The Berzerk Curse

Peter Burkowski, an 18-year-old student from Calumet City, Illinois, died at the Friar Tuck’s Game Room arcade of a sudden heart-attack after getting one of the top ten high scores on an arcade cabinet of the game Berzerk twice in a row. Burkowski’s death is strikingly similar to that of Jeff Dailey who had died a little over a year prior and become the first person in history to die while playing video games. Both died of a heart-attack, both were close to the same age, both died after achieving high scores on an arcade cabinet, and both died during or immediately after playing Berzerk. These events have entered gaming folklore and become something known as “The Berzerk Curse”, or “The Curse of Evil Otto”, named after an enemy in Berzerk called “Evil Otto” that tends to be very challenging and shows up at the end of levels.

Submission by Logan Agle. Thank you.

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