Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Tim McVey who currently is displayed on card number 56, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  He is also featured on cards 162, 510, 6122095 and 2304.   Tim is an avid game player starting from the early 1980s in Ottumwa, Iowa.  Tim is well known as the first player to score a billion points on a little game known as “Nibbler”.  On January 28th, 1984, Ottumwa, Iowa proclaimed “Tim McVey Day” to honor this record accomplishment.  Tim still has the original arcade game in his house today.  Tim’s wife Tina also has been honored on a Video Game Trading Card, number 230, for her hard work on such events as the Video Game Hall of Fame 2010, Big Bang 2010 and multiple ICON events in Fairfield Iowa.  Tim has also been inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame Class of 2015.  He will be honored in Ottumwa, IA this summer at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Tim has a documentary coming out to the public in 2016 on his life and Nibbler experiences throughout his career, called “Man Vs. Snake”.

Do you learn anything from playing vdeo games?

Absolutely. I think video games teach many things. Problem solving and perseverance are two of the big ones. Sometime you have to look at things differently in order to get past/beat them. And if you quit the first time you fail…you won’t play video games too long. Team work is another one, and communication. It’s essential to winning many online team based games. League of Legends. DOTA 2. Call of Duty. Clash of Clans, to name just a few.

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

Space Invaders.  It was new. It had been pinball, pool, foosball, air hockey, and mechanical type shooting driving games until then.

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

I met Walter in 1982 at Twin Galaxies in Ottumwa IA.  It was one of our local arcades growing up in Ottumwa.

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

That is a tough question, Walter is so many things.  Guardian, I would probably choose that. Due to his dedication of preserving gaming history and watching over all of us kids, and keeping us out of trouble as best he could.

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

No, when I was younger, I never thought there would be video game trading cards.  It’s been pretty cool to hand them out to friends/co-workers and see their reactions.

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

They are much better looking, more forgiving, not as difficult on standard settings. I play more modern games than classic games by far, although I am somewhat classified as a classic gamer. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have an Xbox One, a Wii U, and a $5,000 gaming PC, I built myself. I spend 95% of my time playing PC games. I’m also completely addicted to Clash of Clans on mobile platforms; playing 4 complete accounts on multiple tablets/phone.

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

I game every day, either on Android, iOS, PC, or consoles… with the occasional arcade thrown in as well. I don’t know that I hold a specific role. I just like to play video games. There are so many great games out there to the point that I’ll never get to experience and/or finish all of them.

What is your favorite portable gaming device?

My nVidia Shield. There are so many great games available. It’s an emulation powerhouse. My Swiss army knife of mobile gaming.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

PC Master Race. LOL there’s really no comparison if you play on a high end gaming PC, it’s tough to go back. My PC is 2560 x1440 and it REALLY hard to go back to 1080P, even on a larger display. PC gaming gives you near complete control. On my Windows PC, I have a mechanical keyboard, left hand gaming keypad, and high end gaming mouse. I also have the new Steam controller, and wireless dongles that allow me to use my Xbox 360 or Xbox One controllers, as well as Bluetooth that allows me to use Wii controllers. So I can choose the control that I like best, based on the game I choose to play.

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

Literally everything.  My wife and I have spent more time in Diablo III and its expansion Reaper of Souls than anything else in the past year. 288 hours and 24 minutes. She liked it so much, I built another gaming PC and bought her a headset so we could play together. No particular genre of games is my favorite. I play across all genres.

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

Well I do. I own a Nibbler. I recently sold my Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, and Arkanoid due to lack of play more than anything. I’ve already paid for a multipede setup Centipede cabinet as one of the replacement machines. I’ll be able to play both Centipede and Millipede on it. I’m looking at machines that can be 2 or 3 games in one, due to floor space. I want a Robotron more than anything else. It’s my favorite game of all time. I had one, but it was anything but stable, and regrettably sold it. I want another one, or a Multi Williams perhaps. Also been looking at getting a Space Invaders/Qix and an anniversary Pac-man/Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga cabinet as well. Zero interest in owning an actual pinball machine. Too much space/maintenance. I get all the pinball I need from Pinball Arcade on Steam.

Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?

Team Nintendo, if I HAVE to choose one. Always loved Mario. But Sonic made me get into Sega too. I always owned both starting with the Genesis up to the Saturn.

What does it take to be a Video Game Journalist?

Integrity. Dedication. Drive. Desire. The ability to connect with your readers. I think you really have to be true to yourself, and write about the things you love and enjoy…and share your passion.

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

Most games are adult oriented I think. Or maybe it’s just since I am an adult, with no small children at home…that’s the segment I notice, and pay more attention to? I know the money is in the adult’s control.

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

No, at least not any more than a movie. My personal opinion is that violence in a video game is a release. For example, if I had a particularly bad day at work at my old job… I would come home and play The Incredible Hulk. I’d go on a rampage. Complete destruction. Not playing the game as it was intended; playing it MY way. Throwing busses at the police cars etc…  And when I was done playing… I was calm and relaxed. And had let all my negative energy go, and had a good evening from that point. People saying video games made me do it… are the same little weasels that would always find an excuse, never man enough to stand up and take the blame for their actions. Movies are far more violent. I’ve watched my nephews when I was younger, watch The Karate Kid…and for the next two hours run around the house karate chopping and kicking each other. I’ve NEVER seen a video game lead to such action. And I’ve been around video games for almost 40 years now.

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

All the above at various times. Sometimes, alone in a solitary setting… like Bioshock in the dark… is creepy and spooky…and there is nobody to ruin the experience. I love putting the smack down on friends, any chance I get! LOL Online against the world… more with friends. Not as much fun with random, win or lose. Too many keyboard commandos out there ruin the fun.

Which company makes the best games and why?

I seem to enjoy an awful lot of Activision/Blizzard games. Call of Duty franchise. Diablo III. StarCraft II. Skylanders franchise. Guitar Hero franchise. Hearthstone. Heroes of the Storm. I’m eagerly awaiting Overwatch. But then Nintendo has been dropping major bombs all years. And by bombs, I mean that as in hit after hit… Mario Maker is exceptional. No need to list all the great games…I think we know what they are. If I’m not on PC, I’m on the Wii U more than anything else.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

See my reply about violence, and playing The Incredible Hulk! LOL, Absolutely. They can be a source of stress, if you allow it. But they are a great source of stress relief to me.

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

Not really. They usually get it all wrong. They need more experience gaming consultants. Wreck it Ralph and Pixels were enjoyable…but those weren’t from a video game exactly.

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

Probably Nibbler. That character/game made me famous. Or did I make that game famous?  The Chicken or the egg?

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

I think Virtual Reality will be a fad, and at most a niche product. I’ve not tried the new stuff, but have no real interest in it. An audio headset is enough for me. I won’t even give it a second look until at a minimum it is wireless. Other than that, man I don’t know. 20 Years ago… I didn’t see us sitting where we are today. I hope I’m around in another 20 years and can still enjoy whatever is current at that time… I’ll be 68 then!!!

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.