Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Andrew Breyer, who is displayed on card number 14, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  Andrew was the 1981 Atari 2600 Asteroids Champion, which earned him a $5,000 prize.   As one of the most completive Atari 2600 console player in the 1980s, Andrew was also featured in a TV commercial at 16 years old.    Andrew moved to playing music in the mid 1990’s.   He has been part of a band ever since.   He still tours to this day with 2 different bands; they can be found playing music in the Chicagoland area.   His band “Members Only” focuses on all 80’s music.  The other band, “Scarlett Fever”, plays danceable hits from the 1960’s to today.

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

Against friends; for the competition and social aspect, though alone is good for record setting purposes.  Some of the games I’m good at such as Asteroids Deluxe, it is nice to have a break in between ships to refresh and take a break while your buddy goes at it.  However, if you are too much better, those breaks may be short or stop altogether if they don’t earn some bonus ships

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

I’m old enough to have experienced Pong as being my first video game.  I remember being fascinated being able to “interact” with the television for the first time.  I don’t remember my first arcade but I did go to a birthday party with coin operated machines at a young age.  Each kid may have been given around 20 quarters.  We were there all of about 2 minutes when a friend supposedly ran out of quarters so gullible me gave him some and was conned for my first time.

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

As with all technology… graphics have come a long way, and I’m assuming less bugs.  Still, the classics seem more challenging.

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

The thought never even crossed my mind as an adult.   My mentality is that cards immortalize athletes… maybe Star War characters too.  Nonetheless, I’m much honored to be a part of it.

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

I imagine we had a series of friendly emails some time before the unveiling, and then in person there.

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

Pioneer.   When I was growing up, you had to be an athlete to be on a card.   He invented another purpose for trading cards.

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

I’m involved sporadically and casually.  Lately I feel the interviewing has been more frequent.  I occasionally get the itch to play something, but that comes and goes… and has been fading at present… but you now have me thinking about it again.

What is your favorite portable gaming device?

I’m not experienced enough to say but my gut reaction is to say anything that can keep a kid busy on a car ride and prevent the “Are we there yet?”   If this counts… personally, I like the convenience of my iPhone when I’m stuck at traffic lights.  I play casual chess on gameknot.com and welcome any reader to challenge me to a game.  My user id is abreyer.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

They each have their advantages, though I would go with console.  I figured it would be inconvenient to put a card in the computer just to use a decent joystick or two vs. having to use letter keys on the PC.   That being said, having collections of software on 1 CD, or just being able to go to a website and simulate one of my old classic favorites is pretty convenient.

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

I still don’t play too much, but in general prefer the shooting/reflex games.   Games I might play when I see them include Phoenix, Galaga, Time Pilot, Centipede, or even a bowling game.

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

Star Worlds Arcade (owned by Patrick O’Malley) had a great machine that housed tons of classics… I forget the number… 50… 500 games on 1 machine.   I want something like that.   Hours of amusement and variety.  Why stick with just 1 game?

Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?

I guess I’m old… I was initially team Atari… and when I wanted some variety, I would go to my friend’s house and play his Fairchild.  Nintendo came out 2 years after my heyday, so I had probably already cut down on video games.  I hated the controllers (loyal to the classic Joystick), and what 17 year old has the money to buy all these systems when they already bought 40 Atari games?  Of course, that didn’t stop me from playing a few Nintendo games at a friend’s house.   I don’t think I ever even tried Sega back in the day, so if you held a gun to my head and asked me the question, the answer is Sega.

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

I’d say all except adults.   Adults seem to have too many responsibilities in general to play much.

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

Too violent?  Absolutely!  Lead to violence?   Possibly, but that’s where our conscience is supposed to guide us and not do as we do in the video games.   People have blamed music on suicides, etc., so I see the tie-in here.  To elaborate even further, I did play one of those side-by-side competitive race car games with some people to celebrate being hired for some consulting work back in ‘96.  After literally spending hours slamming into other cars in the video game, I truly felt the urge to do the same on the highway on my way home.   Instinct… reflex… it was scary to think I came that close to doing some serious damage, or worse.

Which company makes the best games and why?

Oh, beauty is in the eye of the opinion holder.  I’d have to start looking up companies to see if I had a favorite.  Some companies that had cool original ideas that come to mind include Williams, Taito, Sega, Activision, and Atari.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

You certainly can, depending.  Hand-eye co-ordination… Strategy…  There are chess programs that teach you how to improve.   The Rock Band drumming seems similar to the skills necessary to actual drumming.  Flight and driving simulation… trivia… hangman… the list goes on and on and will likely grow.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

I imagine they can be for the most part as long as you stop shooting once you are done playing,

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

I don’t recall seeing any.  I imagine it can be a challenge but am up for any movie if done right.

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

Well, Pengo is the cutest character I can remember off the top of my head right now without looking…  if not, maybe Dig-Dug or QBert.  I was a sucker for cute characters or cool music.  Speaking of which…. Pathfinder and Pacific Coast Highway on the Atari 800 were both near the top of my list for the sounds and music they generated.

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

Oh obviously all sorts of things, but I can go on tangents and bore you for hours.  Suffice it to say: very fond memories from my younger years.

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

Hands down game play.  Who needs or even believes a story to shoot aliens, robots, or dragons.

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

I would say it depends on the game.  That being said, just having different things to fight made it fun.

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

Single… maybe Arkanoid…. Very excellent twist on classic breakout.   Space Duel comes to mind as a fun way to team up on the enemy.

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

I probably wouldn’t, but now you have me thinking….  I believe I saved some comic books I drew when I was around 10 give or take…  called Martian Wars, that had these cute antennae’ d, jean wearing Martians.   It was pretty much an outer space civil war.  Got a team that might want to help?  Maybe my name would help create some buzz?

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

Still being a revenue generator… perhaps a mix of reinventing existing games and consoles, as well as some original creations… controversial games… hopefully some useful ones… perhaps adding creative ways to get fit.

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 (391 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.