Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Gunther Vinson who currently is displayed on card number 3980, from the Superstars of 2021 Collection. Gunther is a true gaming junkie, who has been in the marketing profession for over 20 years. His love for gaming helped him create Uplayarcade.com which is a website where he Buys, Sells and Trades arcade components and provides 3D printed upgrades and accessories for the home arcade industry. He also created Retro Recon, a show makes to help showcase the arcade industry. Join Gunther each week as he hosts the Official iiRcade Leagues LIVE show, where he hosts weekly challenges, tournaments and more all exclusively for the iiRcade community.
What is your opinion of home arcades and how they are now more popular than ever?
I have one myself and use it every day. I think it makes sense because the current generation all grew up in arcades... we are simply reliving our childhoods in an affordable manner.
What does it take to be a video game journalist?
An understanding a passion for the video game industry.
What advice do you have for others who want to work in the gaming industry today?
Learn everything you can, from anyone you can. Also, don't be negative. I learned this hard way. The video game industry is not a rough and tough industry. It is full of intelligent people that love video games and everything about them, so being rude and negative will not get you far. Man, up if you make a mistake, then fix it.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
Absolutely not! I am honored and blown away that Walter was generous enough to let me in his 2021 Collection! Thanks Walter!
Do you remember your first video game you played and what do you remember about it?
That's very tough, but I believe it was Moon Patrol, at the Stater Bros grocery store in CA where I grew up... I remember playing it from standing in the cart...
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I believe the games of today are far more sophisticated... more of an interactive movie... Retro games forced you to visualize the graphics... kind of like an interactive book. I think the human machine reacts better with stimulus that forces you to be creative... I love modern games, but I prefer retro.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
My $12 no-name retro gaming handheld I bought off amazon... Love that thing.
What is your favorite sports video game of all time and why?
Neo Turf Masters. In my opinion hands down the best sports game for replay ability and tournament play.
Do you prefer arcade or console gaming and why?
Arcade - Arcades get you in and out. You're spending hours or days playing the game on a console sometimes. Now if you asked this in a different time of my life where I had more time, the answer might be different.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I focus on retro titles, but still love to play Call of Duty and GTA sometimes.
What games from the 1990’s were your favorite and why?
Street Fighter, SimCity, Starcraft, Mortal Kombat, SMB, the list can go on for a long time!!! When Super Nintendo came out... That was it. It gave true arcade graphics to the home.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
Nintendo - I Like Sega, but simply didn’t have one. I had to go to a friend’s house to play Sega.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
Music has always been a big part of the gaming experience. I think it has affected the industry by creating musicians quite frankly. Growing up my friends and myself would learn songs and play them on our guitars and other instruments, Mega Man. Those tunes were out of sight!
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
Depends on the game. I believe games have always been made to target a wide variety of demographics... we have Barbie goes to the mall all the way to the Bloodiest gore fests like Time Killers where you're cutting off your opponent’s limbs... the industry spans all genres.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
No. I don't believe in gaming or even movies creating stigmas in our society... if you were swayed to commit a crime after seeing a movie, playing a game or listening to a song, you are mentally unstable... not controlled by the last media you ingested.
Do you prefer playing arcade games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I prefer online play as much as possible. In iiRcade Leagues we play each week and have a BLAST!!!!
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Yes. Gaming is my release from reality.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I like it if the original creators get a royalty from it.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
If I had to pick one, Pacman. The simplicity and difficulty of the game are such a classic form of entertainment... its timeless really.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘iiRcade?
COMMUNITY. The iiRcade community cannot be beat! We have great people and great fun Constantly!
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I met Walter Day at the Iowa Gaming Classic 2021. Although we met there, he had heard of some of my accomplishments in the gaming industry and offered me my card after speaking briefly. This was one of those times where if you help others, you might get it back one day... I think I got it back that day.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
LEGEND. Walter paved the way for guys like me who are passionate about hosting game tournaments. He definitely has been an inspiration to me.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
This answer could change day to day... fav single player is Pac-man; fav multiplayer has to be Call of Duty WAW.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 10 years?
I see a massive retro market, and a massive VR market. The arcades as they are now, will continue to evolve with more and more redemption machines, and the retro bars will grow with more retro games for the older generation. There are developers making retro style games, like Rangok Skies, so I have confidence the retro style will be around for a very long time.