Trading Card Spotlight Tim Kinzy

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Tim Kinzy, who is displayed on card number 2422 from the Superstars of 2016 Collection.  His documentary film trading card is featured on card number 2495.  Tim 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.  Tim has been a television editor on such shows as Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Falling Skies, and Beyond.

What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?

I don’t have much time these days between 12+ hour work days and raising 2 babies, but I try to get a good game of Galaga or Dig Dug in at home in when I can carve out a little bit of time.  My favorite genre of games tends to be the one-person player games from the classic video game era.  You know, the basics, Donkey Kong, Pac Man, and of course Nibbler.


Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?

The first video game I ever played was PONG on Magnavox Odyssey 200 in 1977.  It was only PONG, but way cooler than Chutes & Ladders and SORRY.   And I could play it at home.  I had never seen a video game before that.

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

I’m a sucker for the nostalgia of older games.  And I prefer the simplicity.   The graphics and gameplay of today’s games are so advanced and sophisticated – so much, in fact, that I don’t have the time to invest to get good enough to compete at a basic level.  I recently played Super Mario Bros. and already I felt overwhelmed at the time commitment needed to finish (without looking up short cuts)

Halo is a lot of fun, but playing it was just me and my friends running around and killing each other.  There’s a lot more to the campaigns, but we never evolved into anything other than brutal aggression against each other.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video game Trading card? 

For my high (actually low) score on Atari Miniature Golf, yes.  I was the best at a game that nobody had or ever cared to play.

When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?

I met Walter Day in January of 2008 at his home in Fairfield, Iowa when interviewing him (the first of many times) for the Man vs Snake doc.

If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?

INGENIOUS – For all his out of the box contributions to gamers with his high score keeping and all the countless promotions to reward and inspire true gamers. 

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

Right now, it’s the Namco TV games 4 in 1 controller, for its accessibility and nostalgic games.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

I grew up with an Atari 2600, so I’ve always preferred console gaming.

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

I grew up with a Pretty Baby pinball game (Williams, 1965), but my dad donated it when my brother and I left for college.  Would be great to get that back.  For me, pinball is a great way to zone out and zen in.   

Which console company is your favorite and why?  Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?

Nintendo is great fun and probably something my kids will start on when they’re old enough to start playing video games.

What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?

Not really sure, but probably more travel to cover live competitive events. 

How does video game music influence games past and present?

Video game music has evolved quite a bit since the little Pac Man open fanfare from back in the day.  They’re now epic and cinematic music masterpieces.  They no doubt will inspire future games to be even more so.

Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?

Seems that there are games aimed at all demographics, but probably most profitable to aim at adolescents.  Children will will aspire to play above their abilities and adults will want to feel younger.  I got hooked on Angry Birds a few years back after my 8-year-old nephew showed me how fun (and addicting) it was. 

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

Video games can be extremely violent, but I don’t see any correlation between the two.  Football is violent, but I never want to run out in the street and start tackling people.  I think fear and hatred in a corrupt political climate inspire more violence than anything these days.

Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?

It’s always fun to compete with friends in a friendly setting when possible, but alone works in a pinch when I want to get a quick game in to decompress.

Which company makes the best games and why?

Activision past and present makes great games for their wide range of genres and playability.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Growing up playing countless hours of Atari really helped my hand-eye coordination.  I probably take a lot more chances than I should with dangerous driving on the road as a result of that.  Not sure that’s a good thing… lol

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Yes, especially when I playing really well or beating the crap out of my opponent.  Losing – not so much.

Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?

There are some great video game docs out there, although not quite from Hollywood.  I’m really looking forward to READY PLAYER ONE!

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

Mario is my favorite, for all the games he’s been in and inspired through the years. 

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?

All the great memories of learning and exploring a brand-new universe in my youth.

Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why?  Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style

Gameplay.  Some of my favorite games were the Infocom Zork and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text adventures.  Arguably NOT video games, but they offered so much without anything mentioned other than playability.

Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?

Never been in one, so probably not.

What is your favorite singe player game and favorite multiplayer game?

Today, probably Arkanoid for single player and Halo 1 for multiplayer.

If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

Growing up, I designed a Kaboom style game on my IBM PCjr where you’re an umbrella and you scroll across the screen stopping from birds pooping on the sidewalk.  I’d definitely design something different today.  Maybe a guitar hero type game that actually teaches you how to actually play the guitar. 

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

My biggest role was documenting some of the greatest classic video gamers.

 Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?

More virtual reality, more immersion into the game.

To order the documentary ,  Please visit Man vs. Snake

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