Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Mike Yesenko who currently is displayed on card number 3444, from the Superstars of 2020 Collection.  Mike is a world record holder on multiple games on systems such as the NES, Sega Genesis and PS2.  His longest record is from 2009 on BMX Air on the Atari 2600. Mike is also a huge collector of gaming with over 1,000 retro console games and 20 consoles.  He also has a collection of 6 full size arcade machines.  His gamer tag is “Mikee McFly”, shades of Back to the Future.

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

I rotate mainly thru NES and Atari 2600 games but my favorite games are baseball, shooters and racing games on NES (Bad News Baseball, Bases loaded 2, Rad Racer, Formula one) and all the arcade style games on Atari (Popeye, Amidor, Freeway)

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

My earliest memories are playing Pac-Man and E.T. on the Atari 2600. I remember how cool it was to be able to play at our house whenever we wanted.

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

First, I must say the systems now a days are impressive, but I personally am not a fan of them.  When things get too realistic, they lose something simple and special about them.  I think Atari set the standard for gaming, NES perfected it and the next 2 generations just added to the magic.  Anything after 2000 is hard for me to get into.  I prefer a simple arcade style game to a realistic free roaming game any day.

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

I honestly never got into portables very much.  I loved my game boy when younger, but after that didn’t play much.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

Console gaming for sure. I feel like the library of available systems and games outweighs any advantages a PC might hold.

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

I own 6 currently, have sold a few over the years but Popeye is the one game in my collection I couldn’t live without.  It’s such a fun and underrated arcade game.  The game play on the arcade version is by far the best and is just hard enough to feel accomplished when playing and fun enough to give you replay value.

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

Nintendo.  Purely off of the NES.  In my opinion it doesn’t get any better than the original NES.  So many great games and so many genres to pick from.

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

It really depends on the situation.  My good friend Ron is my favorite person to hardcore game with because our playing styles complement each other very well.   He’s great at levels, I’m great at boss battles.   Now if we’re talking sports games, I have 2 buddies I prefer playing against because we are so evenly matched (Gary and Brice)

Which company makes the best games and why?

In the history of gaming I think Activision was my favorite purely based off of their wonderful library on the Atari 2600. Literally every game they made on that system was good.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Patience for sure.

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

I think overall, it’s awesome and we have been lucky the past few years to get some good ones (Wreck-It Ralph, Pixels)

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

I thought about this a while and wanted to say Popeye but am going with Mario purely on the range of titles he’s been a part of. He has so many great games it’s hard to go against him.

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

Fun times and memories of being young going to the arcade with my dad.

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

I personally enjoy them because I’m good at them, but wish I was better at levels!

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

Popeye arcade single player – Simpsons arcade multiplayer

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

It would be a platformer/shooter for the NES, the levels would travel thru different periods of time and my gaming alter ego Mikee Mcfly would be the main character!

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

As much as I’d like to lie and say yes, no I never would have imagined it.

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

I haven’t had the honor to meet Walter in person but have always looked up to him as a legend in the video game world.  I still have a hand signed twin Galaxies WR certificate from the good old days of TG.

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

Gameplay. it has to have replay value to make it a good game.

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

Genuine. Walter seems like a very caring and genuine individual I hope I have the honor to meet one day.

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

My involvement today is building my PC and always making new friends thru that process.

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

It will probably be extremely realistic and all 3D.

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 (395 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.