Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Tom White who currently is displayed on card number 932, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection. Tom, a retired schoolteacher, has made a life career out of being compassionate with others, especially in the video game community. Tom has supported the Walter Day Collection for years as well as his volunteer work with different video game Conferences. His Son, Jim “Jimbo Slice”, has gained huge notoriety at the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL and Tom & his family have supported many events especially at GGA, locally in Illinois and Iowa. Also, everything Walter, who along with Billy Mitchell and his wife Evelyn, Doc Mack, Pete Hahn and Todd Friedman and many GGA regulars who were special celebrity attendees at Jimbo Slices 50th Birthday Bash ('21). From Tom, “In life, it is the individuals that you go through it with that make the difference.”
What video games do you play today and what are your favorite genres of games?
World Class Bowling, I like to bowl, so especially during bowling season, I play on our “Classis Arcade Ultimate”, a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator “MAME” for many console Games. I believe that it actually helps with my hand/eye coordination and also my timing (rhythm), which are very important in bowling. I also play Golden Tee; but my golf game, which presently is infrequent, never seemed to benefit.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
The first video game I played was Snarf (’78) on the Radio shack TRS 80, with the software loaded from a cassette tape. The first video game I played on an Atari console was Space Invaders (’80) The first cabinet arcade game I played was Pac Man (’80).
When did you first meet Doc Mack and what were your thoughts of the Galloping Ghost Arcade.?
Unbelievable! As a father, you want your children to be happy. From an early age, James was fascinated by video games, which brought out the competitive spirit in him. GGA as it went from 134 game to today well over 900, who would have thought something like that would ever happen? The challenges are unending!
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
No way, I was never any good at any video games.
What is your reaction to all the Galloping Ghost Arcade (GGA) records James has had?
Overwhelmed, although there are several others Pete Hahn and Andrew Iwaszko, and for that matter all of the previous GGA gamers of the year who are superstars in my mind, and so many more.
If you could own 1 arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
When Jimbo and I attend events like the Pinball Expo, I see arcade games and pinball games that blow me away. We do own a Johnny Mnemonic pinball machine, which I don’t get to play often enough, but is very challenging for me.
What did you want to be when you grew up as a kid?
An attorney, I was dreaming but that never happened, which I think turned out for the good.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I don’t know. I know that my son sometimes swears at video games, but I haven’t seen him become violent as a result.
Do you play arcade games with James and what are your favorites to play together?
In the early days, we used to play Space Duel. I couldn’t tell how good he was, because I was always watching asteroids blow up my ships.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
I think they can be, but I also know that sometimes the competition between players can add to stress levels.
Who is your favorite video game movie and what makes that movie special?
King of Kong Fistful of Quarters. Documentary drama, which I like with among others: Walter, Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe…Oh My!
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I first met Walter at an Art Exhibition at the Icon Gallery in Fairfield Iowa - the Video Game Trading Cards & Posters of Twin Galaxies (August 2013.) My family still has great memories of that event and others over the years in Fairfield and Ottumwa Iowa.
James White “Jimbo Slice”, my son, met Walter Day at the Midwest Gaming Classic in 2010. Based upon Jimbo’s new goal of having his own video game trading card, I instantly LOVED Walter, the man who made that happen.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
Hopefully maybe through the use of Artificial Intelligence simulations of real life situations that reinforce rational thinking, emotional stability and ethical behavior in an entertaining inclusive fashion. Thus, the main character would be the player. “Scoring” might be based upon the player’s goal. That is, the player might want to act irrational, unstable, and unethically and the result rather than a score would be a data driven outcome(s).
Are you still involved with helping the arcade community today, and what plans do you have?
Although I am retired, I am still overwhelmed with my family’s life and in that I am not well organized, I don’t have enough time for everything. With regard to the arcade community foremost I want to be supportive of Jimbo, which also implies support for Walter, Doc Mac and the Galloping Ghost Arcade (GGA) and the International Video Game Hall of Fame.
What springs to your mind when you hear the name ‘Walter Day?
Where do you see video gaming in the next 10 years?
I believe that for many who lived through the video game golden years, obviously replaying their great memories on these machines is in many ways fulfilling. I am unsure if the next generation will feel the same way, unless they are currently enjoying these same games with their parents and siblings. Hoping for permanent physical home for the International Video Game Hall of Fame.
Tom’s Final Thoughts
“Sure video games can be fun, but in general the video game community is all inclusive. They make for a wonderful community and certainly my memories will always be of the many unbelieve people that I and Jimbo Slice have shared the fascination of what the creative developers and engineers have imagined and created, and those whose love of it all have brought it back to life.”