Our next Trading Card Spotlight features James Carter who currently is displayed on card number 3959, from the Superstars of 2021 Collection.  James is a world champion Dig-Dug Player. Dig-Dug has been a part of James life since he was 11 years old. On May 20th,2021, James broke the world record on the MAME version of Dig-Dug with a score of 4,108,420 points. It was a record that stood for over 16 years. His next goal is to break the arcade record as well. James credits a lot of his success with the game from Kevin Alburger, a friend he met this past year.

What was the feeling like when you broke the world record?

When I finally broke the world record for dig dug on MAME, the 1st feeling I had was relief because I played 36 games in 6 days to break the world record. Then I got super excited knowing I had just accomplished the impossible.

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

The 1st video game I ever played was Pac-Man. I remember it was an amazing experience. that is when I fell in love with video games in general.

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘Dig Dug’?

When I hear the term dig dug, it really holds a special place in my heart because I grew up playing & loving that game.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card? 

No, I never thought I would ever be on a trading card, my goal was just to be the best & break the world record.

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

The 1st time I met Walter day was through Casey Ross on social media. I have not met him face to face yet.

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

The 1 word I would use to describe Walter day is amazing, because he has an amazing video game soul.

When did you first play Dig Dug and what do you remember about it?

I 1st played dig dug in April 1982, I was 11 years old & I thought it was the greatest video game I had ever seen.

What is your opinion on Dig Dug 2 and is that something you are shooting for a record?

I really don’t like it because it’s not like the original, I will not be breaking any records on dig dug 2

Do you prefer arcade or console gaming and why?

I prefer arcade gaming to console gaming because of the camaraderie, it’s much fun being at an arcade.

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

The only games of today I play is survival horror because those are the only games I like.

If you could own one arcade game besides Dig Dug, what would it be and why? 

The only other arcade game I would own other than dig dug would be the original street fighter. The reason why is because I played that super competitive to the point, I became the San Fernando valley champion then the Los Angeles city champion, then the California state champion. I have been undefeated in the original street fighter since 1987.

Which console company is your favorite and why?  Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?

The 2 favorite console companies are for cartridge – Nintendo, for CD – original PlayStation. The reason is they were the best games and the best consoles period.

What does it take to be a world record holder on an arcade game?

I think to become a world champion it takes patience, practice & the hunger to become the best.

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

I feel arcade games are mainly directed at adults.

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

I think the games of today are not as good as the games of the 80s. They seem too technical & not as much fun. I definitely feel old school games are much more fun & exciting than the games of today’s generation.

Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

No, I don’t think video games lead to violence in America, it’s not fair to blame video games for what people do in the real world.

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

I prefer to play video games with friends, it’s a really great way to hang out and have a great bonding experience.

Which company makes the best games and why?

In my opinion, Atari makes the best games, especially considering they started the video game industry.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Video games are for good relieving stress only if you’re playing for fun & not trying to break a world record.

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

The 2 characters that mean the most to me are Dig Dug from Dig Dug & Ryu from original street fighter. Those are the characters closet to my heart. What makes them special is those are the characters I am a champion with.

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

My favorite single playing game would have to be dig dug & the original street fighter. My favorite multiplayer game is gauntlet.

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

If I could design my own game, it would be about Jesus saving the world from the devil, so people could fully understand what Jesus did for this world & why he’s the most important person to have lived on this planet. Jesus would be the main character.

Are you still involved with competitive gaming today, and what are your goals?

Yes, I am still involved in competitive gaming, my goals are to become the world champion for dig dug on MAME as well as the world champion for arcade.

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

I would like to see the video game industry boom again in the next 20 years. Kids need video games; we all need video games.

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 (386 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.