Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - Robert Sawyer

Our next Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight features Robert J. Sawyer, who is displayed on card number 51 from the Science Fiction Collection.  Rob has won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, and Aurora Awards for best novel of the year, and, according to the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards, has won more awards as an SF/F novelist than anyone else in history. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name. In 2014, he was one of the initial nine inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he was made a member of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Canadian government. His 23rd novel, Quantum Night, is just out from Ace.

Who is your favorite celebrity and what makes that person special?

Chase Masterson, who played Leeta the Dabo Girl on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She’s parlayed her celebrity into being an international leader in the fight against bullying online and off, and she’s done amazing work with young people transitioning out of gang life in Los Angeles.  She’s my hero.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Elizabeth Hunter

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Elizabeth Hunter, who is displayed on card number 333, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  Elizabeth is also on cards 51 and 345.   Elizabeth is most well-known by her title of “Kitty McScratch”.   Her claim to fame is the many records she holds on various “Just Dance” and "Dance Central" games on the Nintendo Wii, XBOX 360 and other platforms which resulted in her being featured and named "Most Prolific Dancing Game High Scorer" in the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records and the 2013 Gamer's Edition.  Liz has also been part of such organizations as the Grassroots Gaming Expo and the International Video Game Hall of Fame, both held in Ottumwa, Iowa.  

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

I play all kinds of stuff from adventure, platforms, RPG, first person shooters, strategy, puzzle, you name it. I tend to play more of puzzle and RPG but it varies based on my mood at the time. I’ve been playing a lot of Fallout 4, Job Simulator, Pokémon Go, and a few other virtual reality games. I also picked up Day of the Tentacle on Steam which was a game I loved as a kid and am hoping to beat it again.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Phil Day

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Phil Day who is displayed on card number 124, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  Phil is one of the best Galaga players in the world.  From the land down under, Phil resides from Australia and is an avid gamer, author and documentarian.   In 2009, Phil captured the Galaga world title in the “5-Man only” Tournament settings.   Phil is in the process of creating a documentary called “Bonus Life: Extended Play” which is still in production.  Phil has also written a graphic novel called “The Short lived life of a Galaga Pilot” which has not yet been released to the public.  Phil is currently has the 2nd highest recorded score in Galaga with 3,275,720.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Some people learn how to play the game better. While others discover something about themselves. After getting the Galaga WR I had no desire to try for another WR. I feel it is best to do these things once. Whereas many other classic arcade champs have a want to regain their WRs – I think this is a mistake. Rarely is anything as much fun the second time.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Tom Asaki

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Tom Asaki who is displayed on card number 1046, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.  As one of the founding members of the U.S. National Video Game Team, Tom is one of the original players at the Twin Galaxies arcade in the early 1980’s.  He was the first to attempt the billion score in Nibbler, with a final score of 838 million points.   He can be seen in the documentary Man vs. Snake showcasing his Nibbler memories.   Tom’s game of choice and the game that he held the first record on is Ms. Pac-Man with a total score of 681,130.  

When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?

I met Walter at Twin Galaxies Arcade in the summer of 1983.  I had come to Ottumwa to demonstrate that my reported Ms. Pac-Man scores were real.  I found a friend in Walter and spent some of the summer and autumn with Walter and Billy Mitchell.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Jack Gale

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Jack Gale, displayed on card number 103, from the Superstars of 2011.  Jack is also on card numbers 929 and 2155.   Jack was one of 22 gamers of the 1985 Twin Galaxies Coronation Day tournament held in Los Angeles, CA.   Jack has held records in such arcade games as Karate Champ, Zoo Keeper and Hogan's Alley.  Jack attends events both locally and throughout the US while acting as a spokesperson to help promote the positive aspects of the gaming culture of yesterday and today.

Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?

Generally no.  I don’t like most boss battles because they seem contrived.  Compare the original Deus Ex with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  Human Revolution is an excellent game but the boss battles seem like forced spectacles; whereas the original Deus Ex has the boss battles so smoothly integrated into the gameplay they don’t feel like boss battles at all but carry just as much significance. 

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