Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Eric Tessler who currently is displayed on card number 519, from the Superstars of 2013 Collection.  He is also featured on cards 533, 1493, 2061, 2080, 2226 and 2282.   Eric is the primary supporter of the Walter Day Trading Card project as well as the ICON events held each year in Fairfield, Iowa.  Eric has also supported such documentaries as the “Video Craze” and “The King of Arcades”. Eric is part of a small group of gamers who has reached the Donkey Kong Kill Screen.  He is an avid Arcade collector and restores old arcade games and offers gameplay to people in the area who want to experience the old classics.   Eric’s most recent contribution is the upcoming documentary “No Princess in the Castle”.

Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?

Team Nintendo, for sure. Most of my friends and family were Nintendo fans, and that was the first real console game system that my parents had bought us. From what I remember from where I grew up, most people preferred Nintendo over Sega.

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

The first arcade game I ever played was most likely Donkey Kong. Back in the early 80s, I always remember seeing that game in arcades and wanting to play it. I remember waiting in line to play it several times. Donkey Kong was always my favorite arcade game. I spent many hours playing it in arcades, on my Apple IIe and Intellivison. For me, DK was a magical game…the sights, sounds, game play…for me it was the perfect game. I will never forget that time in my life. I really miss those days back in the 80s J

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

I really do not like today’s video games. To me, they seem to be all about graphics and focus more on social interaction with other players. They also don’t challenge you the way games did from the 80s. I love the old simple 8-bit graphics, having just a joystick and a few buttons to play a game. The old games really challenged you at so many different skill levels, unlike most of today’s games.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video game Trading card? 

Nope I sure did not…let alone being the main investor in the trading cards.  I think the trading cards are great for our community. It is a great way to celebrate all of the awesome people who have contributed in many different ways to our older generation of video gamers.

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

I first met Walter Day at the Kong-Off 2. He watched almost my entire game when I kill screened Donkey Kong as a wild card player.

If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?

That one word would be “Sweet”…he is the sweetest and nicest person anyone could ever meet.

Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?

Not really, I don’t think any of them are good movies with one exception: Mortal Kombat.

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

Donkey Kong…there is just something very mean and evil about him.

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

Yes, very much so! I run the Donkey Kong online opens; this is an online Donkey Kong contest that is free to play for everyone. I also back the trading cards that are produced by Walter Day. In my spare time, I play video games in my garage arcade and in my warehouse arcade that I share with my friends.

What is your favorite portable gaming device?

Well I guess that would have to be my iPhone, my phone is the only portable gaming device that I own.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

I prefer old console gaming; Atari, Intellivison, Collecovision and the 8-bit Nintendo are all my favorites.  For me, these games are simply a lot more fun and challenging.

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

The only games I play today are either arcade games and pinball machines. My favorite genres of games are shooters and platform games.

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

Well I currently own a bunch of arcade and pinball machines. However if it could be only one, it would have to be Donkey Kong, my favorite game of all time.

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

Honestly I think most video games are aimed at everyone.

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

I do not blame video games in any way for violence in America. I feel that parents are responsible for regulating what types of games they want their kids to be exposed to. How a child turns out is dependent upon how they are brought up and what type of person they are.

Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?

I prefer to play video games alone and sometimes against friends. For certain games I do not mind playing online against the world as that can be extremely fun. For the most part though, I do play video game alone. I like to work on various skills on different games, and I enjoy watching my improvement as I progress through a game.

Which company makes the best games and why?

I would say Nintendo. For me, they made many games that I loved playing throughout my entire life.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

For me yes, I learned quite a bit from playing video games. I have improved various skills for myself such as pattern recognition, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, etc. I also have found that lots of these skills transfer to other video games as well.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Definitely for me as it shifts my focus and lets me forget about whatever it was that was stressing me out.

Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?

I see video games becoming more like virtual reality and a lot more realistic. As computer hardware gets faster/cheaper and technology develops, I definitely see it heading in that direction as I think most people would agree.

This is one of an ongoing series of articles based on the Walter Day Collection of e-sports/video gaming trading cards – check out more information at thewalterdaycollection.com.

Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (396 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.