THIS IS MY 300TH TRADING CARD SPOTLIGHT!
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Paul Monaghan, displayed on card number 4277, from the Superstars of 2023. Co-founder of the Maximum Power Up podcast, which was started in 2015, Paul has had a passion for video game magazines. During his podcasts, he interviews some of the biggest names from the classic magazines, which all led him to be a part of Pixel Addict Magazine as an editor in 2022. Paul also works as a staff writer for “Amiga Addict” and “Sega Powered” magazines.
Do you remember when you created your first video game and what do you remember about the experience?
I’ve never created a game but the first podcast related recording I did was in September 2013 discussing Zak McKracken for an episode on point and click adventure games. This was for The Retro Asylum podcast which I joined late 2013.
Are you still involved with publishing today, and what role do you play?
I edit Pixel Addict magazine and write for Amiga Addict. Every six weeks a new print issue comes out for each title. We cover various computers, consoles and tech in Pixel Addict as well as taking a look at some new homebrew games for retro consoles such as the NES, Mega Drive, N64 etc.
On Amiga Addict we cover the past, present and future of Amiga hardware and software as the scene is quite a popular one again. AA has 23 issues now and PA on 14 so we are proud of what we do.
How did you get involved with Pixel Addict Magazine and what are your goals?
I already wrote for Amiga Addict and my aim has always been writing for magazines. Pixel Addict was only a few issues old when I took over as Editor. As our readership slowly grows, I want PA to cover a wide range of topics about consoles, computers and vintage technology products such as laserdiscs and PDAs. If a reader learns something new when they read the mag, then I’m happy. Luckily, we have some fantastic submissions sent to us.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
The last five years have seen a massive improvement in the choice of modern games. There are retro inspired games as well as mid budget titles from smaller studios. There really is something for all ages again.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
Nope! It really is cool to see, and Walter Day is an icon in the world of gaming. He understands the preservation and celebration of the scene.
What is your favorite video game magazine of the early years and why?
Super Play will always be my favorite. It had some very talented writers, featured many games from Japan which most mags ignored. It really did shape a lot of my gaming loves, both in playing and now writing.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
I love the original Nintendo Game Boy. Yes, lack of color was a problem but the games were so playable! The Super Mario Land series, Batman, Double Dragon and The Simpsons games took up plenty of my time as a kid.
What was the best decade for gaming in your opinion and why?
1990’s easily! Loads of great games and magazines! Gaming evolved by a noticeable amount each generation. We still had arcades, console rivalry, gaming mascots - yes some were bad! It could be an age thing but being a teen in the 90’s and into gaming was amazing!
What was the most memorable interview you have done for your podcast and why?
There have been a few big ones, but Jaz Rignall was a major one for me. He is seen as one of the most well-known gaming journalists in the UK. Zzap64, Computer & Video Games and Mean Machines are just a few mags he worked on. As well as this he went on to work for Virgin Interactive in America on several games and held various roles elsewhere including time on GamePro. He had a lot of great stories to tell, and he has always been happy to give me advice or answer any questions. A true gaming legend.
What does it take to run a podcast, and what advice would you give a person today who would like to do begin one today?
First of all you need passion for your subject. Then knowledge comes second. Building up a reputation for certain topics can take time. Passion grabs a listener’s attention but at times you really need your facts right when discussing topics- if not people will drop off fast. You need time also - both to record but also to allow your style to evolve. Also try to find a niche area for your podcast. For Maximum Power Up the challenge was to interview so many ex-games mag writers- no other podcasts managed as many.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Icon - he understands how important gaming is and wants to preserve and celebrate that history.
Are video games today aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
All ages again now. My son can play modern games but trips to arcades which feature classic cabs such as Rampage, Star Wars and Crystal Castles will always grab his attention. It shows that decades on the classics still know how to get an audience.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I am careful what I allow my kids to play as some games aren’t suitable until a certain age. We’ve all watched films underage no doubt but with games being more interactive there is a difference. However, I wouldn’t blame them for violence in real life.
Which company today, in your opinion, makes the best games and why?
Still Nintendo. For decades now there has been something for everyone. Games like Mario Kart and Kirby can be enjoyed by all ages. Nintendo understands the “fun” element to what made us gamers.
Who is your favorite video game character of all time and what makes that character special?
Guybrush Threepwood from the Monkey Island games. He started out wanting to become a pirate and through determination he made it. A bit like me and magazine writing.
Where do you see the video game industry in the next 10 years?
It is hard to say. I do think major jumps forward won’t happen. I mean we have had a decade of GTA V! As long as we have a passionate number of games developers, I do believe some aspects will go in cycles but another 10 years of the mixture of games now would be a bad thing!