Our next Trading Card Spotlight features James White who is displayed on card number 281, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  James has been a regular for the past 10 years at the largest arcade in the world, Galloping Ghost Arcade.  He has multiple high scores on machines in the arcade and was crowned the ‘Player of the Year’ in 2012 by Dock Mack, owner of Galloping Ghost. Some of those games he is most proud of include ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Us vs. Them’.  James, along with his father have contributed their time on numerous occasions at various gaming events.  James is one of the most competitive gamers out there and strives to be the best at what he plays.

Which arcade or console manufacturer is your favorite and why?

My favorite arcade company back then and sometimes now is Sega, well at first, I had a tough time with their games like Zaxxon, Frogger, etc.  Not only arcades, but I was enjoying their console systems as well, my favorite console by Sega was the Saturn, I know it did not do well in the US, but I still loved many of their games.

When did you first go to Galloping Ghost arcade?

I first went to the Galloping Ghost Arcade in September of 2010, little did I know that arcade would change my life forever.

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

That is a very tough question, I wish I had an answer to that, I can tell you this, when I was young and watching the arcade game show Starcade, I always dreamed about owning my own arcade back then, there are just too may for me to count, I have played hundreds of classic games back in my time. I wish I could narrow it down to one, that would be very tough.

What does it take to be a world champion arcade player?

To be honest I am not the best in the world, but all I can say is well like the old question, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” yep, tons of practice, practice, and practice on getting better to THE best.

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

My first video arcade game was at a supermarket, it was a cabaret version of Centipede, but my family at first called it Ants and Spiders, all I remember that playing that game would change my arcade life.

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

I first met Walter day at the 2012 Midwest gaming Classic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I just met him before my “fame”.

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

Generous, only because my family and I have helped him in certain events, with helping me getting my recognition when I received the Gamer of the Year 2012 at the Galloping Ghost Arcade.

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

I never thought I would ever be on a video game trading card back when I was a kid.

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

I was mentioned of my accomplishment in our local paper “the Doings”.

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

I would call this a portable gaming device, the Nintendo Switch, I do not have it hooked up to the television, it is just slim and compact, some good variety of games, but expensive, it is just fine for me.

Do you prefer console or arcade gaming and why?

I heavily prefer arcade gaming only because well my childhood was mostly going to arcades back in my day when my dad used to bring me to random arcades when I was younger, plus trying to attempt to be the best well mot really back then.

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

Since I call most of my games back in the 80’s “oldies but goodies” well it could mean some shooters, platformers, I still play mostly classics, I try to get into the newer ones.

What springs to mind when you hear the word “arcade”?

That word like I said brings back lots of memories of my childhood, trying to find an arcade that I have not been to besides the usual ones that I went to in the 80’s.

How does arcade music influence games past and present?

Some arcade music in my opinion depending on the game influence some games that get me going, the only one arcade game music that I like was Daytona USA, the music was a bit corny, although I liked it.

What advice would you give to younger kids who don’t know about the arcade scene?

My advice to give children who do not know about the arcade scene, well if their parents like the good old days, meaning the 80’s plus if there is an arcade near them if they are very lucky, visit one perhaps? that is all I can say.

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

Video games can be aimed at many types of people, children well I would have to say depending how old they are these days could be difficult, adolescents well I believe they focus on online console gaming too much which could be a bad habit at some time, Adults like me try to get into the console scene, when arcades started popping up again sparked my old childhood again.

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

Mostly the first-person shooters like Call of Duty, Doom, Quake, oh well if those were ever not made or even thought of.  We could live in a better world today.

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

I usually just like playing arcade games alone, against friends or against the world no. that competition is too rough, team competition like when the GGA won the Battle of the Arcades event this year that was worthwhile.

Are arcade games good for relieving stress?

Some arcade games depending on which game can relieve stress, hard to say which ones.

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

I wish I had a video game character that was my favorite, like I said before. There are too many of Characters to count, probably hundreds. I really do not have a specific one.

Do you find boss battles to be the best part of an arcade game?

Some boss battles, well sometimes depending on which game, I will mention one classic game called Vanguard, the final boss was sometimes hard to get, the boss was protected by a barrier, you needed just one shot to get through the barrier to get him/her.

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

I really do not have a favorite multiplayer game, sorry, if I had to narrow my favorite arcade down to on, it would be the game Bubbles, I currently have the world record score on that game, it can be viewed on YouTube.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

If I did design my own game, well to be honest, I would not know where to start, I would be in major LaLa land if I were to take on that.

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

I am and always will be involved with the arcade scene. I still play a good role going to the GGA plus some other arcades where live.

Where do you see the arcade scene in the next 20 years?

I hope in the next 20 years, I just hope that arcades will thrive, Pac-man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, plus countless others will oh I just hope those games, and arcades will play a major role in our history in the future, oh those games that I mentioned, well they may be over 60 years or older in 20 years from now, as for me, as long as I am in good health and spirit, I still will try to play a major part in the arcade scene, I do not have any kids, however my nieces, when they get a bit older, I will show them my arcade world, plus just maybe and praying they can be like their old Uncle Jimbo.

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 (396 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.