Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Dan “Shoe” Hsu who currently is displayed on card number 294, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection. A former editor in chief for Electronic Gaming Monthly, Shoe has covered the gaming industry for multiple platforms. Companies such as CNN, 1UP, G4 and Bitmob to name a few. He is also an avid game player for multiple platforms. His favorite game of all time is Super Mario Bros. 3. Shoe also had a comic strip created about him, you can click the link to see it. Dan currently works on out-of-game editorial content, programming, and strategy for Blizzard Entertainment.
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
I'm 100% biased now because I spent four years at PlayStation, so I literally have hundreds and hundreds of games for my PS4. So right now, PlayStation. But this answer would've been different at different points in my life. I loved the Xbox 360, Super Nintendo, Dreamcast, and Saturn...it depends on the era, which I know is a cop-out of an answer.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I remember my dad taking me to the famous Chinatown arcade in New York City, and I played this black-and-white fire truck game with two seats. One player drove the front of the truck while the other player steered something in the back -- I guess like what you see in real life. But I was really young and had no idea what I was doing. I assume I didn't put out a lot of fires back then.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
All my life, I've gone through this in waves. I was a console gamer when I was playing Atari 2600 and Intellivision games (the Intellivision II was the first console that I owned). Then the Commodore 64 took over my life, so I guess that counts as PC. Then the NES/SNES era made me a console fan again. Then I went through this period where I was really into Civilization, Master of Orion, Warcraft II, Doom, Dark Reign...so, PC again. Then I started working at Electronic Gaming Monthly, which only covered console gaming.
OK, my story's getting too long, so fast forward to today. I still play a lot of console because I recently worked at PlayStation, so I have a billion PS4 games. But I also like Overwatch on PC, Clash Royale on mobile...so I'm all over the place.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I love shooters and open-world games. I also play a lot of board games.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I appreciate all the arcade games I grew up with, but they can't compare to the immersion you can get from today's games. What I miss isn't necessarily the gameplay of yesteryear -- it's being a kid and having that sense of discovery and wonderment. What new arcade game will I risk my precious quarters on? What are all these cool games I see at Toys 'R' Us or in the Sears catalogue? What's going to happen when I boot up this strange new game that I copied for the Commodore 64?
I absolutely love working in the video game business, but it's a different feeling being young and not having this sort of industry access or insider knowledge -- having to discover everything for yourself.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
Definitely not. A trading card? My words in a gaming magazine? Working at a game company? This knowledge would've exploded and ruined my young mind.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I'm not sure, but it would've been at a convention of some sort. Maybe California Extreme?
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I love playing single-player games with my wife (we'll usually take turns and watch the other play), co-op with my wife, team play in shooters, solo in shooters, 1-v-1 in strategy games...so a little bit of everything.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Hell yes! Just like when you're reading a good book or watching a great movie or TV show, you can temporarily escape from real-world headaches and step into someone else's shoes for an evening or find new ways to challenge and distract your noggin. Games are the best.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Warm. Walter's one of the nicest people in the biz, and he always remembers you and takes the time to chat with you. At least I think he remembers me. Ask Walter if he remembers "Shoe" from card #294, and don't tell me if he says no.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
Game Boy Advance. I spent a lot of hours staring at that tiny screen for Advance Wars, Castlevania, and Metroid.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
Something from Namco's Point-Blank series. I loved those games, and the light-gun experience just isn't the same on a console.
What does it take to be a video game journalist?
Good grammar, a sense of creativity, the willingness to try different things (and not just write the way everyone else is writing), and most importantly, a low cost of living.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
Music is so underappreciated for the medium. It's an important part of making you feel how the developer wants you to feel.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
Yup, yup, and yup.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
This is a very complicated topic with so many considerations beyond just "video games." Emotional state, upbringing, culture, societal pressures, past experiences, mental issues, other media consumed...this isn't something that can be easily answered with a "yes" or "no."
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I don't mind it as much as some people do. It can be fun to see a different interpretation and different medium for the stories we would traditionally only see in video games.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Nathan Drake is so flesh-and-blood to me -- like, in my mind, there's a real-life Nathan Drake out there somewhere that I could get a beer with. That is, if he's not in jail for killing so many people.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
I wonder what on earth would fill that giant void in my life and career if there were no such thing as "video games."
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
Gameplay. C'mon...this is too easy. Who would say otherwise?
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
Nope. Some of the best video games I've played don't have any boss battles (or their boss battles were the least memorable parts).
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
This is a cruel question to ask! I can't even narrow those down to top 10 each. So, I'll go with my first thought for all-time favorites:
Single-player game: Super Mario Bros. 3
Multiplayer game: Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
If I had unlimited resources, I'd make the most ambitious and realistic open/persistent-world zombie game imaginable. (Yes, zombies.) One where you need to figure out how to scavenge and survive, but you can go anywhere in the country -- metropolitan areas, countryside...wherever you think you had the best chance to make it. I'd want it to be an MMO, so you can work with other survivors, but here's the impossible part: how to keep the trolls from spoiling the mood. So, my dream game can't be done.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Yup! I work on out-of-game editorial content, programming, and strategy for Blizzard Entertainment.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 20 years?
Through the eyes of an older man. I hope there will be enough K's in whatever TV I'm using to keep up with my deteriorating eyesight.