Trading Card Spotlight - Stephen Boyer
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Stephen Boyer who is displayed on card number 15, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection. Stephen is also on cards 500, 1413, 1656, 2204, 2264. Stephen is a former Twin Galaxies referee and worked closely with Walter Day with his time there. He has been playing games since the mid 1970’s and has had many high scores on Arcade as well as MAME. Some of these games include Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. Stephen was seen at Freeplay Florida in 2014 with many other world record holder gamers. Currently he has been trying for Mario Bros. records in a multi-player setting with gaming partner Steven Kleisath.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
Heck no! I grew up collecting Garbage Pail Kids cards along with football and some baseball cards. However, I never even thought I would hold any kind of arcade world record score besides being on multiple Twin Galaxies player cards.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
I would imagine, if it were for a console game, I would love to have a good team and create a turn base RPG simply because I used to play a lot of them on the NES and even the PC in the 90’s. If I went back to the classic arcade games, I would really love to design a Mario Bros. II.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I remember thinking the Defender arcade game had a lot of buttons and Street Fighter II had some crazy combinations to remember. However, today’s console games seem to have even more. I do own a PS4 and I like it but sometimes it’s a bit much in trying to remember all the different combinations during a fight.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
My dad used to have a Pong game that hooked up to our TV and I used to bounce the ball back and forth and play against myself. It was my first memory of a video game. Later I remember seeing and playing Space Invaders in the arcade.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card? If so, where?
I have signed and gave out multiple player cards at Free Play Florida during their November gaming events and talked about them during that time.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I believe I first met Walter Day at Free Play Florida 2014.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Kind. Walter will go above and beyond and help you out if needed. When I see Walter, I always greet him with a hug.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
Now and days it’s my phone as there are endless games to download for free. However, back in the day it was probable Mattel Electronic Football.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
Either one really is fine. Console seems easier to control since you have a handheld device compared to using a mouse and keyboard.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I like the first-person shooters for consoles, but I still have the love for the class Arcade games with Mario Bros. Being my favorite game of all time.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
Well, I already own a Mario Bros. and Tron was one of my Holy Grail games and I own it too! I used to own a pinball machine, but I noticed I got tired of playing the same pinball game over and over. If I had to choose a pinball to own it would be either Twilight Zone or Theatre of Magic, simply because I used to play those in the arcade all the time and they never seemed to get old.
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
I’m going to choose Nintendo simply because I have a lot of memories playing that in the 80’s
What does it take to be a video game journalist?
I used to verify world records as a Twin Galaxies referee and would sometimes interview the gamer and create a write-up that I posted on the TG forums. Sometimes, if it was a really great score and game, I would even have a writer create a front-page story about the world record score and actually input a paragraph or key quote in the write-up. It did take personal time, but I loved doing it and I loved giving a gamer as much credit as I could simply because it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to set certain records.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
A catchy tune such as the one in the classic title Gyruss will make you want to come back to hear it again. The song sticks in your head till you go back and play it again. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) had a ton of catchy tunes as well. I used to find myself humming certain tunes during my gaming time.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
All of the above! Children have plenty of games to help developed their minds and get a head start before kindergarten starts. Adolescents probably play for entertainment or to kill time or simply because games are fun. Adults have plenty to choose from as well and I think games can help keep your mind sharp as you get older.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
No, I don’t. I’ve never even thought about being violent in the streets because of video games and I’ve played way too many first-person shooters. Half of what Hollywood puts out deals with violence and shootings so they may want to look at that first.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
Mostly I enjoy playing games on my phone because it’s simple and it’s usually with me at all times. If I’m at a live gaming event I certainly enjoy playing a co-op game instead of being by myself. It gives you someone to talk to and hang out with while trying to set world records.
Which company makes the best games and why?
I’m really not sure when it comes to console gaming as I simply don’t play them enough to know. As for classic arcade games I really love the games Nintendo put out such as Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. Donkey Kong Junior and even Popeye.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
I think it helps by keeping my mind sharp and it’s even helped my Peripheral Vision and reflexes.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
I’m sure it can be, but in some cases, it may cause stress. It depends on how competitive you are, I guess? In my case, I was always competing against myself, trying to beat my high score. That was stressful at times.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I guess it depends on how big the budget is but usually, yes!
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
It’s got to be Mario. He’s the Michael Jordan of video games and one character that everybody knows about.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
Fun and entertaining!
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
If it’s a console game I would say the story line is very important. It’s sometimes like watching or playing a movie. Gameplay is equally important in consoles and classic arcade.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
I do enjoy them I admit. Even back in the day on the NES I used to love that part. However, it’s not always the best part but certainly can be.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
This has to be a trick question for me, right? Hands down I love Mario Bros. as the top single player game and top 2-player / multiplayer game.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
I do play an occasional PS4 game with my daughters, Ashley and Chloe which I cherish very much. However, when I get competitive, I like setting world records for 2-player Arcade Mario Bros. with my partner Steven Kleisath.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
I would imagine it’s got to have something to do with Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality is out there now but I don’t think it’s exploded just yet. Maybe they will have Virtual Reality places to go to like an arcade, but you really walk through a maze as you are looking through the headset.