Trading Card Spotlight - Robert Racek
Our next Trading Card Spotlight Features Robert Racek/Sid Seattle who currently is displayed on card number 2293, from the Superstars of 2015 Collection. Robert also represents himself and "Arcade Culture" on cards 2735, 2849, and 2850 and a couple others with the Sid Seattle Events Series. You can find Robert in the Guinness Book of World Records – Gamers Edition 2012. He has a few record-setting high scores on such games as Mr. Driller, Prop Cycle, Qix,Gyruss, Daioh, Ice Climbers, gaplus/g alaga 3, Avalanche, Mr. Driller G and Pang 3. His Alternate alias is “Sid Seattle”. Robert worked for Irem/Fabtek, Culture Brain and Nintendo and Microsoft in the late1980’s/ early 1990's. Robert had got ten million at Bubble Bobble live at an arcade in front of witnesses back in 1990 without using any of the cheating "joystick codes". Robert’s next event idea is PTTP... (Payment to the Players) where 100% of the coinbox of an event is given to the player with the highest score at the end of the show on the "extreme challenge machine”. such as at Grinkers Grand Palace mid-October in Eagle Idaho. (DKJ/Remixed 2-minute ROM) Sid hopes to see you all there. Sid Seattle is also the Founder of "Scorechasers" (a group of Jerseyed players that are about gaming and fun as well as” The Future of Retro Arcade Culture".. ).
"Sid Seattle Events is the Future of Arcade Competitions" -Walter Day
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I play classic-style arcade games to this day. I like everything by Namco and the newest Konami released 8 player bomber girl looks fantastic, (I hope that somewhere in the US will take a chance on a non-music-based game by Konami.)
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
One word... Inspiration. And because without him. Competitive Retro Arcade gaming would have Been left only to Eugene Jarvis/ Whiz Kidz at Williams as their machines were the only ones that kept track of as their machines were the only ones that kept track of scores when the cabs were turned off at the end of the day.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
Yes, a Sears Super Pong, I remember that my older brother couldn't beat me at the soccer game where you try to catch the ball. On the fastest speed, as I could Catch all 15 in a row.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
There is no comparison. the new generation of "ticket spitters" are mostly kiddie gambling games, in most states they are, actually regulated by the federal gambling commission. there are new "retro games like Cosmotrons, killer queen and the new Exa Arcade systems that are great, as well a sequel to Robotron called Nex Machina, was tested a few years ago, (but I was told it tested badly, they probably tested it at a Chuck E Cheese type place.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video game Trading card?
Nope, there, was never such a thing until what? 2010
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card? If so, where?
Yes, a few radio interviews and ongoing event promoting and as the "Head of the Arcade and, Pin Division" of Game, On Expo in Phoenix.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
Well, while I worked at Nintendo in the late 80s. I imagine I probably met Walter and Billy Mitchell at some point.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
to me, any arcade machine, (short of a Sinistar Cockpit or 1987 Darius behemoth) is portable. So "Arcade machine" is my answer.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
I currently own about 20 arcade/Pinball machines and over 200 arcade pcbs. so it's not a very appropriate question for me, um. 1973 Ringer or a 2010 Darius Gaiden Chronicles. pinball-wise. It would have to be my one of a kind "Survivor"1954 Bally HIFI. nickel gambling pin or my newest 1960 woodrail called Melody Lane. (I love Spectrum as well)
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
Console company, Konami and or Microsoft as they both have new arcade releases...the new Bombergirl and Halo: fireteam..Microsoft FIRST arcade game.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
In every way. Even the sounds that are not music, look at Avalanche. One of the most Skill Based arcade games, created in 1978...by Atari. the sound of the ball hitting the paddle and each layer of rocks that you hit have a different tone. centipede or Raiden. You can tell where and when on the screen where an enemy or object is by "the sound" not the visual.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
That all depends upon the game or the type of audience that the manufacturer wants to cater to or attract.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
Nope, that is usually a parenting, gun control/mental health or media created issue. There are much worse things in the world than video games.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
With others live, together. There is nothing like watching someone at a con, expo or festival. Or even an arcade, putting your quarter up to "play next" and playing arcade games one credit at a time as they were meant to be played.
Which company makes the best games and why?
Historically, Taito, Williams, Konami, Namco, Capcom, Stern, Gottlieb (mostly pins,7 vids), Atari, Bandai/Namco. Raw thrills (the Williams2.0 reboot. Sort of with Eugene Jarvis).
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Yes, patience, game theory, hand/eye coordination, sense of accomplishment, mental acuity.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
Sometimes. Cloak and dagger, the last star fighter, Krull, Tron, Night of the comet(tempest) are great movies based on "video games". "Pixels" not so much.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Mr. driller. Susumi, as he is the nephew of the main Dig dug character.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
It's a comforting phrase. it harkens back to "glory days" of places that do it well. "huge retro locations" like Grinkers in Idaho, Galloping Ghost Arcade in Chicago and Museum of Pinball in California.
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
Gameplay... you could have the best looking game (the new vr tomb raider).or the worst looking game "oli boo chu" but "gameplay is king" in my book.. I love frogger, spatter, swimmer, and the Mr. Driller series any. They all, even flawed, have great gameplay.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
No. neither do the better manufacturers. Raw Thrills, newish, Galaga assault has 69 levels. The mothership shows up 4-6 times. And you can never actually defeat the mothership.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Mr. Driller and Killer Queen (a two cabinet 5 each side.10 player. retro/rogue. (imagine joust meets league of legends). experience.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
A very retro game with new added elements like a Cosmotrons or killer queen. Or even a Q-Bert with "step controls".
What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?
A passion for your subject matter (games and machines and shows/events), and minimize your "personal opinions" and "gripes" about other "Arcade People" in your journalism.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Yes, recently, I have gotten somewhere between 7 and 15 arcade world record scores, across Arcade, Twin Galaxies, Facebook/game over and record breakers. I help organize, promote, create retro arcade events /jigsaw, puzzle events/virtual pinball events as Sid Seattle Events throughout the US and a few, shows in Canada. contact me at 253-987-9034.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
I like to think Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality with co-exist and create experiences that we can't even imagine. look at the 7D theatres in Japan for the "future experience ideas" or magic floor or Axtion Games" fitplayness "games.