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.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Single player game would be Sam and Max: Hit the Road hands down. I freaking love that game! And if you haven’t heard of it, then just go look it up and learn about it. It’s such a great point and click adventure and such a great game of its time. Multiplayer game would be Minecraft. I’ve had so much fun playing with friends on that game.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
My first memories were playing games on the computer with my dad when I was around 2 or so. I don’t remember which was specifically first but he had several arcade games on the computer, like
Bubble Bobble which we played together a lot.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
No I would of never of guessed. Heck, when I was younger I dreamed of being in the Guinness Book of World Records and thought that an impossible achievement for me. It’s something I’m very proud of.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading card? If so, where?
I think I had received some from the Ottumwa Courier and it might have been mentioned in some of the news articles when I was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
It was back in 2009 or so when I first started getting involved with the video game community in Ottumwa, Iowa.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Pioneer, because he’s spent a lot of time building up this community in any way he could.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
Honestly, probably my phone or tablet. I love my Nintendo 3DS to death but I realistically playing games on my phone more than anything due to it being on me at all times and always charged up.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I love video games that we have today just as much as older, classic games. Both generations have their own charm and appeal. I find it fascinating that we now even have Virtual reality and have thoroughly enjoyed playing the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which we own. It’s hard to not appreciate both old and new games and technology. Older games show where we’ve come from with what was capable at the time and newer games show just how far we’ve come. It’s so amazing that today most people carry small computers that are capable of playing any of the old arcade games but are so small. Even seeing how well Pokémon Go had done on mobile devices is so amazing and impressive what it’s capable of both games and even with social interaction. It’s just something that leaves you in awe since it’s not even something we would have thought capable 10 years ago.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
They both have their place. I play both and use them under certain circumstances. I tend to do more PC stuff for things like Virtual Reality, anything I need better specs. Or more control over and just for certain games that I need PC to be able to play with my friends. I tend to use console gaming for stuff that I want to be simple and easy to run, more laid back where I can just chill in my recliner or my bed and play on a lazy day. I also use it for certain games that either are easier to play multiplayer or more of my friends have that particular game on that platform too with multiplayer stuff. Either way, both sides of gaming have a lot to offer and I like to keep up with both.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
Currently I own a lot of games, or at least my husband does. I would really like to have Bubble
Bobble on a machine and have been dying for one for a while now. I know my dad and I would have a blast playing that.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
Both; I had a genesis and n64 that my brother and I played the crap out of. I really didn’t prefer one over the other. I just really enjoyed them both and still have them.
What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?
I guess I would say someone who follows the industry and takes time to research the history of what they’re reporting on. Someone who can keep from having a biased view, too.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
In games, the music really helps make the games memorable, probably more so in the past. Now a days sometimes is music is made specifically for the game but there are plenty of times that designers just use popular or current songs. In the past that wasn’t possible due to the limitations of the hardware. Because of this, designers had to create unique and memorable music to accompany the game. Bubble Bobble, which was my favorite game to play with my dad growing up, had a great catchy theme song that till this day is so easy to get stuck in my head, even if I only hear a few notes of the song and always reminds me of the fun nature to the game.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
It’s really just aimed towards everyone. There are all kinds of games directed to each group but really, there are just as many adults that play video games as there are kids, if not more. Ultimately Adults are the ones who primarily buy them because they are the ones with the income to do so. Plus in this day and age, most people carry video games around with them every day, on their smart phones and tablets. Some may not really think about it but heck, even candy crush is a video game and I can’t tell you how many people play that or a variation of it. My parents spend all their time trying to one up each other on Juice Jam. My dad has been an avid gamer since before I was born and even my mom, who claims to not be much of a gamer herself, plays the crap out of that game. It’s kind of cute how usually she’s beating dad on how far they are on Juice Jam. We’re getting to that time where anyone can be a gamer easily.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
I really don’t. At the end of the day, whether someone acts out in violence comes from within them. If violent video games were the sole cause of violence then I’d be in prison by now. Seriously I can’t tell you how many “violent” video games I’ve played over the years. I played Doom and quake and Duke Nukem and all those games as a kid, but here’s the thing, my parents taught me that those games were games and that you didn’t do that stuff in real life. Out of the people who have caused harm to others and also played those games, really had a lot of other stuff going on with them and within themselves, and thought that it was okay to do bad things. I think too many people put blame on games when really; they need to put blame on those who did bad things. You only make excuses for people when you say that the games caused them to do it. We all have the ability to choose right from wrong. We choose every day to not murder people and how many of us watch TV shows or movies about serial killers and what not. It’s the same thing.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I love all three and tend to change it up quite a bit. It really depends on my mood and the current situation. When I’m sick or needing a break from stuff I tend to play solo stuff. If I’m hanging out with friends in a social situation then we play together. If I really find a multiplayer game fun, I will play online with or against other people. I guess if I did one more than others it’d be solo stuff just because lately, I’ve been so busy with my sewing business that most the time I’ve had time to play, it’s when I’m winding down at the end of the night or occasionally when I’ve been sick.
Which company makes the best games and why?
I don’t really have any particular company I prefer above all. I really have enjoyed Bethesda’s games lately and have poured most of my time recently into Fallout 4, but I think it depends on what genre of gaming in particular. It’d be hard to just pick one to reign above all for me.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Yes. I attribute a lot of my ability to being able to pick things up fast to playing games growing up. I absolutely love puzzle games and strategy games and those really help you to think outside of the box. Plus, growing up, my family and I played games together quite frequently. My Dad, Brother and I, and even occasionally my mom, would take turns playing through games and help each other out when we got stuck. I learned through that, different perspectives on how to solve stuff and really feel that it translated over into how I do things day to day now. I don’t think I’d be as near as successful as I am in my life now without those experiences.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Well first that depends on what type of game you’re playing. I don’t think horror games would be calm and relaxing. *laughs* I do think that some can be and I use video games quite often to combat my anxiety I deal with. A lot of times I use it as a way to distract myself and calm down when dealing with panic attacks so it’s definitely shown to work for me.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I think it just depends. I’ve seen some based on a video game or dealing with that subject that are just fine, and others that I thought were absolutely crap. Some you can tell actually set out to make a really good movie, and the crap ones you can tell were just trying to cash in on the fans following it.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
I have to say two, since they’re a team and you can’t have one without the other. Sam and Max from Sam and Max: Hit The Run. There are a lot of characters that I love but Sam and Max will always hold a place in my heart. I loved that game as a kid and even today, the storyline and gameplay is just great. In fact, I hope to do a play through sometime soon, once I get things set up better to be able to stream.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
My childhood. It’s very much a part of my life even today but seriously, I was a super lucky kid since my dad was a huge gamer and both him and my mom totally encouraged my brother and I to play games. I can’t tell you how many computer and console games I played over the years.
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay,
Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
Gameplay just because if it doesn’t play well, you probably won’t play through it enough to have it gain a special place with you. The other elements are just as important but you can remove those and still have a great game.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
Not really. I tend to go more towards the overall story rather than any specific boss battles. In fact, some of my favorite video games have no boss battles what so ever.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
A game where you collect kitties and the main character could be me, because I want all the kitties.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Yep. My role has changed a lot over the years. I kind of just go with whatever direction my path leads from volunteering in the community, to setting world records, to even just posting videos on YouTube of stuff I’m playing or interested in at the time. I spend a lot of time sewing right now and really want to dive into some Cosplay work soon.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
Honestly, at times I wonder if we’re even capable of imagining where it will be by then. I think it’ll be the same to an extent but I think what is capable of being done will be mind-blowing to us now. I think the physical components will continue to get smaller/more powerful and that eventually our phones will be capable of what our desktops and laptops are now and even more than that. I think Virtual Reality will be more affordable and will have a lot more going for it. I think there will be a lot more done with augmented reality too.
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.