The first Trading Card Spotlight we will feature is the creator of the cards himself, Walter Day, who is displayed on card number 95, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection. Walter is also featured on cards 108, 523, 539, 591, 775, 1000, 1021, 1859, 2133, 2149, 2261, 2292, 2321, 2390 and 2462. Walter’s visions include starting up the famous known brand of Twin Galaxies back in 1982. He opened his arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa to current and future Hall of Famers when they were just kids. He had his arcade and town declared the Video Game Capital of the world. His gamers were featured in the Time Life Magazine issue taken in Iowa that gamers come to know as the birth place of the classic gamers. Over the years, Walter has traveled all over to referee, issue awards and just give his insight to the gaming communities across the country. His vision of Video Game trading cards and the idea of featuring and documenting gaming history came to realization in 2011 when his first batch of cards were printed and distributed. Almost 6 years later there has been over 1650 cards printed and counting. Walter can be seen at many events and conferences spreading his vision and trading cards, posters, and awards. He is also focusing on his music career and writing of science fiction novels in his spare time.
What is your vision of the future of the Walter Day Trading Cards?
I see the card set as an invaluable resource for future historians to study the video game culture of the 20th & 21st Centuries. The card set tries to identify people and historic events that were important but which might be overlooked by the history books. There are so many stories to tell that I can see the card set encompassing more than 5,000 cards. This applies to the Fairfield and Science Fiction sets, too.
What was the most mischief any gamer managed to get into at Twin Galaxies arcade? Who was the gamer?
Billy Mitchell was the biggest mischief-maker. One night he hurled a pool cue like a javelin and broke the back glass of a pinball machine.
Going back to Day One of the scoreboard, imagine someone coming up to you, saying: “Thirty-Five years from now, this scoreboard will still be in operation.” What do you think your reaction would have been?
I would have been surprised, of course. Yet, throughout the whole experience there was a constant sense of destiny for the whole project.
Where does your passion for trading cards come from? Do you have a collection of, maybe, baseball cards at home?
I have a passion for history, people, and printed ephemera. Somehow, they merge together to create my interest in using cards as a vehicle to study history. I have launched similar projects in the past using historic newspaper, high school yearbooks, and business cards.
What can you tell asked about your childhood or pre-scoreboard history that predisposed you to have an interest in video games or the scoreboard?
On my Third-Grade Report Card in 1958 (Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School — Anaheim, California), my teacher wrote a note to my parents that said: “Walter leads gangs on the playground.”
How has meditation complemented your work in the video game world and could you have accomplished as much without it?”
All my history-based projects have required me to tap into an unlimited reservoir of creativity, energy, and intelligence. It is commonly known that practicing Transcendental Meditation twice per day puts you in touch with that inner reservoir and allows you to draw upon it on a daily basis. Without question, I would not have been able to create and promote my projects if I had not been meditating every day.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be creating Video Game trading cards?
My interest in cards goes back many years. I tried to start this set in 1983 and again 1985. Then, I tried to do a major history project with business cards in the early 1990s — using them to study our evolving culture.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your Walter Day Trading Cards? If so, where?
So far, the card set has received praise in the Fairfield Ledger, the Des Moines Register, Austin American Statesman, and
numerous local papers that have reported on their local residents appearing in the card set.
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Fairfield’?
Fairfield is the home of MAHARISHI UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT. This university is unique in that it offers consciousness-based education. Not only do the students study traditional subjects like math, physics, and languages, but the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) gives the student the opportunity to expand their mind and gain a deeper understanding of the world’s knowledge than could be gained through merely studying books. And, while the students are gaining inner wisdom through the practice of TM, their mental & physical health is improving and their intelligence blossoms. Because I have been so impressed with Fairfield, MUM and TM, I have chosen to live in Fairfield since 1979. Fairfield has become a cultural crossroads and many people are moving to this town from far-off cities.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
The older games had to have more involved gameplay because they didn’t have flashy graphics to entertain the gamer. So, the older games are harder to master. That’s why the high scores on many games from the early 1980s have not yet been maxed out.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I played in the Malibu Gran Prix in Houston, June 1980. I played Space Invaders and fell in love with video games. I opened Twin Galaxies as an excuse to be able to play more video games.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Today, I am switching my focus to doing music and writing science fiction novels, so no more gaming lurks on the horizon for me. But when I did play, I liked Centipede, Gorf, Galaxian, Make Trax, Mousetrap, Wizard of Wor, Tutankhamen, Lady Bug, and Robotron.
What you put your attention on in your life — grows in your life. Video games MUST find a way to create games that inspire intelligence and creativity while minimizing negativity and destruction.
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.