains you and the machine,” Groesbeck said in the email.
He only started playing Donkey Kong a few years ago.
Most of his family and friends support him in his endeavor, although his wife teases him about playing too many video games, he said.
“I never imagined I would be doing anything like this,” he said in the email. “I know I played a game or two here and there at various arcades when I was a kid, but I never particularly liked the game all that much back then.”