Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Vinny DelRusso who currently is displayed on card number 3531 from the Walter Day Superstars of 2021. Vinny is the founder of Video Game 911. This company specializes in repairing gaming items ranging from consoles to arcade machines to VR. His repair shop is located at 411 E. Main Street in Denville, NJ. He also sells a variety of pinball machines on his store showroom located next door to his repair shop. Vinny and Video Game 911 will be hosting the upcoming "Kong Off 8" in 2021.
When did you start your company, Video Game 911 and what was your motivation?
VideoGame911.com was developed as a “one stop shop” for all video game hardware emergencies. When the original Xbox hit the market, we saw how difficult it was to deal with hardware issues and losing everything you may have accomplished in one POOF! We stepped in. We found solutions that met all of the metrics for our computer electronics repair business. We have continuously grown and have data on many failures and errors combined with our skills we offer cheaper, faster and better options than what the manufacturers offer. Basically, business was forged on data recovery for our clientele but has grown to be so much more.
What does it take to run a video game repair service?
It is not a simple task to repair so many generations of electronics products. From through hole component repairs to surface mount component replacement with surgical microscopes. We have a specific set of queues we manage for each order and we focus on troubleshooting discipline, and tenacity to efficiently process detailed repair orders for the video game industry.
In your opinion, what is the most difficult console to repair and why?
The Switch is our current most challenging console to repair. Between USBC port replacement and various Integrated circuits which can fail it can be very daunting to deal with multiple failures from seemingly simple customer issues.
Which pinball company makes the best machines and why?
I like the games coming from all of the manufacturers right now. They are getting more innovative and exciting as they move into the home and less out in the wild. Pinball needs to reach that balance of fun, challenge, and a way to suck you in, so you want to play again. I see the dedication to the industry to make a perfect game and how very tough it is to please everyone all of the time.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
I would design a solar system pinball. Where each achieved level takes the player further out into the cosmos. Traveling through the solar system, past hitting planet levels and goals as you warp through space. Get gravity boost from spinners, and find secret warps through ramps and hitting flashing targets in order to grab the slingshot effect through space and scoring as you travel farther away from planet Earth.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I remember many games as they started to become more local than the boardwalks at the beach. Main game for me was Robotron. I somehow saw that game as the ultimate challenge. It made me want to play it every time I saw it. That game does it for me.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games consoles? How do you compare them to older, classic ones?
While systems from Atari, Sega and Nintendo changed our lives when we went from 2d to 3d in games things got much more interesting. I am a true Robotron fanatic at heart in a 2d world, but I also loved Nex Machina on PS4. It proves that taking risks with today's generation is more expensive now which in turn discourages innovation.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
No, I guess it proves that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it!
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I have spoken to him on the phone, and between Richie and Faithie talking about him I feel like I have known him for a long time.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Producer. Richie and I were just saying to one another why we work so well together. It is because we produce results. Walter comes up with an idea and makes it a reality.
How did you get involved in the “Kong Off 8” and what is your role?
I am into this hardcore. Richie Knucklez is my BFF.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I like to play today's racing games. From driving sims to arcade racers.
If you could have one more pinball machine in your collection, what would it be and why?
I would say creature from the black lagoon. Love the 50’s style music from that game and the hologram. Back in the day that was amazing stuff.
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
I like them ALL for the way they bring fun to the consumer. I also think Atari should be on this list. Each one has a fan base and the competition between them has made better experiences for everyone. I think if I had to choose, I would say Nintendo has consistently delivered the most diverse and immersive gaming experience while keeping things simple and fun through the years.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I think violent people will be violent with or without video games.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Pac Man is an icon of the game industry. The pure simplicity of pac man as a character and a game makes it the number one in my book.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘Pinball’?
The switch matrix, solenoids and flashing lights.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Robotron. Multiplayer linked driving games always get my blood pumping.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
I always loved the PSP consoles, especially with Linux running on them. I had hoped Microsoft would make something better. The switch however is amazing and would have to be considered the best portable gaming console to date from any manufacturer.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 20 years?
From a hardware perspective I see visuals driving the overall final products as we develop games going forward. The tactile experience will also improve to enhance gameplay. The race for pixels on the screen and frame rates are changing dramatically and graphics will be the main driving force. Linked with video screens over our eyes and real-life objects we can manipulate through virtual environments will make games more immersive experiences.