By Stanley Waters

After spending what seemed like countless hours in front of his computer, local man Benjamin Alder managed to accomplish what many people thought was impossible. Last Thursday, at 2:33 AM, Alder successfully completed the “Expert” level of Minesweeper in 122 seconds, besting his previous high score by a staggering seven seconds. Though he is still over 122 seconds away from the world record, Ben is still extremely proud of his accomplishment. In describing his pride, Ben stated, “I knew it would be a difficult task—maybe one I would never be able to accomplish—but I also knew I had to try, that I couldn’t give up, that I couldn’t surrender—because if I did, I knew I would have to get back to work, and that was something I simply could not accept.”

Though tens of thousands of students and cubicle workers play Minesweeper every day in order to put off work, few, if any, persist long enough to figure out how to play the game, let alone how to set and then break a personal record. Though Ben is extremely proud of his achievement, he believes others can learn from his experience. “I think my new Minesweeper record can teach everyone a very valuable life lesson. When you are trying to accomplish your goals, people will put you down. They’ll say ‘No way! You won’t break 129 seconds,’ and ‘There’s no way you’ll find those mines in time,’ or even ‘A black man will never become president.’ But my Minesweeper experience proves that if you procrastinate hard enough, then anything is possible.”

Shortly after breaking his record, Alder secured a book deal with Scholastic, Inc. His book, titled How to Sweep Away Your Problems: A Serious Story of Mine, will be in stores by Fall 2009 or, if Ben continues playing Minesweeper, in Spring 2011.
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