Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Charles Ziese, who is displayed on card number 408, from the Superstars of 2013 Collection.  One of the most beloved games , Sonic the Hedgehog, has been an inspiration to him since the 1990’s.   Living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Charles has overcame many obstacles in life and uses video games to strive for excellence.   He has held world records for Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic & Knuckles for the Sega Genesis.   He also holds a record for Castlevania for the NES.  Charles is using video games to spread cheer to people and to let people know that life is precious and to be happy with yourself and the gaming community.

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

The only way a game can be a bad influence is if the person was already unstable. I should know, on a similar note, a book I read made my depression worse. It’s not the game, it’s the person.

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

I play action platformers for younger audiences, some Metroid, Eternal Sonata, Castlevania, Donkey Kong Country. Action RPG’s are also fun.

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

It all started when my brother showed me a Sega Genesis with Sonic 2 on it. It was just the coolest thing to see someone move so fast on screen.

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

I personally am not very happy with most modern games, as they are mostly about dark things I don’t need in my entertainment. The early days were less disturbing.

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

I met Walter in Allentown PA in 2012.

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

Epic. He just radiates awesomeness.

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

Yes, I might be making something with Dave Vogt. I tend to change up consoles.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

PC just feels weird and needs updates often. Also, computers break often.

Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?

The thing is, I did not even know of the 16-bit war until after it was done. My brother had a Genesis and the SNES was unknown to me, as a youngster.

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

I feel that mainstream caters mostly to teens and adults. This makes me feel like the 800 pound gorilla for not needing that sort of amusement.

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

For a long time, I liked being alone, but as someone with clinical depression, I now prefer company.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Yes. Seeing as I am very emotional, games can help.

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

It ultimately depends if it’s a good story. When I go to a movie, I expect story, not cutting and pasting a game word for word.

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

I did not, the only reason I had my cards made was for charity.

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

I have not, I am shy anyways.

Did you learn anything from playing video games?

Of course; Castlevania made me learn more about mythology. Eternal Sonata taught me about Frederic Chopin.


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 (199 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the video game community. He is currently writing for Old School Gamer Magazine, Retro Gaming Times and The Walter Day Collection. He has Co-Promoted the Video Game Summit in Illinois for the past 11 Years. Todd's first book, Walter Day's Superstars of Gaming, Volume 1, was released in February of 2020. Todd is also the Chairman of the Nomination Committee for the International Video Game Hall of Fame.