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updated: 7/2/2012 5:25 AM

Palatine gamers set Guinness record for handheld game playing

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  • A crowd of 123 gathered at Community Park in Palatine on Sunday to get in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the most people playing handheld video games at one time. The event as served as a fundraiser for Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society.

       A crowd of 123 gathered at Community Park in Palatine on Sunday to get in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the most people playing handheld video games at one time. The event as served as a fundraiser for Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • New world-record holders play their Nintendo games during a bid to set a Guinness World Record during Palatine's Hometown Fest on Sunday.

       New world-record holders play their Nintendo games during a bid to set a Guinness World Record during Palatine's Hometown Fest on Sunday.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Ten-year-old Michael Rossbach plays "Rave Monster" on his Nintendo DS as his mom, Dawn, plays a Super Mario game on her Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP in Palatine's Community Park on Sunday. They were part of a group that set a Guinness World Record for most people playing handheld video games together.

       Ten-year-old Michael Rossbach plays "Rave Monster" on his Nintendo DS as his mom, Dawn, plays a Super Mario game on her Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP in Palatine's Community Park on Sunday. They were part of a group that set a Guinness World Record for most people playing handheld video games together.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

 

Andrew McCurley of Palatine now has claim to four world records.

He joined 122 others in Palatine's Community Park on Sunday to set a Guinness World Record for the most people playing games on handheld devices at the same time in one place. His game of choice: "Angry Birds." His device: an iPod Touch.

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McCurley took part two years ago in Hoffman Estates when the Northwest Special Recreation Association set the record for the largest number of people simultaneously high-fiving. He was part of a group at Dundee-Crown High School who set the record three years ago for most people dressed up as superheroes, and back in 1985, he was a member of the largest harmonica band with the Boy Scouts of America.

"It just sort of happens," McCurley said. "Seems like a fun thing to do so I do it."

The Palatine Jaycees organized Sunday's record-setting event during this year's Hometown Fest, which runs through Wednesday. Proceeds from the $2 registration fee will go toward Relay For Life fundraising and the American Cancer Society.

Jackie Butler, a co-chairman of the Hometown Fest, applied to Guinness and found out there was no current record for people simultaneously playing handheld games. The group was hoping for 500 participants, but 123 should still make them eligible for the Guinness Book of World Records.

Butler said the Jaycees were trying to make the Hometown Fest more community oriented.

"What's more hometown than breaking or setting a record in the community?" Butler said.

Many of the gamers Sunday used their smartphones for apps, but Nintendo DS and Game Boy devices had a showing as well.

The Andos family, of Palatine, participated with parents Jennifer and Steve playing "Angry Birds" on their phones, 5-year-old Alex playing "Spider-Man" on another phone and 8-year-old Paris playing "Bunnies" on her Nintendo DS.

Jennifer Andos said she saw plans for the record attempt in a flyer about the Hometown Fest and decided to get the family involved.

"How often do you get a chance to be part of these?" Andos said. "It's cute, it's fun."

Participants played their games of choice for five minutes straight, cheering when the final countdown made them recordholders.

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