Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Gary Katzer who currently is displayed on card number 4303, from the Superstars of 2023 Collection. Gary is a huge retro gaming enthusiast, with his own YouTube channel and retro gaming store. His store RoXolid Prodcutions, is all about cool gadgets, the latest technology and making sure you get the best value for your money. Gary is very tsalented with making 3-D artwork which you can find on Etsy, for example, gaming cartrgidge stands and LED backlit vidoe game signs. You will most definately see Gary at vidoe game conferneces in the Midwest and perhaps other conferences across the U.S.
When did you begin your YouTube channel and what inspired you to do so?
First of all, thanks for having me Todd and thanks to Walter for the honor. I got into being on YouTube in 2007 with the company that I worked for. We were involved in radio control model cars and trucks and boats and stuff, and I really enjoyed that side of content creation. In January of 2015 there was a change of direction for the company, and I got moved into a more production sort of role for product page content, website merchandising, things along those lines. But I still had the itch to create content. So, I had initially started the channel in 2015, had to hit pause shortly after starting it due to some life issues, and really put my head down in 2017. I just wanted to do something fun and creative and be able to see if I could do it on my own.
What is your favorite YouTube episode you have done so far, and what makes it special?
I'll be honest, having produced nearly 1500 videos it's hard to keep track of them. I'd say whatever my last one is my favorite so far as I try to continually experiment and change what I am doing each and every time to continue to grow and evolve.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I don't know if it is my absolute first one, but I remember playing Star Wars the arcade game at a very young age. I was a huge Star Wars fan so for me I absolutely love this game.
If someone wanted to start a YouTube channel, what advice would you give them today?
Being on YouTube is not a popularity contest regardless of what you see by people's numbers for subscribers, views, etcetera. Too many people forget about the social side of social networking, and if you are going to create a YouTube channel you need to be willing to engage with your audience. Also, you can't ask others to do for you if you're not willing to do for others. So, for example I do have crowdfunding available on my channel through channel memberships and Patreon. I'm also a channel member and Patreon member of a number of other creators. I give super chats and super thanks when I'm in other people's live streams. Just know that it's a lot of work but it can be extremely rewarding. I'm living proof of it that anybody can do it.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I think today's gamers are drastically different than what we had back in the day. I don't know that we cared as much about how fast we could beat something as much as we enjoyed the challenge and the journey. I also think that there are fewer restrictions on gamers with more open world concepts.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
Never, never in a million years.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Generous. Because he is generous with his time, his attention, and his overall being speaks towards his generosity towards others. Think about how twin galaxies started, it wasn't about Walter it was about all of those that he had respect for that he wanted to celebrate. Perhaps that's another good word, selfless.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
When I was younger, I would say the original Game Boy or the Game Boy advanced SP. As I've gotten older, my vision has gone, and I have a little bit of arthritis in my hands, so I don't play as much in handheld mode. I would say right now probably what I play mostly in handheld is the switch.
Do you prefer arcade or console gaming and why?
I really do love them both, but I would say if I had to say which I preferred it would probably be console gaming. It's just one of those things it's so much easier to do anytime versus having to find an arcade and they are not around like they used to be.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I do play modern games along with retro so there's a good balance. I tend to stick more towards platformer or adventure sort of games. Some of my favorites include Super Mario world, the ratchet and clank series, games along those lines.
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
I've always loved Nintendo and I probably always will. I've owned consoles from all of them and if I had to rank that list there, I would probably say Nintendo, Sony, actually exactly how you have them listed there.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
I think music really kind of brings you back and grounds you in what you were doing at that point in time period and I would even say music that you may have been listening to while playing a game period perfect example a strange sort of combination for me is I got my super Nintendo and Super Mario world at the same time that Metallica 's black album came out. I will always associate Super Mario world with that album because I always played both at the same time.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
Yes and no. There are games that are super bloody and violent, there's certain movies that are super bloody and violent though too. I think what we need as a gaming community is to make sure that we are following the rating systems that are out there for audiences appropriate for certain content. Will I ever play games like Resident Evil for example? Yes. I love Resident Evil 4. I will never play that when my 4-year-old is around, she doesn't need to see that, she doesn't need to hear that. But I think where you're going was asking if I thought video games led to violence in society, and I think a lot of that depends on the individual. If you have someone who is fundamentally and morally grounded in reality then they can play a resin evil or a Red Dead Redemption or a GTA and not go out and become a killer themselves. But, if they have questionable moral fiber, mental health issues, or other problems then yes that can be something that I believe pushes people over the tipping point.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Depends on the game, lol. I know we've all been to the point where we're throwing controllers out of frustration. There are certain games that I just turn on and smile. There are other games I turn on and play because I like hearing my daughters smile and laugh, because you can't hear them smile, can you?
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
I don't know if I have a singular favorite character, but I have a few favorites. Mario of course, he's iconic. Earthworm Jim, I think that was one of the first games that I laughed out loud at while playing because it was so ridiculous and was designed to be silly. Along the same lines I love the characters of ratchet and clank, captain quark, everybody basically involved in that series. Kind of like Earthworm Jim, it takes that satirical look at gaming and just turns it up a notch and I absolutely love them. Let me have fun and let me laugh and you have my attention.
What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘YouTube’?
Opportunity. Hard work. Shorts!
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
No, I prefer the journey. I look at it this way it's like why they call it racing and not arriving. The destination is part of it, sure karma, but how you get there is just as if not more important.
What is your favorite multiplayer game?
Any of the Mario Kart series, anytime I can hit my oldest daughter with the blue shell****** her off and makes me laugh.
What other topics for your channel are you interested in and what would you like to see more of?
Since I started on YouTube doing radio control models I'd like to get back there, but every time that I have tried posting RC content it just has not responded well. I'd like to be involved in live streaming more often but as busy as my life is right now it takes me less time to do an edited and produced video because I can start and stop if my wife needs help or one of the kids needs help or something like that.
If you could design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
You know there are two games that I've wanted to see made for decades and no one's ever really done what I've envisioned. If you remember in the 80s there was a movie called Tango and Cash which I believe it was Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell and it was just a great action movie that I think would have translated well to video games. It also had a really killer truck I think it was based on like a Chevy suburban or something like that. The other thing that I would love to see is a decent Voltron or Transformers game. Transformers have had more opportunities in recent years, and devastation was great even though it had a few too many RPG and QuickTime elements from my personal taste but Voltron has only really ever had one game that I'm aware of and it was a twin stick shooter similar to like a Smash TV.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 10 years?
I'm sorry to say I don't think that we will have physical media like we do now. I forget what game it is that's coming out for the Xbox, but the physical release is literally just the game code inside of a CD case. Look at the success of the Xbox series S, that's done amazing business for Microsoft. I think we're at a point where the convenience of digital is outweighing the concerns that people have, including myself, of what might happen if and when a digital storefront closes or goes dark.