Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Ken Williams, A.K.A “Sushi-X”, who currently is displayed on card number 30, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection. Ken was on the staff of Electronic Gaming Monthly in the early 1990’s. In 2006 Ken, along with Terry “Trickman” Minnich, founded the website VGEvo.com which was followed by Retroids.com. Ken has been and still is a huge supporter of the video game culture and has helped many charitable causes such a “Child’s Play” and “Extra Life”. Some of Ken’s all-time favorite games include Street Fighter and Bubble Bobble.
What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?
Integrity, humility and bravery. At least, that’s what it used to take so you could write about games objectively without political agendas. I’m allergic to political correctness, so I avoid much of the industry today.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
2008 at the Midwest Gaming Classic in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Dedicated. When he stands behind something, he sees it through.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
My grandfather had purchased a Tele-Games Pong IV unit at Christmas time when I was little, and I played it all night with my cousins.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I like it when Hollywood makes a GOOD movie from a video game. I’m really looking forward to the WarCraft movie and hope it sets a proper standard for how to translate a game into a movie. I did enjoy a few previous attempts at movies, like Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Some are so bad they’re classics, like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Super Mario Brothers. I haven’t seen Hitman yet, but I hear it’s pretty decent. I can appreciate the difficulty in translating a game into a movie because you have only a couple of hours to tell a story that a game usually spends several hours doing. Done right, however, and you could have the kind of success the Marvel franchise is having onscreen. Why isn’t there an actual GTA movie yet?!? C’mon Rockstar, make it happen. How about Infamous? Borderlands? Many great games series have flexible storylines that could be expanded upon.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
Today’s games seem to cater to shorter attention spans and emphasize visuals more than actual gameplay and replay ability. Older games were a testament to hand-eye coordination and solid mechanics since the graphics capabilities were severely limited.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
Nope, never crossed my mind.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
I’m just a casual gamer these days. The current industry disgusts me and I want nothing to do with it.
What is your favorite portable gaming device?
My phone. It’s always with me, so it’s convenient.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
No preference as long as it’s not a green on green GameBoy.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
Destiny on PS4 is my current go-to game. I still love fighters, but FPS is my current favorite.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
I already own Double Dragon 2 and Street Fighter II Champion Edition, but would love a Bubble Bobble unit.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
I loved both, owned more Nintendo titles, mostly due to the sheer quantity of games. Nintendo’s 1st-party games were top-notch as well, in terms of variety and quality. Sega had Sonic, which I loved as well as some quality shooters, but that’s about it.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
Clearly, adolescent boys and male adults are the target market. Most games that get press are PG-13 or higher, with content too mature for most kids — not that this stops parents from buying the games for their 9-year olds.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
No. Bad parenting leads to violence. A child that has been taught to respect right from wrong won’t become a serial killer by playing Call of Duty.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I prefer co-op, then solo gaming. Co-op provides a social aspect that you can’t get at a bar or club — comradery.
Which company makes the best games and why?
I don’t care about that. I’ve seen indie games that are amazing and huge corporate titles that fall flat, and vice versa. I care about the games themselves, and less about the company involved. Any company can make an AAA title and then completely screw up the next.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
I learned that I enjoy games more than television as an entertainment medium. Why simply watch when you can interact with something on the television?
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Absolutely. Unless I’m playing a Dark Souls game. That game creates stress — though the payoff can be worth it so long as my controller survives the thrashing.
Who is your favorite video game character and what make that character special?
Ken Masters from Street Fighter is my clear favorite. Besides the namesake within my favorite game series, I really immersed myself into his backstory lore and chaotic, flashy fighting style, versus Ryu’s tempered, deliberate style, and found it suited me. He’s an ideal version of me — strong, confident, respected family man with a successful career and incredible friendships… and amazing hair. These are all aspects I aspire to, despite falling short on many of them.
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
VR is coming, and the level of immersion will make it a standard once costs come down.
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.