North Texas Daily

Local gamer levels up lifelong passion

Local gamer levels up lifelong passion

October 28
23:57 2015

Matt Payne | Senior Staff Writer

@mattepaper

Since the age of six, Patrick Scott Patterson has been driven by an affinity for all things video game related.

Playing the classic “Pac Man” arcade game at his local laundromat, he remembers cereal commercials advertising the chance to win a personal “Pac Man” arcade system.

Now he holds a world record for the highest margin of victory on Madden NFL ’09.

“It’s all snowballed ever since I was young,” Patterson said. “I walk the line between being a professional correspondent with several companies and a gamer at heart.”

Patterson has always been guided by what he describes as a “competitive approach into the vocations that fascinate [him].” From 1998 to 2008, he competed as a professional wrestler, and in 2004, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked him among the top 500 professional wrestlers.

Patrick Patterson wanted to be the best at Madden and was determined to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as part of his bucket list. Patterson now receives video games in the mail from companies wish for feedback or a good review. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Patrick Scott Patterson wanted to be the best at Madden and was determined to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as part of his bucket list. Patterson now receives video games in the mail from companies wish for feedback or a good review. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Because of injuries and other obligations, he would stray from his wrestling goals to pursue his fascination with video games.

In 2006, Patterson left his day job to restore vintage arcade game sets—like the classic “Pac Man” he grew up playing—and quickly established a reputation among collectors and enthusiasts. Despite the difficulty of maintaining his niche in a failing economy, Patterson was contacted in early 2009 by G4TV. They were interested in a vintage “Donkey Kong” arcade unit for a live world record attempt by professional gamer Steve Wierbe.

After working with the maintenance staff and receiving accolades from the G4TV executive producer, Patterson had what he described as an epiphany. He wanted to make a mark in the professional gaming industry.

“It’s like coming in as a third-string quarterback, deciding ‘this is what I want to do’ and ending up winning the Super Bowl,” Patterson said. “Bob Costas could talk about anything related to sports for hours, and Roger Ebert knew everything there was to know about film. I want to be the video game versions of them.”

He would express this with his 192-0 world-record-breaking victory in “Madden ’09” for the Nintendo Wii on June 24. Patterson drew the attentions of ESPN and Polygon and has been invited to SXSW and several Comic Cons nationwide.

Video gaming is a blossoming scene in pop culture, Patterson said. His foray into the professional gaming industry has allowed him to become a columnist for SyFy Games and GameRoom Magazine, as well as an event organizer, professional speaker and general activist. Patterson is guided by exposing the passion and intrigue he believes so many have toward gaming.

Patrick Patterson’s love of video games started when he worked to repair old Pac Man’s in arcades. Now, three original Pac Man’s sit in his house along with awards for highest ranking gamer, which Patterson has been collecting since 2009. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Patrick Scott Patterson’s love of video games started when he worked to repair old Pac Man’s in arcades. Now, three original Pac Man’s sit in his house along with awards for highest ranking gamer, which Patterson has been collecting since 2009. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

“I’ve managed to get my voice heard,” Patterson said. “When I have my voice out there, I don’t just want my own voice to be heard, but the opinions of others telling me what they feel.”

Dakota “Dakpo” Goode, a fellow Dentonite and UNT graduate, has seen his life develop in a similar fashion due to his passion for gaming. FX DFW professionally sponsors him for his prowess in the popular gaming series “Super Smash Bros.”

“I don’t consider myself an exceptionally interesting or extraordinary person,” Goode said, “except in Smash. I can become something absolutely extraordinary.”

Ever since he began attending professionally organized tournaments for Super Smash Bros. in 2008, Goode has wanted to pursue a career as a professional Smash player just as much as he wants to pursue primary education.

“Even though I know my reaction times will degrade over time, I want to grow with the scene for the rest of my life,” Goode said. “Smash is probably the most extraordinary thing in my life.”

As an expression of the same passion found in Goode, Patterson frequently organizes gaming events with Alec Featherstone, the owner of Freaks and Geeks Comic Shop on Elm Street. Most recently, Freaks and Geeks hosted an NES 30th Anniversary “Iron Man” tournament on Oct. 18, which featured several classic NES titles in which contestants could compete.

“He is something of a celebrity, especially through his writing,” Featherstone said. “We want to give somebody with such high passion for gaming an active office outside of his own. I think it’s a perfect marriage.”

Featherstone has noticed a great deal of enthusiasm from the community beyond the retail side of Freaks and Geeks. As people lounge through late hours, gaming on the shop’s 60-inch TV and attending every event the store puts on, he believes the fascination with gaming is expanding.

“Gaming is an industry in and of itself, and there are people who poor sweat, blood and tears on both the industrial and artistic side of production, perfecting their product,” Featherstone said. “Patterson’s gaming advocacy doesn’t hurt anybody and speaks for several people. Of course I think there’s a place for it.”

Featured Image: Patrick Scott Patterson’s love of video games started when he worked to repair old Pac Man’s in arcades. Now, three original Pac Man’s sit in his house along with awards for highest ranking gamer, which Patterson has been collecting since 2009. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

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