Oxford American - The Perfect Man 5-15min

Mitchell is probably the greatest arcade-video-game player of all time. When the Guinness Book of World Records first included a listing for video games in 1985 (discontinued in 1987), Mitchell held the records for Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong, Jr., Centipede, and Burger Time. In 1999, he achieved the Holy Grail of arcade gaming, executing the first-ever perfect game on Pac-Man. The feat requires navigating 256 boards, or levels, and eating every single possible pellet, fruit, and ghost, for the highest score of 3,333,360, all without dying once. ... Mitchell enjoys his semi-celebrity status, but he rarely shows it off by actually playing video games. When I convince him to play a game on the well-worn Ms. Pac-Man in the back corner of the restaurant, a waitress hurries over to watch because she has never seen him play, despite working there for nine years. ... He holds the joystick loosely with his left hand, maneuvering it with precise flicks of his thumb and index finger. “I use their personalities and put them in places, positions, and patterns advantageous to me.” ... “Absolute control. I’ve eliminated the mad, scattering chase. That’s probably how they intended the game to be played, running around out of control. But that’s not how I play.” ... Mitchell also seems to possess a genius for recognizing patterns in space and foreseeing the way complicated scenarios will play out—his intuition is set to some higher frequency.