Trading Card Spotlight Empr3ss Nile

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Sashaun “Empr3ss Nile” Bailey, who is displayed on card number 2417, from the Superstars of 2016.   Originally competing at Cyberbox tournaments as a competitor for Empire Arcadia in 2015, Empr3ss always knew she was a gaming competitor.  When Cyberbox closed, she looked for a new way to contribute to eSports as a competitor. Nile was one of the top eSports competitors for Just Dance in the country.  She has won the National competition at Cyberbox for Just Dance in Jamaica.   She also is a part of the Tetris Team trying to win a title for the Empire.   Other games Enpr3ss like to compete in are League of Legends and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?

It would have to be a tie between PAC-MAN and Lara Croft. I like PAC-MAN because he's simple and you can power him up easy with the energizer. I like when the ghost think they're about to kill you and you get the power up and they start running. I use to laugh all the time as a kid when I saw that, I still do sometimes. I like Lara Croft because she's a bad-ass and to some degree she's independent. She doesn't work for anybody. She has guns can kill bears, wolves, people. She's a super version of Indiana Jones.

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Trading Card Spotlight Leonard Herman

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Leonard Herman, who is displayed on card number 180, from the Superstars of 2011 and who is also featured on cards 514 and 1951. Leonard is the author of the book “Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames”. The 4th edition (retitled Phoenix IV: The History of the Videogame Industry) just published at the end of 2016 and is one of the most comprehensive video game history books available today. With nearly 830 pages of information, this book is a must for gamers everywhere. Leonard has also written articles for video game outlets such as Electronic Gaming Monthly, Supercade and GameSpot. He has also founded Rolenta Press, which has published video game books by such as authors as the late Ralph Baer, the father of the home video game console. In 2003, Leonard was awarded the Classic Gaming Expo Achievement award and has been an advisor for the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas.

Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

No. Videogames were always deemed as violent ever since Death Race appeared in 1976. I wouldn't be surprised if some people claimed Pong was violent because you had to 'hit' a ball. However, the violence is no worse than it is in movies. However, what makes videogames standout is that they are interactive. If anything, (but remember, I'm not a psychiatrist), people take their frustrations out on videogame enemies. I think the numbers are very, very low of people who made a transition from videogame violence to real life violence.

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Trading Card Spotlight Pete Hahn

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Pete Hahn, who is displayed on card number 1930 from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.  Pete is also featured on card 2544.   Pete, or as most know him as “GGA HAN”, is an employee of one of the largest arcades in the country - Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL.   Not only does Pete work at the arcade but also co-hosts a podcast with Galloping Ghost Arcade owner Doc Mack, and organizes many arcade events such as swap meets, tournaments, and new game launches. These events and game launches can be seen on Galloping Ghosts Twitch.TV channel.   Pete has many various World Records on arcade games as Contra, Super Contra, Rush 'N Attack, and Primal Rage.

What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games?  How do you compare them to older, classic games?

Today’s games, to me at least, are great on the surface but can sometimes lack substance when you play them for a while.  Generally, they look great, the animations and music are usually good, but seem to favor trial and error gameplay (games autosaving for you before a big boss battle, for example).  When comparing them to classics, they tend to not hold my interest as much unless the gameplay is really fluid and makes you feel powerful when you execute moves skillfully or stylishly, like the new generation Ninja Gaiden games, or Bayonetta.

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Trading Card Spotlight Steve Grunberger

Happy New Year ! 

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Steve Grunberger who is displayed on card number 906, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.   Steve, who lives in Australia, is a passionate gamer who grew up in the early 80s and lived the arcade boom as well as the fall.  His real love came when he found a game called Dragon’s Lair.  This game changed his whole life.   He has one of the largest collectors in the world of Dragon’s Lair items.   He is also a collector of arcade games and has 15 machines currently in his home.   Steve co-owns Arcade Fever International Magazine which is a free online magazine for gamers.   He also is involved in MAME events online and competes regularly.

Who is your favorite arcade game character and what makes that character special?

Dexter from Space Ace (Also Borf), Dirk from Dragon’s Lair.  I just connected with them. Space Ace is the reason I believe I now work in IT. Just that ‘future’ aspect from the game. Oh, Discs of Tron was a favorite too. So, Tron.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Hector Rodriguez

Happy Holidays !

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Hector Rodriguez who is displayed on card number 253, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  Hector is also displayed on cards 300F and 2134.  Hector is a true competitive gamer and has a very successful gaming resume.   He competed in the Nintendo World Championship in 1990.  In 2000, he won an all expensed paid trip to the X-Games and entered a Tony Hawk Pro Skater tournament where he finished 6th.  He won a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater tournament in 2001.  Hector has numerous world records on games of all kinds on such platforms as PlayStation, Nintendo GameCube and Sega Dreamcast to name a few.  He is also a record holder on arcade games such as Track & Field and Jail Break.   Hector is a serious weightlifter when he is not playing video games and working.  

If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?

Well, I own 25 arcade games and 180+ PCBS, but if I had to be left with just one it would be a toss-up between Hyper Sports or Track and Field for 2 different reason. Track and Field is easy mindless play for me so I can zone out and just relax. If I want a challenge Hyper Sports is one that I have yet to master but it can become frustrating at times.  So, I think I’m leaning towards Track and Field.

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