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 - Zach Kaczor

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Zach Kaczor, who is displayed on card number 99, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Zach is one of the youngest gamers to appear on a Video Game Trading Card.  When the card was produced, Zach was 11 years old.   He took over the world record on the arcade game Ice Cold Beer which was first achieved in 1984.   His score was 350,000 which still holds today as the current world record on Twin Galaxies scoreboard. Zach also loves the current games of today like Call of Duty and other games for the XBOX.  He holds the world record on Gunstringer for the XBOX 360.    Zach is proud to be a part of the gaming community and hopes ones day to set more records and be a top gamer for his generation.  

Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?

I used to be, I was one of the original Minecraft servers that existed right when the game was being released to the public. That ran up until about 2014-15 when I quit and had other people run it for me. I would like to believe I had an important role in the way servers were ran and continue to run. I often interacted with many other server owners of larger communities and would often find ways to manage and handle large amounts of people. It was a fun learning experience.

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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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Trading Card Spotlight - Michael Sroka

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Michael Sroka who is displayed on card number 25, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Michael is also featured on card 1311.  Michael is one of the driving forces behind the old online podcast known as the “Twin Galaxies Show” which would discuss high scores and other Twin Galaxies information.  The show has now been recreated as “Settle it on the Screen” and can be seen on the twin galaxies website and YouTube.  Michael is an avid gamer as well with many high scores in the database on such games as Worm Whopper and Q’Bert for the Intellivision and of course his all-time favorite game Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis.   Michael is currently looking to break the Gorgar Pinball record and is currently in 5th place with a score of 435,420.

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

I don’t see any difference between today’s generation of video games and classic video games. They are still a median of entertainment and since technology has gotten better, the in depth of entertainment has gotten better. I like to compare it to movies.  We used to have short movies without sound, black and white.  They were maybe 5 or 10 minutes, everything was just one take.  As time progressed, we added color, we added sound, we could edit the film, now days we are able to add special effect. I look at the entertainment of video games the same way.  It’s exactly the same, some people like older movies, some people like older video games.

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