Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - James Gunn

Our next Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight Features James Gunn who is displayed on card number 44, from the Science Fiction Collection.   Jim, who is a science fiction writer with many awards to his name.   Awards that include the Pilgrim award in 1976, SFWA Grand Master Award in 2007, along with being inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2015.  Jim also received an award for the book “ALTERNATE WORLDS: THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION”, from the 1976 WorldCon before WorldCons began awarding Hugos to non-fiction. An updated edition of ALTERNATE WORLDS is scheduled for publication next spring. His teaching has produced several generations of writers and teachers.  Jim is retired as a Professor of English at the University of Kansas, where he earned two degrees in 1947 and 1951.  Jim’s autobiography, “STAR-BEGOTTEN”, was published a couple of months ago.  The third volume of his TRANSCENDENTAL trilogy, TRANSFORMATION, was published in June.

What does it take to be a professional writer today?

What it has always taken—a love of language, stories that demand to be told, determination to get it right and then get it published, and a burning desire to keep improving.  I used to tell students that the first thing a writer has to learn is who he or she is and then how to put that knowledge, that unique perception of the world into stories that only the author can write.  If the writer can do that he or she will be published.  If their unique vision of the world happens to appeal to enough readers, they may even be successful.

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Trading Card Spotlight Ryan Burger

Our next Trading Card Spotlight Features Ryan Burger of Old School Gamer Magazine who is displayed on card number 2761, from the Superstars Collection of 2017.   Ryan is the founder and creator of Old School Magazine, which is an online and publication magazine. The Magazine first issue was released on October 16th, 2017 and the new issue has just gone digital and will be followed up by the hard copy in a few weeks.   Ryan’s moto for the magazine/website is “Dedicated to you, the old school/retro gamer from the arcades to your home!”  Ryan has hopes that everyone young and old can enjoy the blogs and articles written by the writers and Ryan himself.   This trading card was honored and featured at the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa this past November. 
To see the 2nd edition of the magazine,  click here

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

 I remember buying the first video game system perfectly.  We bought a Sears Intellivision at the local Sears store in Cincinnati Ohio.  I can picture the shelf it was sitting on and the display around it.  As to the first arcade, it would be a Chuck E Cheese / ShowBiz Pizza, not sure which one it was first, but it was on my 11th birthday in 1983 and we had just moved to West Des Moines from Cincinnati and knew no one so within a week of moving here it was my family at the pizza place having a blast.  Back when Chuck E Cheese used to have tons of games.

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Trading Card Spotlight "REWIND" Mitch Meerman

This artcile was published on February 17th, 2017.   We talk wth Mitch Meerman of Chicago about his gaming experineces and favortie games.   Mitch is a huge collector of the Walter Day Trading Cards and is honored to be on one himself.

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Mitch Meerman, who is displayed on card number 1587 from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.   An avid arcade player at Star Worlds Arcade in DeKalb, IL, Mitch is a true contender at the arcade games such as Avalanche and Nibbler.  He also competed on the portable stage with the Nintendo DS and Gameboy Color.  Another favorite game Mitch has been played in the past is Pokémon.   Mitch is a big collector of the Walter Day collection trading cards and can be seen at events getting autographs for his collection.   In 2011, Mitchell held a fundraiser for the International Video Game Hall of Fame by streaming some of his portable games online.  

Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play? 

I'm currently focused on Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. In addition to being the #3 ranked player in Wisconsin, I also essentially run the scene there and communicate with all of the other community leaders throughout North America. I also am a tournament organizer for a number of events, most notably for the Smash'N'Splash tournament series.  I also intend to return to arcade gaming at some point, as well as become a speedrunner. In any case, I don't intend on quitting video gaming any time soon.

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Trading Card Spotlight "REWIND" Tina McVey

Our next Trading Card Spotlight "Rewind" features Tina McVey, who currently is displayed on card number 230, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  This article was published on March 5th, 2016.  Tina has been a huge contributor to the success of the Walter Day collection and devoted activist to events Walter has organized.  Some of these events include the International Video Game Hall of Fame launch party in 2009, the Big Bang event in Ottumwa, IA in 2010 and multiple functions across the Midwest.   Tina also a huge supporter of her husband Tim and promotes his Nibbler events and organizes a yearly event celebrating Tim Mcvey Day.   You can also see Tina playing the latest Video games on console and PC.  Tina is also featured in the documnetary Man vs. Snake, a story about her husband Tim and his path to gain the chamionship at Nibbler. 

Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?

I think a lot of parents see them as built in babysitters, and that's wrong. Tim used to play a lot of Call of Duty and the things that would come out of some of those kids mouths. And it was because the parents were nowhere around.

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Trading Card Spotlight Jerry Parker

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Jerry Parker who currently is displayed on card number 55, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  Jerry Parker was the Mayor of Ottumwa, Iowa in 1982.   35 years ago, on November 30, Jerry crowned Ottumwa, Iowa the Video Game Capital of the World.  It was a bold move made at a time when many other cities were legislating against video games. To celebrate the "video game legacy." Click here.  In 2009 he was honored with being the founding father of the video game capital with a special ceremony to declare Ottumwa, Iowa to host the International Video Game Hall of Fame.  Jerry is still involved in his home town of Ottumwa as a County Supervisor.

How did you become Mayor of Ottumwa?

I had served on the City Council for 8 years, then ran for Mayor.

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