Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Victor Marland, who is displayed on card number 2815, from the Superstars of 2018. Victor began his current podcast, Ten Pence Arcade, in 2014, focusing on arcade games from the 1970’s to the 2000’s. Each episode focuses on a certain game with videos, sketches, comedy, and reviews. Victor and his cohost Shaun Holley (trading card 2816) compete against each other for each game they feature. They encourage listeners to send in high scores form the game they feature on the podcast each time. All the scores he gets from the gamers are awarded points that they put in a high score table. At the end of each year they award a winner. Victor & Shaun feature gamers all over the U.S. and the United Kingdom. You can visit the podcast at the following link: www.tenpencearcade.co.uk
If you could design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
I’d do a sequel to Berzerk but different from Frenzy. A souped-up original Berzerk with new Otto's and different robots coming after you and more varied mazes would make a great game. Add in a co-op mode and it would be the perfect arcade game.
What other podcast are interested in and what would you like to see more of?
I listen to other arcade podcasts and have met and am friends with the hosts. I also listen to a fair few comedy and vintage video console / computer podcasts.
When did you begin your podcast and what inspired you to do so?
We’ve just hit the five year mark at the start of January 2019, and I was inspired by listening to Mike and Carrington who used to do the No Quarter podcast. Having no UK podcast of the same type needed to be fixed too.
Do you remember your first home video game or arcade you played? What do you remember about it?
Easy! Space Invaders, in a roadside cafe (truck stop) in the Midlands, UK. It was sometime in 1980, I was 7 years old. The machine was a Taito upright (with a joystick and a fire button) and was right next to a Bally Space Invaders Pinball. I was a bit scared of the backglass on that pinball. It looks like an Iron Maiden LP cover.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older classic games?
I have little to no interest in modern AAA gaming. I don’t have time to sink hundreds of hours into a game, nor like a myriad of controls. A lot of the indie games on the Nintendo Switch really appeal to me, plus Zelda and Mario (even though I have no hope of ever finishing them).
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
No way! If you’d told a 7 to 15-year-old Victor that he would one day have a garage full of working arcade machines, I wouldn’t have believed you. Let alone amongst a bunch of video game ambassadors on some stylish cards.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading card? If so, where?
Not as far as I know, but I do know quite a few of the people featured on the cards, especially in the UK.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I’ve met Walter only once at Funspot in 2008 at the world championship day in July. He was a delight to meet and very knowledgeable.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Genuine. When I talked to him, he was all about the records and getting people noticed for their achievements.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
The Switch because it’s so versatile and easy to swap between portable and HD TV mode.
Do you prefer PC or console gaming and why?
Console as it’s so much easier (and cheaper) to not have to hardware upgrade all the time to keep up with the games.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
It would have to be arcade style (of course) But, I really enjoy a lot of the Indie developed titles on the Switch. It really impresses me that some of these games can be by one developer, or a very small team (compared to the big titles).
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega or Microsoft?
Nintendo for the quality of games and Sega for nostalgia.
What does it take to run a good podcast?
Having fun, for a start. A good idea about what you are talking about and good editing to make the best possible experience for the listeners
How does video game music influence games past and present?
It can make or break a game for me. I don’t understand how some people can play games with the sound off? I like a tune that will stick in my head.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
I believe all ages.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
Not in the slightest. If people are mentally imbalanced and leaning toward violent behavior, they will carry out those impulsions regardless, if not helped.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I play at home (in my arcade garage) on my own usually, but gaming is a lot of fun with people playing with you in the same room. I don’t play online at all.
Which company makes the best games and why?
Arcade wise - Namco, Nintendo, Taito and Atari. Their games were iconic. Present day gaming, I am only interested in Nintendo Switch games. Mainly third-party indie developed.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Not really nowadays, but I firmly believe that children learn a lot of skills playing video games. But, playing age appropriate games and in reasonable time allowances.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Very much so. There’s nothing more relaxing than blasting some evil space creatures after a stressful day at work. Even better if you beat a personal best score!
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Dig Dug, as he’s the protagonist in one of my favorite games. He also looks a bit like a surf…With an air pump.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
Arcade machines in an arcade.
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story or Art style
Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style Gameplay, as it’s the core function of any game. Art style (especially in newer games), if the console is capable of beauty, it should show it, and I’m not talking about life like graphics. I do not like ‘life like’ graphics in games. If I want virtual reality, I’ll just go and take in some actual reality.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
Depends. Sometimes a huge battle can be very fulfilling when accomplished. Other times they can be overly used and annoying.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
I am the founder and co-host of the only British Arcade Game only podcast (The Ten Pence Arcade podcast) along with my friend Shaun Holley. I play parts of my collection most days when not restoring or tinkering with arcade machines.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 20 years?
Hopefully the developers will keep inventing new ideas for gaming and not get stuck in the rut they all seem to be in nowadays. I’d like to see tools available to help make games for genuinely gifted game designers.