Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Dan Loosen who is displayed on card number 160, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection. Dan is one of the co-founders and organizers of the Midwest Gaming Classic, a gaming trade show in Milwaukee, WI. The MGC showcases retro and modern home video game consoles, pinball machines, arcade video games, computers, table top gaming, crane games, collectible card games and much more.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I first met Walter at the 2004 Midwest Gaming Classic. He had emailed me and told me that he would be coming to our show with a few players and was it okay if a team that was shooting a documentary was there too. We said sure, and a few weeks later at the show I met him. I didn’t have too long to talk to him, but he was definitely a great person to have around, and his love of the culture around gaming and preserving that culture was outstanding.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Energy - Walter just exudes energy about the things that he enjoys, and it shows with what he does.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video game Trading card?
Nope! I remember getting the fun scratch-off video game trading cards as a kid, but never expected anyone would be on them. It’s an interesting product, and one that I’m not surprised that Walter decided to put his energy behind doing.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I have no memory of the first game that I played, but I definitely do have memories of the games that I fell in love with playing. Of the early games for me, Pitfall II sticks out as my earliest memories of really falling head over heels with a game.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I love all types of games. I both love the old school games that were often about the high score chase, and the new games that are more about the story. Video games have evolved in so many ways, and I think that evolution is both healthy for the industry, and has created some great things.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
I am. I both coordinate the yearly Midwest Gaming Classic trade show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I co-own the GOAT Store, LLC, an online retro video game retailer. You can find them online at http://www.midwestgamingclassic.com and http://www.goatstore.com. Additionally, the GOAT Store has published a number of products, mostly Dreamcast games so far, under the GOAT Store Publishing banner, and we are excited to keep bringing new things to fans of old consoles. You can find that at http://www.goatstorepublishing.com
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
It’s hard for me to pick. I particularly enjoy portable gaming due to the busy nature of my life – it’s far easier to get to play a game for 5 minutes and then move on than it is to sit down and play a couple hours of the latest blockbuster. Having said that, lately I have been playing my PS Vita and 3DS the most, although I own basically one of everything, including a Gizmondo.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
Well, I own a bunch and it would be very hard to narrow it down to just one! If I had to get rid of them all, the last two to go would be Jurassic Park pinball and Iron Man pinball. Jurassic Park because it is the game that got me into pinball, and I just helped to do a code tweak to it to make it play even better, and Iron Man because I think it may be the perfect pinball machine for what I like to play. I would also have a really hard time giving up my Area 51 / Maximum Force shooter arcade video machine.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
I went in between. I started with Atari because my dad purchased one to play Space Invaders on when they crashed. When the NES became big, my parents refused to buy one because they said that we already had the Atari and it was the same thing. I would go with my dad to rummage sales, and he would give me money to purchase Atari games with, so I developed a love of them. When I saved enough of my own money, I purchased a NES at a card show, and then later got a SNES for Donkey Kong Country. I really enjoyed the Sega games however.
I had heard about the Atari Jaguar and wanted one of those, but never saw one for sale, until that console was dead, and then that became the console of choice for me. The final console I was crazy into was the Dreamcast, which I just adored everything about.
I still have pretty much every console that comes out, and while I have a number of games for them each, I haven’t played anything nearly to that extent. I find all companies and all consoles to be worthy of some level of joy.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I don’t believe that some games are too violent, but I do believe that parents need to be involved in choosing what is acceptable for their children to be exposed to. I do believe that if parents allow children to play games that have themes that they are not yet ready for, be that violence or otherwise, that children could get the wrong idea from them.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
The only games that I play on a regular basis are my pinball machines. On the rare occasions that I have time for something more, I either love story-driven games like the Metal Gear Solid series or things from Telltale Games, or old-school arcade style games. I also greatly enjoy good 2D platformers.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
I think it will just keep evolving. I had no idea 20 years ago that we would see some of the amazing things that we see today, so I’m excited to see what happens in the future.
Please visit and meet Dan Loosen at his yearly Midwest Gaming Classic at http://www.midwestgamingclassic.com.
Find all the retro gaming you need at Dan’s website http://www.goatstore.com as well as http://www.goatstorepublishing.com