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For most gamers, gaming is an indoors hobby, with the exception of maybe a quick game on Angry Birds on the bus. However, one 23-year-old has taken gaming to completely new heights, setting a new world record after playing a video game on Mount Everest.
In anticipation of the release of “Far Cry 4” - the latest installment of the first-person shooter adventure series set in a region of the Himalayas - producers Ubisoft chose lucky fan, and Utah native, William Cruz as the winner of its “Quest for Everest: The Gaming Journey of a Lifetime” contest, in which he won the opportunity to make the journey up Everest and play the game with a spectacular view in front of him.
Although a keen hiker, Cruz was no hardened traveler and had never been outside of the United States before. He had to file for a passport to be able to make the trip.
Yet, far from being a gimmicky jaunt, Cruz told FoxNews.com that he visit Kathmandu, Khumjung Monastery, the Khumbu Glacier, and eventually the Ubisoft Base Camp at Mount Everest during his journey. While he was familiar with the mountains of Utah, Cruz said that the experience was no easy quest.
“As we gained altitude, walking became harder and harder, sleeping became harder and you even had to drink a lot more water. You almost always feel like you just finished running 3 miles, all the time,” Cruz told FoxNews.com. “I remember after surpassing 15,000 feet., I had to wake up multiple times in the night and focus on breathing to relieve minor headaches.”
Getting all the equipment needed to get the game working and set the record at 18,000 feet required 15 men and five yaks, and then an 8-hour wait in 25 mph winds so the sun would set, making it possible to see the screen.
“It was cold enough that I had frost on my jacket after we finished playing. I was very surprised the PlayStation 4 ran without a hiccup in those temperatures,” Cruz said.
Cruz played for about 90 minutes, although he kept dying in the game, so distracted was he by the jaw-dropping views as the sun set in the distance. While it may not have been his best gaming session, by playing he secured the "Guinness World Record for Highest Altitude Videogame Console Session" at a recorded elevation of 18,569 feet.
“It was really cool, because you would see prayer flags and these massive snowcapped mountains in the game, then you would look up and see it in real life,” he said. “It was amazing.”
While the experience was tough and exhausting, it sounds like Cruz has not been put off and is keen to plan his next adventure.
“Even though it was difficult, I would do it again in a heartbeat,“ he said.