Trading Card Spotlight - Joe Kaminkow

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Joe Kaminkow who is displayed on card number 273, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection. He is also featured on trading card number 793. Joe has had an amazing career in the pinball industry. He has worked with such companies as Data East, Sega and Stern pinball. Some of the most popular games have been worked on by Joe. Among some of the memorable games are Apollo 13, Jurassic Park, Batman, and The Simpsons. Joe has been inducted into the Pinball Hall Fame among being CIO of Aristocrat gaming after a career at IGT as SR. VP of Design Joe is also a member of the Gaming Hall of Fame and the first Inductee into the Slot Machine Hall of Fame.

What was the best era for pinball gaming in your opinion?

I think we are all partial to an era that reflects our personal likes – My Era is from Space Shuttle through South Park – Both games I had a hand in and I’ll extend a PS to Batman 66 and the Beatles. It was a time of innovation Stereo, Solid state flippers, auto ball plungers and Dot Matrix displays – All Pioneered by our company.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Tony Senor

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Tony Senor who is displayed on card number 3073, from the Superstars of 2019 Collection. Tony is a YouTuber personality that covers all things related to retro video gaming. In his videos you can see him retro game hunting and doing tours of video game stores.  He also has a series called “Retro and the Bubbys” and he covers events like the Missouri Game Con and Retropalooza hosted by the Game Chasers. Tony is also a collector with over 6,000 video games in his collection. Tony also enjoys reviewing various video games that he played from his youth from the Atari 2600 to modern-day. One of Tony’s goals is to cover every arcade and video store in his home state of Missouri. You can check out his Facebook page by clicking here

What does it take to be a video game YouTuber?

Persistence, patience, and drive. It is a lot of hard work and the market for retro video game content creators is a very loaded one. You also have to be willing to learn new skills and try to get better with editing and buying equipment for your channel. You have to make it fun too. YouTube is not a full-time job for me but a hobby where I like to connect with the retro video game community.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Ray Price

Our next Trading Card Spotlight is Ray Price who currently is displayed on card number 3084, from the Superstars of 2019 Collection.  Ray is the founder and owner of an arcade coming soon called “Arcade816 Museum”.  This new arcade located in the suburbs of Chicago, is different than any others.  The main games in the arcade are cabinets with consoles and games for the system.   He has been in the gaming business in 1991 as the associate editor for Electronic Gaming Monthly. Having lived 40 years of gaming history, Ray eventually started to open up a museum from all the gaming history he found.  For more information on his retro Arcade, you can visit www.arcade816.com

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘arcade’?

It’s not something you can describe. It’s a feeling. A memory that is evoked by just hearing this question. The vision of seeing people talking, playing, enjoying themselves, the look of the cabinets, the smell of the wood and CRT monitors. The sound of Colossus yelling in X-Men, the sound of the Elephants in Dhalsim’s stage in Street Fighter II, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. It’s something I’m very excited to see recreated in a new way with my home console venue.

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Trading Card Spotlight - David Cruz

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features David Cruz who currently is displayed on card number 45, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  David is also featured on trading cards 1253, 1258, and 1752.  David is an all-around great game player. David shares the Pac-Man record with a Perfect game that he has achieved 3 times. His game of choice is  the arcade game Tron where he has numerous world records and has battled others in many tournaments. One recent one was in 2014 where he battled John Salter in the "Battle for the Grid" on Tron arcade machine. David has other world records such as Vs. Duck Hunt and Vs. Hogan’s alley for the arcade. David has also experienced iron man status while playing Tron for almost 23 hours straight on one game. 

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

There is something to be said about better graphics in the newer games, but without good or great gameplay, they are not worth it. That said, there are many great games now. But nothing compares to our favorite classic arcade games. I wouldn’t hesitate to go for a marathon run on a classic arcade game. I don’t see myself trying that on any newer games. Either they don’t support it or they’re not worth that mind of effort.

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Trading Card Spotlight - John Newcomer

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features John Newcomer, who currently is displayed on card number 626 from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.  John is the creator of the ever-popular game “Joust”.  Joust is considered one of the golden age games from the original arcade era.  A toy designer by trade, John hired by Williams to invigorate the pinball company.  While there he joined up with a team and created a non-fighter, non-shooter arcade game.  Joust was an instant success and still is popular today in arcades.  In 1999 John shifted his creative skills to the mobile gaming genre. He has been involved as a lead designer, design manager and creative director for several global companies.  John is currently a senior designer making casual mobile games.

Permission to use these answers granted provided: prior knowledge is given and recognition that John was the source of the answers.

What inspired you to create Joust?

Several things. First, was a longtime love for fantasy and science fiction… movies and comic books and Frazetta. Second, I thought there was a hole in the market for a flying game and the twist would be to NOT use spaceships or planes. Third, I did my homework on commonality of fantasy and dreams. I saw studies that showed people wished they could fly, have flying be their super-power, have flying be a gut level wish for freedom. What gets you closer to such a feeling is to be a bird (or other flying creature) or be on a bird… not enclosed in a mechanical contraption.

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