In our latest Antstream Arcade Twitch Superstar feature, we chat with another one of the wonderful people spreading the retro gaming glory of Antstream Arcade via streaming platforms. This week, we proudly present GutshotClown, AKA Aaron Maracle, answering questions on his gaming history, favourite games, Antstream Arcade and more. You can catch Aaron on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/gutshotclown and on Twitter as @GutshotC.
On with the retro inquisition!
Antstream Arcade: Hello Aaron! What are your earliest memories of gaming?
Aaron: Hello! I would have to go with seeing a Space War cabinet for the first time. I was about five years old, and there was this arcade game where you could battle a friend with a spaceship. I can still hear the mechanical click of the buttons, trying to play the game and playing it horribly!
AA: What was the first videogame that captured your imagination?
Aaron: I am tempted to say Adventure for the Atari 2600; but I’m going to choose The Legend Of Zelda on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I’ve always enjoyed playing RPGs, so videogames dungeon crawls were always a favourite. Putting myself into the role of Link while I played Legend Of Zelda was easy as I could imagine myself as a bold adventurer taking on strange creatures while searching for Ganon and Triforce.
AA: Do you remember your first games console?
Aaron: Sure do! For Christmas 1980, our family got a Sears Video Arcade. It was just a rebranded Atari 2600, but it was still amazing. The idea that I could play videogames at home, anytime I wanted, without having to use a quarter blew my mind. Those 8-bit games may seem cheesy today, but back then, they were cutting edge, and I could play them for hours. I still like to play them now because it brings me back to my childhood.
AA: On the spot time, part one: as a veteran gamer, what has been your favourite era for gaming?
Aaron: There’s a period that is referred to as ‘The Golden Age Of Arcade Videogames’ and that’s my favourite era, roughly 1978 until 1985. It begins with the release of Space Invaders, which blew our minds. After that, we took the rapid advances and growth in the industry for granted. Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, Tron, Dragon’s Lair, Spy Hunter… year after year, amazing games appeared in our local arcades. And those places were a social hub for us, and we thought it would last forever; but, like all good things, it came to an end. It was a great time for videogames, and I’m pretty happy I could live through that part of gaming history.
AA: On the spot time, part two! What’s your favourite game of all time?
Aaron: This is like asking me to pick a favourite child! There are so many games I love to play, but if I had to pick just one, I would choose Bubble Bobble. It’s not so much the game, but the memories I have that make it a favourite. My daughters and I would play it on the NES when they were young – we managed to finish it, and I treasure that experience. So I tend to make it the last game I play before the end of my streams.
AA: When and why did you begin streaming?
Aaron: Back in 2021, my daughters would talk about their streaming friend and how cool they were. Being a dad, I always want to appear cool to my daughters. I know that will never be the case, but a father must always try! So I fired up my first stream in June 2021 and played Apex with my daughters. I had a blast, so I kept going and, on a whim, decided to stream Antstream Arcade to see if anyone wanted to watch some retro gaming. That stream was a hit and soon became my brand, the retro 80s guy.
AA: How do you choose which games to stream, and what’s with the name?
Aaron: One method I use is to set theme nights. I will pick a franchise, say Pac-Man, and run through all the games available to show my viewers. I may also pick a certain category of games and play as many as I can: side-scrolling fighters, flying games, and maze games have all been themes I’ve used. I am also open to a viewer suggesting a game and then asking them what memories they have of it. As for the name… it was meant to be a throwaway name. I was stuck when I joined Twitch, and all I could think of was, ‘there’s nothing sadder than a gutshot clown and I figured I could change it later. Well, I became popular quickly with friends, and it became part of my brand. People have taken to calling me Gut, Gutty or my favourite, Uncle Gutty, as I am seen as everyone’s internet uncle who gives out free wisdom and advice.
AA: What do you think of Antstream Arcade?
Aaron: I’ve enjoyed the service since day one – having all these games at your fingertips and ready to play makes life as a retro gamer a little easier. Also, being able to scroll through the games is a big help in discovering lost classics, as I don’t know the names of many of the classic arcade games I used to play. The ability to save your game is a very nice feature for those of us who don’t have hours of free time to finish a game all in one session.
AA: What’s it like streaming Antstream Arcade? Do you get a good response?
Aaron: It’s really fun and catches a viewer’s eye. Almost every stream, I get comments like ‘hey, I remember this game!’ and ‘what are you playing it on?’. I also like to showcase the challenges once in a while to show viewers that the service has other ways to test their skills. Performance-wise, I have never had an issue, and the experience is very smooth for my viewers.
AA: As a valued member of the Antstream Arcade streaming community, do you have any recommendations on how we can improve?
Aaron: There are a few games I’d like to see on Antstream. Ms Pac-Man and Galaxian would be nice, while on the more modern side, I have fond memories of four-player games such as Sunset Riders and Vendetta.
AA: We’ll get on it! Finally, Aaron, AKA GutshotClown on Antstream Arcade, on a scale of 1 to 10, how geeky are you?
Aaron: I would give myself an 8, but I’m pretty sure my family would give me a 10! I call the room where I stream from The Geek Cave, and it’s filled with my retro collectables. I wear the geek label proudly, and my friends often refer to me as The King Geek.
That sounds like a 10 to us! Our thanks to Aaron for his time – stay tuned for another Antstream Arcade streaming superstar profile soon! Talk to like minded retro fans like Gutshotclown in our discord community.