This weekend the International Video Game Hall of Fame will be inducting its new members into the Class of 2019. One of these inductees is Pete Hahn. Pete is a multiple world record holder and former Player of the Year at Galloping Ghost arcade in Brookfield, IL. Tomorrow he will be part of the Class of 2019 in Ottumwa, Iowa. for information, go to www.IVGHOF.info.
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Pete Hahn, who is displayed on card number 1930 from the Superstars of 2014 Collection. Pete is also featured on card 2544. Pete, or as most know him as “GGA HAN”, is an employee of one of the largest arcades in the country – Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL. Not only does Pete work at the arcade but also co-hosts a podcast with Galloping Ghost Arcade owner Doc Mack, and organizes many arcade events such as swap meets, tournaments, and new game launches. These events and game launches can be seen on Galloping Ghosts Twitch.TV channel. Pete has many various World Records on arcade games as Contra, Super Contra, Rush ‘N Attack, and Primal Rage.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
Today’s games, to me at least, are great on the surface but can sometimes lack substance when you play them for a while. Generally, they look great, the animations and music are usually good, but seem to favor trial and error gameplay (games autosaving for you before a big boss battle, for example). When comparing them to classics, they tend to not hold my interest as much unless the gameplay is really fluid and makes you feel powerful when you execute moves skillfully or stylishly, like the new generation Ninja Gaiden games, or Bayonetta.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I prefer single player games for the most part, but in the past I’ve gotten into competitive fighting games such as Tekken 3/Tekken Tag Tournament, Mortal Kombat 9, and Injustice:Gods Among Us. The difference today is that I’m older than many of the fighting game players and cannot dedicate the amount of time it takes to be competitive within a local scene. I suppose I could play fighting games “casually”, but I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much. With the arcade games, I play mostly now, I can play at my own pace and still have fun trying to set high scores or 1-credit clears on games.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
I met Walter at a trading card event – He was in Brookfield, IL when Team Galloping Ghost Arcade (GGA) was being recognized for its outstanding efforts in the local FGC (fighting game community).
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Genuine. I can tell Walter truly wants the best for gamers, and for them to be recognized for what they do. We couldn’t ask for a better “Godfather” of competitive gaming or a better ambassador, in my opinion.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
No way! I might have dreamed about being on a baseball card in my youth, but this is cooler!
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the Trading Card? If so, where?
Not really, but people often recognize me at Galloping Ghost Arcade for being on a Trading Card or for winning the “Gamer of the Year” title in 2015. All the cards of local players who have received them are in glass cases on display near the front, along with plaques for those that have won the “Gamer of the Year” award.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I do remember the first video I ever played, it was at a children’s amusement park called “Kiddie Land” which has since closed down…the game that caught my eyes was Donkey Kong. I recall being totally mystified with being able to control a character on the screen. I was pretty young, maybe 5 years old back then and don’t remember too much about it other than I died and lost my quarter really quickly!
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
I like the DS Lite, I have a few games for it that I still play, but I tend to play GameBoy Advance games like the Final Fantasy 2 and 3 remasters on it more often than DS games.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I definitely play more older arcade games than newer games recently. I really enjoy a good classic shoot’em up, but only horizontal ones like Gradius, Darius, or R-Type. I also get into run-n-gun type games like Rush ‘N Attack and Contra.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
I would own the one I actually own – A Sega Blast City cabinet! It allows me to plug in any Jamma-compatible arcade board, and also I can run MAME from a PC to play most games near arcade-perfect with a special version of MAME called “groovymame”
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
Definitely Team Nintendo, the NES was the first console my parents bought us as kids. I missed out on many great Sega Genesis shoot’em up like Thunder Force 3 growing up because I didn’t get into Sega until the Saturn came out.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
They might be aimed at a particular interest, I think – not necessarily an age group. For example, super competitive players would be drawn to fighting games or “E-Sports” computer games for the recognition they would receive. Logical gamers, regardless of age would be drawn to puzzle or rhythm games.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
I game on both PC and console, but prefer console due to its “plug and play” ease of set up.
Which company makes the best games and why?
In my opinion, Konami made the best games in the past…I absolutely love Life Force, Contra, Super Contra, Rush N Attack, Gradius, and many other titles of theirs.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Not necessarily, but they can be – just depends if I’m playing seriously or not! The social aspect of gaming, talking to those that go to the arcade about what they are doing and getting into playing – That’s the part that’s really rewarding and stress relieving to me.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
I do, even if the movie isn’t good…it gets people thinking and talking about games, which is a good thing, to me.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
Being in an arcade at the mall in my teens, hanging out with friends playing Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Primal Rage, then grabbing pizza afterwards….fond memories!
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
Gameplay, first, but music and atmosphere are a close second. I can get really engaged with even a simple looking game if the gameplay is challenging in the right ways – not too hard too early in the game, for example.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
My favorite single player game… arcade era: Super Contra. Current Era: Bayonetta
My favorite multiplayer game…arcade era: Street Fighter 2 Turbo:Hyper Fighting. Current Era: Mortal Kombat 9
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
I would design a shoot’em up, definitely horizontally scrolling. It might also have to somehow include dinosaurs or birds. It might end up being too similar or a just a mash-up of all the ones that I like, so I think I’d rather stick to playing them!
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
To me, boss battles are like icing on the cake – they can really top off a well-designed level and make it even more enjoyable. As long as the boss battle complements the level that preceded it, they can be the best part of the game.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
I have learned so much from games, it’s unbelievable when I think about it…I’ve learned about how to deal with disappointment. I’ve learned how to lose and win gracefully. I’ve learned that no matter how good you think you are, there is probably someone better. But most importantly, I’ve learned that if I dedicate myself to something, I can improve and become good at it.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Yes, I’m very much involved in my local arcade scene at Galloping Ghost Arcade. I help run events and tournaments, set up live gaming streams, promote local players, occasionally co-host a podcast and try to do some 1cc’s (1 credit clear/complete) or set some high scores myself when I can.
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.