Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - Bud Sparhawk

Our next Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight features Bud Sparhawk, who is displayed on card number 70, from the Walter Day Science Fiction Collection.   Bud is an avid short story writer who has several books to his credit.   His new book, Distant Seas, as well as his other novels are is available on Amazon.  Bud’s short stories have appeared in Analog Fact/Fiction and other markets.  His work is available in electronic formats.  You can read Bud’s blogs on the pain of writing at budsparhawk.blogspot.com.    A complete bibliography can be found at budsparhawk.com.   Bud has won many awards for his work and has been honored amongst his peers in the writing community.  

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a trading card?

The only trading cards that were around when I was a kid were baseball players and you had to buy a wad of gum to get them, so NO, I never thought I would play baseball so that route seemed closed.

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Trading Card Spotlight Paul Drury

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Paul Drury, who is displayed on card number 2771, from the Superstars of 2017.   Paul has been a writer for Retro Gamer (UK) since 2004.  He has interviewed over 150 programmers, designers and artists of games such as Nolan Bushnell, Eugene Jarvis, Warren Davis and Ralph Baer.   He also reviews games for his local paper, The Nottingham Post.   Paul has bridged the gap between the USA and Europe for Video Game culture.   Using his knowledge and talent Paul has paved the way for current writers and enthusiasts across the UK and America.     

How early in your life did you know you would be a writer?

Writing is just a lovely sideline for me – I trained to be a teacher after leaving university and have always worked with children and adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, teaching in various special schools and colleges and running residential homes for disabled adults. I’m now a Senior Lecturer in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at Nottingham Trent University. Since 2002, I’ve been writing about videogames both old and new, first in the pages of my local paper the Nottingham Post and then in 2004 I started writing every month for Retro Gamer magazine… and still do both to this day.

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Trading Card Spotlight Warren Davis

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Warren Davis, who is displayed on card number 239, from the Superstars of 2012.  The designer and programmer of Q*Bert, Warren has been around the gaming industry for decades.  He has worked at such companies and Gottlieb, Williams/Bally/Midway, Disney Interactive and ILM.   Other games Warren worked on are Us Vs. Them, Joust 2, T2: Judgement Day, and Revolution X to name a few. His video digitization system was used on many games including Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.  Warren is still marginally involved in the videogame industry today working with Sony on PS4 projects.   His future projects will involve PSVR. Warren has also worked as an actor when not involved with gaming.  He has been seen in such shows as House M.D. and Criminal Minds.

What is your favorite game you have worked on in your career?

I've enjoyed all of them in one way or another. I'm not very good at picking favorites. If I had to single one out it would probably be Us Vs. Them, because we were able to combine my love of video games and my love of filmmaking in a way that was unique and innovative for its time.

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Trading Card Spotlight Joe Brewer

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Joe Brewer, who is displayed on card number 133, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  Owner of his own arcade, Brewer’s Arcade, Joe has become an arcade collector and preservationist.  Joe even donated one of his games to the International Video Game Hall of Fame in 2010.  After Joe’s generation donation, more followed and the IVGHOF received many arcade games that year as donation.    Joe can restore and preserve old 1980 arcade games to keep the fever alive.   Joe’s arcade is located in his basement of his home and a few times a year hosts an open house to the public to play the arcade games and have a good time. 

Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

I believe parents should use common sense with what games their children play. If you don’t know that allowing your 8-year-old to play Call of Duty may be have a negative influence, then the parent doesn’t have common sense and the child doesn’t have a chance in life anyway. If you allow your child to watch violent movies and realistic violent video games that depict real life situations I think it easily can numb that child mentally and definitely has the potential to negatively affect their perception of the real world.

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Trading Card Spotlight Arda Ocal

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Arda Ocal who is displayed on card number 2813, from the Superstars of 2018 Collection.  Arda is a broadcaster whose resume includes ESPN, NHL, WWE, MSG Network and many more. From being the weather reporter or a report for championship games, Arda has been all over.  An avid Video Game fanatic, he hosted and participated in the 2017 NHL 94 Championship in Las Vegas.  He was successful in his very first world record attempt.  

What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games?  How do you compare them to older, classic games?

What I appreciate about retro games is that there was a big limitation when creating them: the challenge was, “make a fun game that people will want to play over and over while dealing with limited memory space, graphics and functionality”. That's what makes games from the 8 and 16-bit era, that you can still play and enjoy, so impressive.Today, the possibilities are endless: games evolve at such a fast rate. In 1985, Mario was a crowning achievement. In the foreseeable future, we could literally be playing Mario in Virtual Reality. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is just mind boggling in terms of how complete and vast it is. It has to be in the conversation of greatest video game ever made.

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