Berzerk is one of the all time greats of classic video arcade gaming. The simple yet innovative multi-directional shooter, was a huge hit as soon as it was launched in 1980. With it's talking robots, it was one of the first ever games to feature speech synthesis. A huge and expensive innovation way back in 1980. But in gaming folklore the game is also infamously connected to the deaths of two teenagers after playing Berzerk.
In 1981 Jeff Dailey was 19 years old, and along with his friend Peter Burkowski became obsessed with playing Berzerk. Playing in as often as possible, one day Dailey posted a high-score of 16,660. Soon after he dropped dead of a heart attack. A year later Peter Burkowski was also playing Berzerk, he was so good he had in the high-score Top Ten twice within 15 minutes of play. Bored with playing the game, Peter stepped away from it. He took only four steps to the next machine, dropped his quarter into it and immediately collapsed dead on the floor of a heart attack.
The story of Jeff Dailey is disputed, however the story of Peter Burkowski is thought to be true.
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