Join us tomorrow for the Video Game Summit in Villa Park, IL.   Today we will talk with Dan Iacovelli of Westchester, IL  who began this event 13 years ago.    For more information go to

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Dan Iacovelli, who currently is displayed on card number 247, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  He is also featured on cards 1142 and 1267.  Dan has devoted the last 13 years promoting and running the Video Game Summit in the Chicagoland area along with his Co-Promotor Todd Friedman of Old School Gamer Magazine.   Over the years, many vendors, gamers and people of all ages have attended VGS and it grows bigger each year.   Dan also has created his own video games such as Laserman ‘88 and Laserman 2K3 Keystone Kappers hack for the Atari 2600.

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

I prefer the classics to today generation, the classic have the fun factor with no blood or guts most of today games are about fighting or combat, I’m not much into that.

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

Not really, my first game system was the 2600 when it first came out. But the first arcade game I got hooked on was Tempest playing at Showbiz Pizza.

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

To be honest no and now am I on at least three, go figure.

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

I think it was at classic gaming expo around 2002, which was the first time I went to show.

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

Friendly, because he seems to be nice guy all around.

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

Yes I am. Besides running the video game trade show known as Video Game Summit,
I’m also the lead organizer for Atari Jagfest section at Midwest gaming classic and VGS when
possible. As well as running the AVC Online website, and later on planning to relaunch the fanzine the Atari Zone. I’m also part of a build team for making homebrew games for the 2600(prior to that I did Laserman 88 which was a port of my original TI-99/4a,and a graphical hack of Keystone Kappers known as Laserman 2k3 both are 2600 games)

What is your favorite portable gaming device?

The Atari Lynx

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

Consoles, because it’s much better to play a game on actual system then a pc.

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

I like space shooters, since I don’t own a modern console I don’t play any of today’s market.

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

Tempest, love the game play got hooked on it playing at showbiz pizza.

Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?

Nope strictly Atari

What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?

The basic knowledge of video games from past to present, enthusiasm for games your play as well.

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

Depends on the game I would say, fighting games are more for adult and then there are others that either teens or children.

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

I believe so with games like super smash brothers and Motal Kombat the fighting games we have today have too much violence.


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

Playing with anybody is always more fun even if it like a high score contests.

Which company makes the best games and why?

The classic era I would say Atari, the modern era I don’t know.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Yes depending on what game eye and hand coronation.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

I believe so when I worked at Dominick’s I always looked forward to going to nearby arcade to play there to relive stress and it always worked.

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

If it’s done in true format of the classic or modern game then yes, if something like Pixels I don’t like it (which was actually done on a Futurama episode). Wreck it Ralph was a great take of video games basing it on what happens inside the game.

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

I really don’t have a favorite character, but always like Sonic and Pac-man.

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

20 years probably more mobile and pc and fewer consoles.

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

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.