Trading Card Spotlight - William Rosa
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features William 'SnowFlake' Rosa, who is displayed on card number 2468, from the Superstars of 2016 Collection. On February 2nd, 2019, Bill broke a new world record on “Tapper” Arcade, pending verification. Streaming live on Twitch, Bill played for over 25 hours consecutively breaking the world record with 14,826,200. He has been playing retro games all his life and has his own podcast interviewing gaming personalities on Twitch. Bill is dedicated to animal rescue and helping injured animals in his area in Ohio.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Samus Aran. Great game. Strong woman. A nice "surprise ending" to learn "he" was a "she all along. Plenty of games, movies, and books having a female protagonist either make it about sex appeal or go over the top in trying to prove just how much they respect women and just wind up tokenizing the character. With Samus Aran though it’s just an amazing hero who just so happens to be female.
When was the first time you played Tapper?
Honestly you know how everyone knows that one guy that never saw game of thrones, or never heard of some popular movie? I never even knew tapper existed until 2014. When I decided to buy an arcade game as I finally had my own place, I saw a price guide site used tapper in various conditions as an example of how condition affects things. I just figured they were using some random obscure game. Then when I bought my baby Pac-Man the guy had 3 tappers peaking my curiosity. I just assumed again, it was some obscure game, but making a comeback due to 80s kids being all grown up and liking alcohol. Then I finally played it for the first time a few minutes at the The Galloping Ghost (as a coincidence the day I checked out the ghost was the day Walter and Triforce were there to verify it as the world’s largest arcade but I wouldn’t call that 'meeting' Walter since despite being in the same room we had no real interaction, Cary’s arcade still counts as the first meeting even though it was later). And of course, once John Salter opened his arcade, I played it a lot there. I was actually aiming for the record on Jungle King and just played Tapper as a break between Jungle King games. But I accidentally mastered tapper before getting good at the game I was consciously trying for. By the time I finally realized just how much everyone else respected the record, Lauren beat me. So, this will be the first time I have the record and actually appreciate how it's respected.
What is the secret of staying mentally fit in a gaming marathon run?
Like anything, training and testing. Tapper in particular digs into your hands, so build your hands up with much practice. Tapper can be played ambidextrously, so learn to be ambidextrous and alternate between hands so that each hand gives the other a break. Sleep right up to the beginning of the event so that you have no wasted awake time. Play psychological games convincing yourself each step along the way you're almost done and only have to hang on a little while longer. But of course, health comes first. If I have to throw a game to preserve my health, I’ll do it. Fortunately, though I bumped up close to that when hallucinating during my 40 hour Atari 2600 asteroids marathon. I do not believe I’ve suffered any health damage yet.
Which company makes the best games and why?
Nintendo, Konami, and Blizzard. It's impossible to pick one as better than other two. Konami (at least used to) ONLY release good games, and so while Nintendo may have had better games, they also had worse games. With Konami you knew every single title was playable. Blizzard as well only releases excellence, and real time strategy is a genre I’m especially fond of. Nintendo, well, they got Metroid, Mario, Popeye, what more do you want?
What are your opinions about today’s generation of videogames? How do you compare them to older classic games?
Depends. I think consoles have slipped. Arcades peaked in the 80s, consoles peaked in the early 2000s, but PC and mobile games are still getting better as we speak. My personal favorites are Starcraft II on the PC, and Metroid/Castlevania games from NES to the PlayStation 2 time period
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
I didn’t even realize such a thing existed much less me on one. Though I was arrogant, so I’m sure if I knew they existed I would've immediately thought i should be on one :)
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading card? If so, where?
Never. However, my cat "Thor" who was on my card did lead to media coverage of my new Tapper event. He'd leave every morning and visit someone down the street, meowing at the window at their Siamese cat that looks like our Siamese. The owner thought he was lost for days since she saw him every day. She didn’t realize he was doing just fine and just visited her each morning then came back to us. She saw his name tag and posted in a city Facebook page looking for his owner. This led to her and my wife being on each other’s Facebook but never really talking. Then when is this next Tapper event started being promoted, she saw the promotion and it turns out she works for the local paper and wanted to do a story. So, Thor started the chain of events that led to the media coverage I had, and Thor is on the card, so I suppose some correlation exists.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
Carey Chaney's last day at his arcade. First (and last) time I checked the arcade out. Billy and Walter were there. I noticed Walter's astrological ring and just thought it was pretty but didn’t recognize it. I had heard of astrological rings but never saw one. I was even planning on reading up and possibly getting one even though I didn’t yet know what they looked like, so it was cool to actually see what one looks like. Not many Americans believe in Vedic wisdom (Yoga of Body-Mind-Spirit) so honestly seeing a fellow American respect that stands out more to me about Walter than his gaming does. To me it’s not religion, religion is faith, but when you see and feel something for yourself that’s no longer faith, that’s experience. I try not to go into religion in the video game world, and as such I’m only mentioning it here to explain how i see Walter, I’m not trying to offend or force it on anyone.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Non-confrontational. As far as I can tell his main priority in human interaction is to avoid any and all animosity. If Walter ever decides to give someone a tongue lashing, they probably did something pretty awful to deserve it.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
Gameboy. You'd think as a kid I would've loved all our vacations. But at the Grand Canyon all I could think was "you people are all looking at a big hole, you're literally looking at nothing". My father knew I'd rather be home then seeing the country. In 1991 he did the next best thing and bought me a Gameboy with the rechargeable battery and Metroid 2 to play on the trip. By the time we got to yellow stone I had mastered Metroid 2 a few times over and picked up Super Mario land at a local store. I spent many hours in the campsite bathrooms recharging my battery while playing.
Do you prefer PC or console gaming and why?
Depends on the year. For current stuff, I think PC is far greater. Consoles have slipped too much. However, across all time you just can’t beat the NES. I would absolutely choose NES over a current PC game.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
Play 'em all. "Metroidvania" and RPG would be my favorites with space shooters coming in for a close third.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
I own Baby Pac-Man, Neo Geo, Q*Berts Qubes, and Pengo. At this point with such a great arcade so local, simply being a good game doesn’t justify the cost since I can play good games there. Now it needs to be a rare game that I can’t play anywhere else. So, baby Pac-man and Q*Berts Qubes. I need to hold on to since if I were to sell them, I'd likely not have many chances to play them again
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
Nintendo. They launched the first good game system. Other systems are older than NES, but NES was the first system you could really obsess over, and it launched many of the great series that are still around.
What does it take to be a video game journalist?
Not sure I’d know. But I do know I don’t like clutter. I'd rather people focus more on what’s best for the world than what’s best for their name. Better to write one article we need than a thousand articles just for your own personal career ambitions. Much of the information we need is already out there, I think "content creators" might be better off pointing us to existing good works rather than creating sub-par rivalries. The Atari compendium website for example has 80's video game magazines archived that I enjoy reading through. Are they journalists for just archiving these magazines? No, but what they’re doing is better than being a journalist, they're giving us access to the great journalism which already exists and preserving it and spreading it. Yes, we need content created, but we also need people to share the content. No shame in not coming up with your own content, you can still help by avoiding creating unnecessary clutter and pointing people to the real gems that are preexisting.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
Wow I’m sure there’s an answer, but honestly I don’t see the effects. Whatever influence there is, it’s an influence that I’ve been oblivious too. I will say though I love me some 8-bit tunes, that’s a special genre of music you just don’t hear anywhere else.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
I think it’s aimed at my age group. When I was a kid it was aimed at kids like me, but as my generation grew older the game makers continued to tailor to us. So, I wouldn’t say it’s aimed at kids versus adults per se, I’d say it’s aimed at Generation X. of course, there are kids’ games, and adults of other generations. But I seem to be lucky enough to have been born in the generation of the main video game customer base.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I can’t remember that. Probably either Pac-Man arcade or combat on Atari 2600 (called Atari VCS or just plain "Atari" back then). I do recall somehow getting the idea in my head that if you "win" the game you get your quarter back and I somehow was sure I could "win" Pac-Man so I felt bad when I lost and couldn’t give my parents the quarter back.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
Are some too violent? Sure. I hardly believe it leads to the violence though. If anything, it gives the violent people a legal outlet for their problematic behavior. I've played a lot of video games, and I'll tell you, you don’t normally see fist fights break out in game stores, conventions, or tournaments. Of course, if you look you can always find bad people in any group, but I feel like gamers are among the least violence, so the accusations seem way off based to me.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
Alone. Being able to recreate a memory is so important. You can reread a book, re-watch a movie, replay a game, but you can’t recreate a multiplayer experience. Once you play multiplayer, that experience is forever gone, and it's painful to miss. Single player can forever be returned to. It links our adult life to our childhood.
Have you learned anything from playing video games?
Absolutely. All good games teach consequences. You can’t always make up for a mistake, that’s a valuable life lesson. Granted in a game you can restart and try over, but the lesson remains that if you mismanage an early part there’s no way to win the later part. Different games have different lessons. I feel if you look for it most games have some life lesson you can learn from. All games require solving puzzles, and all problems/puzzles can be solved as a specific problem or a generalized concept. Find a way to generalize the game problem and you just may have found a way to generalize you game solution to real life.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Of course. Safe artificial environment to explore ideas. Whether you're need to relieve the stress by engaging in an intense game or want a relaxing game or anything in between plenty of options exist.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
Yes, but only because I love games so much. Most of the movies themselves are actually pretty weak and poorly done I think, but it doesn’t matter, because when you have such great content to work with even a poor translation of a great piece of art is still very enjoyable.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
That’s like saying what spring to mind when hear the term "day" or "life". Video games are such a big part of my life that they intertwine with pretty much everything in it
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story or Art style
Gameplay without doubt. That’s what defines the game itself. That’s what makes the game a "game", a problem, a puzzle, a chance to practice your problem-solving skills.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
They can be. They have their place. I hesitate to call it the best since plenty of games have no boss and are just fine.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Warcraft III I would say is my favorite multiplayer for very different reasons. There are four very different races, elements of role playing as well as real time strategy, not to mention fun lore. There are too many great single players to choose from. I can’t really narrow it down between Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 7, Castlevania Sympoth of the Night, Super Metroid, and Q*Bert's Qubes.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
I do in fact have an idea for this, but as I don’t see myself implementing the idea for many years, I feel the need to keep it secret until then. Only info at all I’ll give is it simple enough that it should be theoretically possible for a single programmer (me) to eventually complete by myself.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Well I obviously play a lot. I'm friends with people who play. I adjudicate TG records as do most of us. I try to give help to new members. I'm heavily involved in the discussions/arguments. And I’ve created a few tracks as well as donated my submission points to help fund other people’s tracks. I even started a show "Feelings and Stuff". Unlike Walter, I do NOT avoid confrontation, however after the confrontation is over, I do try to find ways to mitigate its damages. The goal of my show is to see all these gamer's are real life people and seeing them outside of the augmented world of video game verification can help smooth things over. you're more likely to be motivated to try hard to keep the argument polite if you see the other person as a real human being with feelings.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 20 years?
I keep thinking it’s going to level off and it never does, so I’ve been wrong so often I’m not going to make a wrong prediction again and I’ll just leave it as "I don’t know"
“Number 1 best Fast and Furious arcade player in all of Twin Galaxy"