Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Andrew Seklir, who is displayed on card number 2421, from the Superstars of 2016. His documentary film trading card is featured on card number 2495. Andrew is one half of the team that directed, produced and edited the documentary “Man vs. Snake”. A story of the arcade game Nibbler and the fight to set the world record. This successful documentary was featured in many film festivals over the past couple years and can also be seen on Netflix. Andrew has worked for many studios such as SyFy, HBO and Xbox Studios. Andrew has also been a part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise as a producer and editor of the show.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I still play classic arcade games and older console games via emulation on my home-built arcade cabinet (“Robotron", “Defender” etc.), but I also play games on my PS4, some recent ones include smaller games like “Firewatch" and “Inside”, as well as some of the mega releases such as “Titanfall" and “Star Wars Rebellion”.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
“Pong” was the first video game I played, on a home console hooked up to our black and white TV, later I discovered “Asteroids” and “Space Invaders” at the corner bodega (neighborhood store) and then “Adventure” for the Atari 2600 at a friend’s house. I was really enamored with the simple graphics and sounds and the idea that little world could exist within a TV set.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I don’t have anything against it, but I don’t think here haven’t really been any very good ones. I think they’re difficult to adapt because the pleasures of playing a game are vastly different from the pleasures of watching a movie, one is active and the other is passive. However, it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try if they think they have a novel and exciting way to do it.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
I had an Atari 2600 in high school, but the Sega and Nintendo explosion happened when I was in college and I was busy playing sports and studying (and had no money for games) so I didn’t really get to play either until some years later, which ended up being Nintendo, “Mortal Kombat” mostly.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
Obviously video games have progressed considerably from both a technical standpoint as well as a storytelling standpoint. When I have time, I still like to play both old/classic games as well as new games on iOS and PS4. I’m still excited to see where the technology takes us and to discover new worlds and stories, and I think VR is poised to explode over the next decade.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
No. I still think it’s pretty weird.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
I first Walter Day at his home in Fairfield Iowa when we came out to interview him for the documentary on “Nibbler”, “Man vs Snake”, I believe it was late 2008 or early 2009.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
“Enthusiastic!” I think Walter is just excited by people and games and ideas and life, he has a great energy and a great enthusiasm for many things and he’s extremely encouraging to people to pursue their dreams.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
I never owned any of the Gameboy devices, so I guess my favorite portable gaming device would be my phone, currently an iPhone6s.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
At the moment, I’m playing console games since I don’t have dedicated gaming PC. But there are many great games available via Steam that I am looking forward to checking out.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
If I could own one “dedicated” arcade game it would be “Robotron: 2084”.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I do think some games are overly graphic in their depiction of violence and I think those kinds of images threaten to pollute peoples’ imaginations. I think these kinds of gamed have the ability to desensitize people to a certain degree to that kind of imagery, but I don’t think they necessarily lead to violence.
Which company makes the best games and why?
Too difficult to answer, since great games are coming from too many sources, both indie developer and large companies.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
I think many things can be learned from playing video games since they exercise different parts of the brain. Certain kinds of problem solving and lateral thinking can be improved by playing games and I think there’s something to be said for competition against other people and learning how to win and lose graciously.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
I don’t think I have a favorite character I think the player is really the protagonist of the video game, that’s why a simple flashing cube works, as in “Adventure”, just as well as Mario or Sonic or other characters that are more developed. I do like Link from the “Zelda” games.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
The golden age of the 1980’s when the technology was still new and there was the possibility of discovering a new game in your corner store or laundromat.
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style.
1) Gameplay, 2) Story, 3) Art, 4) Atmosphere, 5) Music.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
Hmmm…I have ideas, but I’ll keep this one to myself, someday you may find out.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
I’m not a futurist, but I think VR and probably AR (augmented reality) have the greatest potential to move gaming forward. I’m excited to see what happens on these fronts. I’m also wary about the onset of digital addiction and what this means as a society.
You can purchase a copy of Man vs. Snake by clicking this link. Man Vs. Snake