Trading Card Spotlight - Stuart Rankin

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Stuart Rankin who is displayed on card number 192, from the Twin Galaxies Superstars Collection of 2011.  From Glasgow, Scotland, Stuart is a huge Space Harrier collector.  He holds many Space Harrier World Records on the Twin Galaxies scoreboard.  He is involved in building a small desktop model which will run on raspberry pi.   Other games Stuart has an interest in are Star Wars arcades and Tempest as well as the game NARC, which he has built a bar top cabinet with the NARC graphics on it. 

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

Sega. I own all of them except the Mega CD and Nomad. Always liked the Sega stuff. Most of my favorite arcade games were from Sega so naturally I tend to gravitate towards getting home versions of them first. Oh, and Sonic.

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

First arcade game I played was Puck Man. I wondered at the time why it had a different name to Pac Man. Of course, I was 8 years old. I wasn’t very good at it. I remember it was bright and colorful and had amazing sounds…

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

No, I had no idea that would happen, but then I had no idea there were Video Game Cards

Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card?  If so, where?

I was interviewed by a web site called GamesYouLove.com

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

Visionary. Because Walter realized that games were here to stay and that keeping a record of official scores was a stroke of genius.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

PC gaming has its advantages or consoles like being able to tweak game settings. On the other hand, console games are optimized already for the system and you just switch on and go.

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

I play Space Harrier, NARC, Galaga 3, Moon Patrol, Xevious, Salamander, After Burner, R Type II, etc. My favorite genre probably has to be shmups, though I am not very good at them. I don’t do very well in ‘bullet hell’ scenarios…

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

I already own my ‘grail’ cab.

How does video game music influence games past and present?

Well some scores are great pieces of music. It’s a pity that in most of the Western world it’s not taken as seriously as other types of music. Sure, there are limitations on some of it due to old hardware and stuff but if it wasn’t good music and exciting or bring Games Live

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

I think they are suited to anyone. Well anyone who enjoys playing them.

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

Maybe too violent, but I don't believe they add to violence in America or anywhere else for that matter. Being an asshole makes you violent. Not games.

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

Probably alone as competing is a bit boring. I try to improve my own scores. Although two player co-opting on Salamander or Taito’s Superman is fun.

Which company makes the best games and why?

Sega used to be the best. Nowadays, I have no idea. I like retro stuff. So, I have to say Sega, Konami, Namco etc.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Yes, good eye to hand co-ordination and well, do you mean life lessons?? Lol

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

I don’t compare them. I have no real interest in today’s games as A. Arcades are dead (apart from driving games and coin pushers) and B. Modern consoles bore me with the same ol same ol first person shooters

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Yes, can be, unless you’re playing one of those addictive things that you just got to beat or get to the next level and stuff, then you’re up all night stressed ha-ha.

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

There hasn’t been a good video game movie that I have seen yet. Not holding my breath for Sony’s Sonic movie. Remember Super Mario Bros. anyone?

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

Ironically, my favorite video game character is the first dragon boss from Space Harrier. The mighty Squilla. It’s just so emblematic of that game in particular and at the time it was first released it was jaw dropping!

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

Arcades and retro consoles. Galaxian, Space Invaders etc.

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

Gameplay is most important because if you don't like the gameplay or if it has no real need for skill then there’s no point in having the rest of it.

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

Some are satisfying some are not. it really depends on the game and setting. Sometimes they can feel like a distraction from the game. Then others add to the game.

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

My favorite single player is obviously Space Harrier. My favourite multi player would be Superman because I have fond memories of playing that with a mate years ago in the 80s. We spent quite a bit of money on it.

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

This would be a breach of copyright of IP, but I’d go for a game that is a fully developed world where the player controls one of the dragons from Space Harrier except this time you’re the “good guy” and go obliterate some baddies.

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

I have no idea. The virtual world seemed to come and go, but maybe there will be a renewed interest with things like Oculus Rift or whatever. But basically, it’ll probably be the same old first-person doom shooter stuff.

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

I still play games at home, on my Space Harrier cabinet and on MAME and my Raspberry Pi bartop cab I built. Oh, and some retro consoles too.