Four friends started an attempt Wednesday to break a world record by continuously playing Halo Reach at Martinez gaming store Level Up.
The players – David Underwood, 22, of Augusta; Jacob Soler, 21, of Bowling Green, Ky.; Evan Beever, 22, of Athens; and Tony Bell, 20, of Fairfield, Ohio – also are staring in a film documentary chronicling their attempt for inclusion into Guinness World Records.
The idea for the documentary originated with Underwood, a senior communications major at Augusta State University. He decided to make a documentary for his senior project thesis film about friendship and gaming, which included the attempt to break the record for longest time playing a first-person shooter game.
To assist in the workload, Underwood recruited fellow senior communications major Kristina Harper, 23, to act as producer and co-director of the film. Harper also intends to use the film as her senior thesis.
The main focus of the film is not the attempt to break the world record, but how gaming can keep friendships alive, Underwood said.
“Obviously, the thing that brings us together is the record breaking,” Underwood said. “But the story is about people who don’t necessarily see each other on a regular basis, or at all anymore.
“So the real story is about gaming bringing us together and keeping some of us together.”
The record-breaking attempt brought all the players together for the first time.
“That’s kind of where it started for all of us,” Underwood said of playing Halo. “We all started out and that’s how I met Tony, so we’re just kind of bringing it full circle.”
The current record for playing Halo is 51 hours and 21 minutes, Underwood said. They hope to set the new record at 60 hours. If everything goes according to plan, they should break the record about 5 p.m. Friday.
For the record to count, they must comply with certain rules and one is that an official must be present. Robert Steele, the manager of Level Up, and his co-workers are serving as the officials.
“Guinness requires us to have a witness and one of the things they require is an expert in the field,” Harper said. “Mr. Robert and his team happen to be experts because they know pretty much all the new games that come out and they fix consoles ... which technically qualifies them as experts in the field.”
Another rule is they are allowed a 10-minute break for every hour of continuous play, Underwood said. So their plan is to stay awake for the first 24 hours to rack up about four hours of break time, nap during that time, and repeat the cycle. However, all players must start back at the correct time or else suffer disqualification.
The quartet are streaming live their attempt at the record. Follow their progress online at twitch.tv/assassin388.