During the recent Ottumwa Trading Card Ceremonies, Sam Blackburn was among an elite group of video game luminaries who were honored on trading cards for their historic participation in the 1982 LIFE Magazine photoshoot. Returning to Ottumwa for the 35th-year reunion of the photo, they were honored with trading cards that were presented by Billy Mitchell and Walter Day along with the AWARD CERTIFICATE shown herein. They were presented on Saturday, November 11, 2017, during the Ottumwa Old School Arcade Galaxies of Gaming Festival, at the Quincy Place Mall, in Ottumwa, Iowa. To see the other trading cards unveiled during this ceremony -- or to see the long chronological history of the TRADING CARDS AWARDS TRADITION, go to this link: Chronological History of the Trading Card Awards Ceremonies
Back in the Golden Age of Gaming, North Carolina gaming superstar Sam Blackburn was one of the linchpins of the North Carolina video game team that faced off against California in the California Challenges North Carolina All-Star Playoff, held at Light Years Amusements Arcade, in Wrightsville, NC, August 27–30, 1982. One of Twin Galaxies’ earliest high-score champs, with 5,617,000 points scored on arcade Battlezone, Sam was one of the 16 stars invited to the LIFE Magazine photo session in Ottumwa, Iowa. Though now long gone from the video game world, his gaming career was featured in the popular video game documentary, Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade. Today, he works at Probity LLC, in Herndon, VA, where he is Chief of Forensics in charge of creating digital forensics tools.