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Why Nintendo Power Had To Ban Steve Wozniak From Its Leaderboards

Steve Wozniak isn't a gaming celebrity, really. Also called "Woz," he's best known for co-founding tech company Apple alongside Steve Jobs. He has made multiple contributions to his field since his days as a college tech enthusiast and collected prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Technology, which was awarded to him by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. On top of all that, he's apparently an amazing "Tetris" player. 

Nintendo Power, a now-defunct but once popular Nintendo-focused video game magazine, used to accept scores from readers for games like "Tetris" and "TMNT 2: The Arcade Game." To do this, players needed to take pictures of their scores and send them in for verification. Wozniak was apparently first place for "Tetris" in all 1998 Nintendo Power magazines until he was told he couldn't submit his scores anymore. 

So, what did Woz do? He was apparently too good at "Tetris."

Woz found a way around Nintendo Power's decision

Redditor polar0ids searched through their Nintendo Power collection after reading an anecdote related to Woz and his dedication to bringing his Game Boy with him wherever he went in his oversized backpack. Woz wrote about the contents of his backpack for Gizmodo, where someone asked what games he liked to play.

"I only play the original [Game Boy] Tetris. I buy cartridges on eBay when needed. I have had some stolen and lost. My kids got too good at newer games so I only focus on a few puzzle-like games to be good at them," he responded. "I was always #1 in the Nintendo Power listings in 1988, and after they said my name had been in there too many times and wouldn't print it again."

Woz hatched a plan that let him continue submitting. He sent in his score with his name spelled backwards as "Evets Kainzow," which ended up in at least another issue of Nintendo Power. "When I got the magazine, I'd forgotten doing this and was worried that a foreigner from the next city over (I used Saratoga instead of Los Gatos so they wouldn't catch on) had a score up in my range. I got worried but then remembered my joke. Whew!"

As per Woz's reply, it seemed like Nintendo Power wanted to give other players a chance to take first place. However, Woz wasn't ready to hand over the throne so easily. In the one issue pictured on Reddit, he beat the second place player by about 100,000 points.