This week we look back at an interview with author and game enthusiast Brett Weiss. This interview was done on November 29th, 2015.
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Brett Weiss who currently is displayed on card number 221, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection. He is also featured on cards 227, 1193,1207,1320,1393 and 1402. These cards commemorate Brett’s books that he has written over the years. Brett is a passionate writer of many books and has contributed to numerous publications, including Game Informer, Video Game Trader and the PinGame Journal, to name a few. His well-known books, Classic Home Video Games can be purchased on amazon and other retail book sites. You can also find out more information about his work at www.brettweisswords.com.
Do you remember your first video game/arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
My brother and I played Pong at my cousin’s house in 1975—they had gotten it for Christmas. We were amazed that you could play it on television. Prior to this, I had played Gun Fight, Pong, and a few others in the arcades. When Breakout hit the arcades in 1976, I began liking video games even more than pinball, which I loved.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
Most of today’s console games require more of a time investment. Unless you’re playing some of the simple download titles, you can’t really sit down and kill a few minutes like you could on the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, or Odyssey2. Having said that, there are some I enjoy, such as Bayonetta and God of War. I really enjoy some of the third-person 3D hack-and-slash titles. The arcade industry is largely comprised of these giant quarter-gobbling games and ticket-dispensing games that pale in comparison to Asteroids, Defender, Ms. Pac-Man, and the like.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video game Trading card?
Ha! It never would have occurred to me. I had a few baseball cards growing up, and I collected KISS cards, so it’s pretty cool to be on a card now. It is quiet the honor.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card?
Not that I know of, but I have received media coverage for my books about video games, such as in different newspapers and on various websites.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
I met Walter at the 2003 Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. I asked him about a Mr. Do! Tournament that was coming up—he was patient with my questioning.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Kind - He has a smile, a warm handshake, and a kind word for everyone he meets.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
Game Boy Advance SP. Lots of cool titles, and it was awesome to finally have a Game Boy system that was backlit.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
Console. I very rarely play PC games, because console gaming is easier to hook up, access, and play. However, I do play the old cartridge-based computer games for the Commodore 64 and Atari 800.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I largely prefer the pick-up-and-play titles of old, such as Asteroids Deluxe, Millipede, Robotron, Dig Dug, Galaga ’90, Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision), and Lady Bug. I love maze games, action games, 2D shooters, and climbing games. I also like 2D platformers, and, as I mentioned before, I like third-person 3D hack-and-slash titles when it comes to the modern stuff. My favorite game of all time is Mr. Do! My favorite modern game is Maximo: Ghosts to Glory for the PS2.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
Monster Bash, the pinball machine based on the Universal Monsters. I love classic horror movies, and that machine looks, sounds, and plays great. Challenging, but not frustrating. I could also go for the Tron arcade game—it looks so cool and has four great screens.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo?
Growing up I was an Atari guy and a Coleco guy, because I’m old. Before I got my own console for Christmas when I was 15—a ColecoVision in 1982—I would go to everyone’s house I knew and would play their Fairchild Channel F, Atari 2600, Odyssey2, and Intellivision. When I got my NES in 1986, the year after it came out, I was almost 20, but I loved it as well and starting assembling a collection, including such titles as Super Mario Bros., Ikari Warriors, Double Dragon, and Contra. I didn’t get a Sega Master System until later, but I got a Sega Genesis in 1990, the year after it came out, and a Super Nintendo in 1991, the year it came out, and I loved both consoles.
What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?
Time, patience, and a love of gaming. Plus, you have to be able to write in a concise, entertaining fashion if you want to get published in respectable markets.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I’m not a big fan of gore or overly violent games (unless it’s fantasy, like ripping apart and blowing away monsters in a 3D action title), but I don’t think violent video games lead to violent behavior. Extremely violent first-person shooters like Call of Duty make billions of dollars and are played by millions of people, but there have been far more violent times in the world than today. Most violence is the result of desperation, indoctrination, drug use, and the like, not pushing buttons while staring at a TV screen or computer monitor.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Video games can be a great learning tool (they are ideally suited to teaching geography, history, and math—schools should make more use of them), but the simple action games I play aren’t particularly educational.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Whether you’re wandering around in a lost kingdom looking for a sword, flying through space while blasting aliens, or concentrating on a simple maze game, video games are the perfect escape from the worries of real life.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Yes, I write books about classic video games, and I write holiday gift guides, fall and spring previews, and the like for a major metropolitan newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I also attend conventions, co-host panels, and play games in my game room.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
Mostly downloads and, from what I understand, more and more virtual reality. People will don wearable technology and go out in the real world on treasure hunts (real and virtual), monster kills, and the like.
For more info, check out Brett's website: www.brettweisswords.com