Trading Card Spotlight - Ryan Hart

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Ryan Hart, who is displayed on card number 214, from the Superstars of 2012.  Ryan is from London and has been playing games since he was 10 years.  His genre of choice is fighting games.  He succeeded tremendously in series like Street Fighter, Tekken, Virtua Fighter and King Of Fighters.   Ryan has won close to 500 titles on fighting games around the world.   Along with 4 Guinness Book World Records, Ryan hold multiple fighting tournament records all around the World.

What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?

As you’d probably guess I play a few fighting games such as Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters. I also play a bit of Counter Strike too since I work a lot with the game, I’m really enjoying it as well.

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Trading Card Spotlight "Rewind" - Greg Freres

Today we look back at an interview I did on February 14th, 2016 with Greg Freres.   Greg is a well known artist in the pinball world.  He has worked on many projects with the Stern Pinball company. 

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Greg Freres, who currently is displayed on card number 787, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.  Greg is a skilled artist of the pinball world and you have probably seen his work if you have ever played pinball.  Some of his work includes Medieval Madness, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Elvira. Currently Greg is the Art Director at Stern Pinball where he continues to express his art in the new pinball games.  On October 16, 2004 Greg was inducted into the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame.  

What was the best era for Pinball gaming in your opinion?

Each era of pinball has its own unique highlights but for me the 90’s was the culmination of all elements – art, music, sound, rules, and overall mechanical tricks and gameplay. Having been in the industry since the late seventies it was great to see the growth of the overall experience that pinball had to offer as an entertainment piece.

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Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - Jason Sanford

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Jason Sanford, who is displayed on card number 135 from the Science Fiction Collection.   As a Science Fiction writer, Jason is a two-time finalist for the Nebula Award and has received a Minnesota States Art Board Fellowship.  Jason has previously worked as an archaeologist and is a former Peace Corps Volunteer.  A collection of his short stories were published in 2011. Jason co-found the literary journey storySouth, where he ran the Million Writers Award for best online fiction.  He also writes a column for Czech Science Fiction Magazine.

How has writing today changed from when you were younger? What do you like or dislike about the changes?

I think the writing world has opened up massively since I was younger. Now there are large numbers of ways for a writer to reach their audience, from traditional publishing to self-publishing to apps and podcasts and much more. I think that has helped opened writing to many new audiences and participants and is a great thing.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Carrie Swidecki

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Carrie Swidecki, who is displayed on card number 922 from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.   Carrie Swidecki is a Multi Guinness World Record Holder who is best known for setting the overall longest video game marathon of all time by playing Just Dance 2015 for over 138 hours.  Carrie made history becoming the 1st female to set the Dance Dance Revolution marathon world record by playing Dance Dance Revolution for over 15 hours at the US Obesity Prevention Summit in Charleston, West Virginia. She raised over $7,000 on twitch for the Children's Miracle Network hospitals while she set the overall longest video game marathon of all time. Carrie was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in October in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?

As a kid, I grew up playing pinball at the bowling alley where I was on a bowling league. In between my turns I would rush over to the arcade to play the Creature from the Black Lagoon Pinball Machine. Every Sunday, my parents took us to have pizza at various Pizza restaurants. I loved hanging out in the arcade area and I used to have the arcade inventory memorized at each Pizza place. When I was 5 years old my parents bought the Atari 2600 console for us. My favorite game was Pitfall. The 1st game I stayed up all night long to marathon and finish was Bubble Bobble with my brother at my Aunt’s house. I loved the Paddle controller for games like Kaboom and Circus Atari. Later, my mom bought us the original Nintendo console. Every Sunday, my mom took us to the Nintendo aisle at Toys R Us. I could stand there all day long and just admire the box art. My favorite game on the original Nintendo is the Legend of Zelda and I loved Tetris on the original Game Boy. When I was 23 years, I rediscovered myself in the arcade with Dance Dance Revolution. I fell in love with the community and world record dreams began.

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Trading Card Spotlight "Rewind" - Walter Day

It has been almost 3 years since I have written my first Trading Card Spotlight.  I have tried to feature a trading card once a week since I started.  With 125 trading card spotlights completed, it was only fitting to feature the man himself, Walter Day as the 3 year anniversary of the Trading Card Spotlight.   Walter was kind enough to answer some questions for the article, some which were provided by the gamers themselves.  

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Walter Day who is displayed on card number 95, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Walter is also featured on cards 108, 523, 539, 591, 775, 1000, 1021, 1859, 2133, 2149, 2261, 2292, 2321, 2390 and 2462.   Walter’s visions include starting up the famous known brand of Twin Galaxies back in 1982.  He opened his arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa to current and future Hall of Famers when they were just kids.   He had his arcade and town declared the Video Game Capital of the world.  His gamers were featured in the Time Life Magazine issue taken in Iowa that gamers come to know as the birth place of the classic gamers.  Over the years, Walter has traveled all over to referee, issue awards and just give his insight to the gaming communities across the country.  His vision of Video Game trading cards and the idea of featuring and documenting gaming history came to realization in 2011 when his first batch of cards were printed and distributed.   Almost 8 years later there has been over 1800 cards printed and counting.    Walter can be seen at many events and conferences spreading his vision and trading cards, posters, and awards.   He is also focusing on his music career and writing of science fiction novels in his spare time.

What is your vision of the future of the Walter Day Trading Cards?

I see the card set as an invaluable resource for future historians to study the video game culture of the 20th & 21st Centuries. The card set tries to identify people and historic events that were important but which might be overlooked by the history books. There are so many stories to tell that I can see the card set encompassing more than 5,000 cards. This applies to the Fairfield and Science Fiction sets, too.

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