Trading Card Spotlight Steven Lucas

 Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Steven Lucas, who is displayed on card number 178, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Steven is the 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge National Champion, in which players contested over Super Mario Bros. 3, Pin-bot and Dr. Mario on a time limited cartridge. Steven has a passion for gaming and always can be seen attending various conferences and events in the gaming industry. He has also competed in other tournaments such as the Sega Genesis College Tournament. 

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

Well I did make a game using the Shoot Em Up Construction Set where a kid who had his Nintendo taken away by his parents and given away to unsavory characters fights to recover it. "Battle for Nintendo Power".

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

Though I may have touched another game sometime before this, the first one I seriously took interest in was Space Invaders. I wanted to give it a try after watching others play it. Seemed fascinated by the aliens and shooting them down, not so much with the loud booms. I was seven years old at that point.

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

Well I don't want people to think GAMBLING when they hear the term, because gambling parlors are popping up like weeds all over the place and are advertised as "video gaming". My city has 125-150 of these places now, and we're thought of as "Little Vegas". And of course, these gambling machines are displacing arcade games because they rake in so much cash. Heck, local and state governments with their severely technology-challenged old geezer politicians who longed for the days of manual typewriters and rotary phones viewed pinball and arcade games as gambling machines all those years ago and it took many years to get them to accept these were for amusement only and to butt out of our leisure. 

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

A lot of the newer games seem to take many weeks or months to finish (like the newer Mario & Zelda games).  With my free time greatly reduced I can only enjoy games that can be played in short bursts, which many older games can be played in that fashion. That said, I don't own the newer consoles (PS4, XBox One, Switch). I haven't marathon played a game in a very long time, the last time I played an extended game on one credit was a million-point run on Thief that took over three hours at Galloping Ghost. And when I have a few days to binge play, it is usually at Galloping Ghost Arcade.

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

I don't think anyone conceived the idea of trading cards for video gamers back in the 80s.

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

I believe Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee many years ago.

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

Visionary.

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

For some reason I can't get interested in portable gaming, at least the traditional Gameboy/Game Gear/Lynx/etc. mold. Sure, I'll play Angry Birds on my smartphone. Heck, I got a Nintendo 2DS so I could prepare for the 2017 Nintendo World Championships, but it became apparent that there was no way I was going to be a serious contender. I had better luck with the Thief run the next day.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

Depends on the game, some genres of games like first person shooters are better suited for a PC than the console. Games like Super Mario & Sonic are better suited for the console. Of course, with the arcade & console controllers you can plug into a computer available, you may not notice the difference.

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

I pretty much prefer games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era, and for genres probably platformers and maze games.

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

Well if I was forced to only have one arcade game in my house, it would be a multicade. Right now, I have five arcade cabs in my basement. Have yet to acquire a pinball machine. Oh, a single game arcade game...can't narrow it to one.

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

You left out Atari, Coleco, Mattel...anyway, it's Nintendo simply because they revived interest in video gaming following the crash of 1984.

What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?

I hate the term journalist, it's become so bastardized and most people who claim to be such are extremely biased with personal agendas. I don't think we ever got a truthful, accurate depiction of what the heck Gamergate was really about.  And really didn't appreciate the injection of politics into my gaming of which it's supposed to be an ESCAPE from...

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

A majority of new games made for PS4 or Xbox One are aimed at older players, rated T or M. Nintendo mostly geared itself to the KA crowd.

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

While there's something to be said for monkey see monkey do, some games I won't play because they are too graphic. As to whether they influenced people to be violent, I'd point the finger at Hollywood instead and its glorification of violence deserving the lion's share of blame. Politicians will blame video games simply because of player interaction and ignore Hollywood due to how much political influence actors exhibit.

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

I pretty much had to go it alone whether I preferred to or not.

Which company makes the best games and why?

I would lean toward Nintendo, simply because everyone wanted to play their games following the 1984 game crash.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Strategies.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Most definitely, unless it is what's causing the stress.

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

Hollywood hasn't had a good track record translating the game to the big screen. Animated/CGI films have had better results, but live action films tend to bomb at the box office with bad reviews.

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

Probably Pac-man. Simplicity. 

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

Gameplay, if it's not fun or has a number of problematic issues, the other aspects are irrelevant. 

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

Depends on the game.

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

I really can't narrow it to one single player game. Multiplayer games I haven't been able to enjoy very many of them, of the few it was Quake.

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

I game when I can. My role I guess is as a gaming celebrity of sorts with that tourney win.

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

Don't know. I wouldn't had come anywhere close to guessing what gaming became in 2018 if you asked me this in 1998. It will depend on how technology evolves and buying habits of the consumer. I would hate to see media be made a thing of the past in favor of strictly digital downloads which has been the current trend. And I fear gambling may become the primary definition of what video gaming is thought of being.