Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Jason Newman, who is displayed on card number 2589, from the   Superstars of 2016 Collection.  Jason is a multiple Ridge Racer world record holder on multiple platforms including the arcade version.   His love for the game keeps him busy and going for more records each day.  With over 100 records on the game he is without doubt the best Ridge Racer gamer in the world.  Jason also hold some records on the game Rave Racer for the Arcade.

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

Not at all no. Although I did feel a pretty solid connection with the Ridge Racer series from a young age so I had a feeling it was going to go somewhere. Something about the game just ticked all the boxes for me and I’ve been playing ever since. But no, I never really thought I would take it as far as I have and end up on a Trading Card.  It’s an honor have been chosen by Walter and to be alongside the many great gamers featured on these cards.

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

I do, it was Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles for the NES. We had one back in the late 80’s and I was only 4 or 5 years old. I still have vivid memories of playing that game. It was amazing to me at the time it was like watching one of my favorite cartoons but I was in control. It blew my mind back then. Still to this day I’ve never beaten that game. I still have my NES from when I was kid so perhaps it’s time I finally attempt to beat the game.

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

Modern games seem very alike to me these days and lack originality. I have to admit I’m not much of a modern gamer too many cut scenes and endless tutorials trying to babysit you through the early stages leads me to loose interest fairly quickly. I do have a nephew who seems pretty keen on these games though so perhaps it’s just me getting old.  I compare the more modern stuff to movies as the bigger FPS titles seem to be like a film with so many cut scenes whereas before you were chucked into the game and left to work it out. I much prefer the challenge of older games (and the lack of annoying cut scenes!)

Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card?  If so, where?

I have not. I’m from the UK and they aren’t very well known in this country.

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

Unfortunately I’ve never had the pleasure of doing so. Being from the UK it puts him and many of you’re fantastic gaming events and arcades out of  my reach which is a huge shame. Maybe one day though.

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

Legend, because he truly is one. So many people including myself owe him a beer for all his hard work over the years. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have any of these records I have today and for that I’m truly grateful. He is a great man and deserves a lot of credit.

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

It would have to be the Game Boy as I have so many great memories on it. Super Mario Land and Zelda, Link’s Awakening were childhood favorites of mine. When the Game Boy Color and Pokémon came along in later years I was never far away from my Game Boy. Such a great portable console!

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

I prefer PC gaming as you can typically do a lot more with games on the PC than on a console. I’ve just built my nephew a gaming PC for Minecraft and shown him how you can expand the game with mods and add ons, something you can’t do on console. He’s converted to say the least. I’m also used to the mouse and keyboard layout for first person shooters. Give me a controller and I’m all over the place. I used to play Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 and DOOM back in the day so it’s what I grew up with and what I’m comfortable with.

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

I don’t play many these days but I do play DOOM (PC),  Unreal Tournament (PC),  Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC),  Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 (PC) & of course Ridge Racer on PlayStation. I also play a lot of MAME on my PC. I’m still trying to get to 100k on Donkey Kong (current PB is 98k.)

My favorite genre’s would be first person shooters & driving games. Although 80’s arcade games are really starting to grab my attention these days. I missed out on the 80’s cabinets growing up but thanks to Twin Galaxies I’ve been exposed to so many great games and now there are so many fantastic games I want to play. I can safely say that’s an up and coming favorite of mine.

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

I already own my own Ridge Racer arcade machine which would have been my first choice but I would love to own either a Cosmic Avenger cabinet or a Donkey Kong cabinet. Or maybe a Robotron… Or a Galaga…? Ahh, so many choices!  I’m not very familiar with pinball but I did see a Nightmare on Elm Street pinball machine once on holiday which looked awesome! So that would be good to own. That and those original Mario pinball machines. Either of those would be great.

Which console company is your favorite and why?  Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?

It would have to be Sony. Growing up as a young child I was fortunate enough to own a bunch of consoles (SEGA Master System, Nintendo NES, Colecovision, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.) But I remember the PlayStation most. Christmas 1996, I had my own brand new Sony PlayStation 1 and it simply blew me away. Going from a 8 bit Master System to a PlayStation was mind blowing and I have such amazing memories of that console and many of it’s games. It’s the clear winner for me.

How does video game music influence games past and present?

Massively! It’s one reason I took to Ridge Racer so much. As a teen in the 90’s the music was great and typically what we used to listen to here in the UK at the time. I really do think that the in game music attributed to my longevity with the series.  Another example would be DOOM on the PlayStation. If you have never played DOOM on PlayStation then do it! In a dark room and just listen to the music. The atmosphere it creates is a feeling of fear and loneliness inside this hellish world you find yourself in. It is fantastic!

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

I think they are aimed at everyone, One good thing about the modern era of gaming is we really are spoilt for choice. From adults to children, casual to expert players there is something for everyone.

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

Well, from an outsiders point of view I would say no. That said though, I’m not too familiar with what things are like in the US as I’ve never been there. The discussion about video games links to violence has been going on for years though with no concrete evidence shown to my knowledge so I doubt it very much.

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

It depends really. If I’m really trying to go for a record or complete a game I tend to prefer being alone without distraction. I think the best times with video games are with friends though. I have such good memories of a group of us sitting down and playing games. Golden Eye on N64 was a favorite back in the day.

Which company makes the best games and why?

Namco, simply because Pac Man, Ridge Racer, Ace Combat, Tekken… need I say more.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

I think it greatly depends on which game you play and what age you are at the time but as a general rule yes… You learn that the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun!” is true.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Most definitely, I actually have an anxiety disorder and often use games to chill out or bring the stress levels down. They are a great distraction and have helped me massively over the years.

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

Typically, no as they always seem to mess it up somehow. When DOOM was announced as a movie I was SO excited. Then, it came out, what a disappointment that was.  Mortal Kombat was a fun movie in the 90s though. The theme song to it was epic!

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

Has to be Sonic. The memories I have of Sonic 1 on SEGA Master System in the early 90’s are great. Possibly Duke Nukem too as he was a bad ass to a young teenager.

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?

Doritos, pizza, beer and a damn good time!

Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why?  Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style

Game play for sure. I can play anything as long as it’s fun to play. As I mentioned earlier, it’s when it starts trying to baby sit you through everything or try to be a movie with endless cut scenes… then I get put off.  This is why I think 80’s arcade games are still popular and loved as they are just so pure. It’s all about the game play with them which I love.

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

I wouldn’t say so as a general rule no but some games can be that way. Meeting the Cyber Demon for the first time in DOOM was a fun experience!

What is your favorite singe player game and favorite multiplayer game?

Favorite single player game has to be DOOM for PS1 I can play that game over and over and never get bored. Multiplayer it would have to be a tie between Unreal Tournament & Quake 3. Those 2 games on the internet in the 90’s were great.

If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

Admittedly I’m not the most creative person in the world so I’m really not sure. All I know is it would have to be fairly simple yet addictive with game play inspired from the 80’s arcade scene.  I really do think that gaming during that time was the most pure form of gaming with hard game play, a simple plot and high scores. I wish I was around during that time.

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

I am, I still actively play Ridge Racer and I have just taken the top spot for Ridge Racer in the speedrun community. All of that is coming to a close now though as I have taken the game to it’s limits and there isn’t anything left to do. I do have some future plans in gaming though, I would like to try and take on the long standing Cosmic Avenger arcade world record some day.

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

I’m not entirely sure to be honest. I am excited about what sort of tech will be around at that time though.

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 (403 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.