Trading Card Spotlight - Stephen Burnett

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Stephen Burnett, who is displayed on card number 2478, from the Superstars of 2016 Collection.  Stephen was present during the birth of Twin Galaxies in 1982, and played with the best of the best in the early 1980’s.  He had many visions in that period of time, including opening up an arcade with fellow gamer Leo Daniels, helping Walter Day create an Electronic Sports League, and offering his time as a competition official of major gaming events. Today, Steve is the Co-founder and Chairman of Koolbridge Solar, a leading force in producing Solar Energy around the world.

If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?

 It would be probably the old Playboy pinball game. There’s just something cool about seeing Hugh Hefner and those sexy ladies with skimpy outfits on each side of him as you play the game. I’d also like to own a 2019 pinball game where the flipper action is fast and hard, has multi-ball action, and has lots of targets and ramps that take real skill to hit and go up. Not sure which game it is, but I’m sure that there is one like that out there.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Norman Caruso

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Norman Caruso, who is displayed on card number 2702, from the   Superstars of 2017 Collection.   Norman is the creator of “Gaming Historian”, A documentary series on YouTube.  His goal is to explore the history of video game via his YouTube Channel.   The show premiered in 2008, as he was a big historian buff as well as a video game fanatic.   He put the two together to come up with a Gaming Historian show.  You can access his YouTube Channel as well as his website at the bottom of the article. 

What does it take to run a successful YouTube show?

Running a successful YouTube show requires dedication and a passion. A lot of times, people make a video hoping to get a lot of views and attention. That's great and all, but if you are miserable making the video, it won't last! For the first 7 years of Gaming Historian, I worked on the show after coming home from a full-time job. It was tiring and stressful, but I loved doing it. Now I make the videos full-time and I couldn't be happier.

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Trading Card Spotlight - William Rosa

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features William 'SnowFlake' Rosa, who is displayed on card number 2468, from the Superstars of 2016 Collection.  On February 2nd, 2019, Bill broke a new world record on “Tapper” Arcade, pending verification.  Streaming live on Twitch, Bill played for over 25 hours consecutively breaking the world record with 14,826,200. He has been playing retro games all his life and has his own podcast interviewing gaming personalities on Twitch.  Bill is dedicated to animal rescue and helping injured animals in his area in Ohio. 

Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?

Samus Aran. Great game. Strong woman. A nice "surprise ending" to learn "he" was a "she all along. Plenty of games, movies, and books having a female protagonist either make it about sex appeal or go over the top in trying to prove just how much they respect women and just wind up tokenizing the character. With Samus Aran though it’s just an amazing hero who just so happens to be female.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Ellis Rowland

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Ellis Rowland, who is displayed on card number 42, from the   Superstars of 2011 Collection.  Ellis is proud of his world record at the arcade game Eagle.  His score of 274,970 was posted on the leaderboard on July 16, 2011 and no one has beat it since. Growing up in the arcade boom of the 80’s, Ellis played a lot of Asteroids.   He has posted some others score on arcade games such as Bump N’ Jump and Defender.  He also added a high score on Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii. Living in New Jersey, Ellis remains involved in the gaming scene through his son, who he takes to gaming tournaments and roots him on.

Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

Introducing people to bad ideas is not something we seem to avoid.  The media takes a local tragedy and sends it out for 300 million people to see and while most of us are appalled, one out of every 5-10 million people see the news and get inspired to do the same. The law of large numbers in society I suppose.  Video game violence is usually like cartoon violence. We know it is fake even if the graphics are great.  Still one out of every million or so people is dumb enough to try something they saw in a cartoon so who knows.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Zack Hample

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Zack Hample who currently is displayed on card number 552, from the Superstars of 2013 Collection.  Zack has been the Arkanoid world record holder since the year 2000 and has put up numerous scores on the arcade version.  He is also the world record holder on catching baseballs in the stands at the MLB games he has attended.   He has collected more than 10,000 balls and has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for his accomplishment.  Zack has used his skills to write three baseball books and has used his collection to raise more than $200,000 for the charity Pitch In For Baseball.  

What was the first game you ever purchased?

The first game I ever owned was some primitive Snoopy Tennis game around 1984 on a handheld device that only played that one game. I can’t remember the first game that I bought with my own money because when I was young and playing NES and SNES, the few games I had were all gifts, and I never owned any gaming systems after that.

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