Trading Card Spotlight - Roger Blair

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Roger Blair “Rogerpoco” who is displayed on card number 3183, from the Superstars of 2019 Collection.  Roger is a multi-platform world record holder.   He is at the top of this list on such consoles as Super Nintendo, Sega Master System and Vectrex among many others.  His proudest accomplishments are on the Intellivision and Atari 2600.  He was awarded the PC/Console Gamer of the year award recently and takes pride in this highest honor.  You can find and chat with Roger on the Twin Galaxies Forums.  Many of his thoughts and ideas are posted on the site. 

Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

Some games are more violent than I think they should be, but I wouldn't go so far as saying "too violent", knowing I'm a bit prudish.  I don't know that those games lead to violence, but I imagine they aren't a good influence on someone already predisposed to antisocial behaviors.

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

I can't seem to get off Super Mario Kart on SNES, even knowing "above average" is about all I can hope for, I just love the game.  It was probably Dragster and Gran Prix on Atari 2600 that got me hooked on the timer, but that's definitely what I like best-anything where I can try to beat a clock.

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

It was one of the Pong units from the mid-late 70's, my Father and a couple of coworkers bought one and passed it around for a few months. I was too young to remember much about it, really.

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

I mostly play alone, but it's always more fun for me if I know I have a friend halfway across the World, or even one town over, that is grinding along on the same game at the same time-coopetition.

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

Definitely not. I truly was a lifelong casual gamer until my experiences at Twin Galaxies, and without the support and encouragement of the community there I wouldn't be where I am now.

When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?

I first spoke to him on the telephone-I said, "I can't believe I am talking to Walter Day!", he said "Well, I can't believe I am talking to Roger Blair!". He made me feel like the most important person in the World for the few minutes we talked, it really was my pleasure.

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

Busy!  I don't know him well, but he seems like the type that rarely sits down.  I've seen pictures of his adventures and travels, and I'm not sure I could keep up with him!

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

I think a lot of the modern games are built around a social experience. The ultimate goals seems to be camaraderie and teamwork leading to success, where the classic games are a more solitary experience, "player vs. programmer".  I'm happy with the older, classic stuff, but it is amazing how far the industry has evolved in such a short time.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

I prefer Console gaming based on the nature of the games I usually play, but like modern console gaming I'm blown away at how far things have evolved, it's a great time to be a gamer of any generation.

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

I have an Ironman Ivan Stewart Super Off-Road cabinet(2p/Track Pack), and am storing an Afterburner cabinet for a friend. I would give about anything for a DECO cabinet, with a multiboard-I really enjoyed those games, and I think they are terribly underrated.

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

I would say adolescents, I think many of us adults that play the games still hang on to some of our adolescence, and I think that's a good thing.

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

I suppose it would be Peter Pepper-he and I made a pretty good team.

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

Definitely gameplay. Everything else is important, but I learned from Atari 2600 to isolate and ignore everything except the important elements of gameplay-there are many times, even on modern games, where you can concentrate on a few pixels and accomplish more than if you are taking it all in.
I feel like attempting high scores/low times changes the "fun" element of gaming. You often have to intentionally ignore some of the "fluff" going on, which is meant to be enjoyed, but our fun is in the scores and times themselves.

What is your favorite pinball game and why?

Whitewater, definitely.   I didn't understand how pinball actually worked before that game, but the structured goals and game progression are very interesting. It's also a beautiful table.

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

Believe it or not, Arcades in the early-mid 80's. That's where the term popped into regular cultural use, and it just stuck.

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

Oh, yes. I try to be as active and encouraging at Twin Galaxies as I can and attempt to maintain a daily presence there.  I like to reach out to new members, and try to give them a broader perspective of what all they can accomplish here.

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

I don't see it being much different than today.  Obviously, technology moves things along, but it does get to a point where "how much more can be accomplished?".  Modern games will be slightly more streamlined, but again I'm not sure how much more can be done, they already resemble movies at times.  There may be more creative concepts that will change things up, but I think the need to advance the technology will level off.  I also think that Classic gaming will still be around, as strong as ever, thanks to modern PC emulation.