Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Matt Miller, who is displayed on card number 44, from the Superstars of 2011. Matt is also on Cards 1252 and 1646. Matt is an old school as well as modern gamer. He holds 56 Twin Galaxies world records and is the proudest of the record he holds on Night Stalker for the Intellivision. Matt and his fiancée, Michelle, are part of Team Mayh3m (cards 609, 1229) which also holds various records as a team. Matt also co-founded the Mayh3m Militia which is a group of gamers who actively play games to raise money for various worthy causes. Matt also extends his assistance in organizing and planning various Walter Day events such as ICON in Ottumwa, Iowa. https://sway.com/LEcMTjczrSdUM1KK
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
The game would be called “Path of the ICON,” and it would feature a user creatable/definable character to allow the player to make him or herself the primary protagonist. The primary objective of the game would be to navigate your created character from one of a number of select points across the world to Ottumwa, Iowa in time to meet the legendary Walter Day and attend his annual ICON event! Along the way, your character would overcome obstacles and meet numerous individuals who could either help or hinder the progress of your quest, but your greatest adversary of all would be the ticking clock!
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I met Walter in person for the first time in November 2011 at the Twin Galaxies Film Festival in Ottumwa, Iowa.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Visionary. Walter thinks and dreams big and he has the unique ability to rally and inspire others to help make his ideas into reality.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
I cannot speak to the influence of music in modern titles, but for classic titles, it played a pivotal role in enhancing the overall experience. Just walk up to almost anyone in the street and hum the first few notes of the Super Mario Bros. overworld theme song and the recognition by the other party will be almost instant. Moreover, the increasing popularity of chiptune music is a testament to the timelessness of classic gaming music.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
I am still an active participant in competitive gaming, both as an individual and as part of Team Mayh3m with my lovely fiancée, Michelle. I am also the co-founder of the Mayh3m Militia, a collective of gamers and prominent community members who regularly raise funds for worthy causes via streamed gameplay.
Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?
Nintendo all the way! They single-handedly saved the North American home console market and gave this world Mario. And that is merely scratching the surface of all the amazing things that they’ve brought to the gaming world since then.
Do you remember your first video game/arcade game you played and what do you remember about it?
I actually don’t recall which particular game title was my first, but my first exposure to video games was via the Atari 2600. Upon playing games like Berzerk and Asteroids, I was hooked almost immediately.
Did you ever think when you were younger that you would be on a video game trading card?
Having played little league baseball in my youth, I once dreamed of appearing on a Topps baseball card, but it never occurred to me at the time that the sports card/trading card industry would have ever branched out to include video games. Fortunately, the great Walter Day had the vision and initiative to make video game trading cards a reality, and as a result, he helped make one of my childhood dreams come true.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading card? If so, where?
The recognition and exposure that I received through my inclusion in The Walter Day Collection has helped open numerous doors for me. For instance, it provided an opportunity for me to participate in the hit documentary, Nintendo Quest, and its companion series, the Nintendo Quest Power Tour. Additionally, I have had the distinct honor of being interviewed by prominent video game media outlets like TwinGalaxies.com, Extendedplayarcade.com, and most recently, The Retro Junkies.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
Console gaming. Nothing against PC games (they are most excellent in their own right), but I cut my gaming teeth on consoles.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I still play quite a few classic titles, mostly Intellivision and NES era games. On the modern front, I enjoy playing puzzle games and racing games.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
I would own a NEO-GEO MVS. As a teenager of the 90s, I spent a generous portion of my time mastering NEO-GEO games like Fatal Fury, Puzzle De Pon! and 3 Count Bout at my local pizzeria.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
In general, video games are aimed at all ages. The average age of the gaming population today falls in the mid-thirties. Basically, once the gaming bug bites you, you tend to be a gamer for life.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
No, I do not believe that entertainment media, be it video games, music, television, or movies, are a cause of violence in our society. I think that they are too often used as a scapegoat to deflect attention away from the true causes behind these heinous acts. At the end of the day, the responsibility for violent crime resides with the offender, and what he/she chose to do with his/her own free will.
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
Solo gaming is a ton of fun, but to me, there is simply nothing better than local cooperative team play. When you’re gaming alongside a friend or loved one, the enjoyment is multiplied manifold.
Which company makes the best games and why?
From a classic gaming standpoint, it’s a toss-up between Capcom and Konami. Both companies are responsible for some of the most enduring and successful franchises like Mega Man, Street Fighter, Castlevania, and Metal Gear.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Absolutely, there are numerous skills and attributes that can be cultivated through regular video game play. To start with, video games help to develop hand-eye coordination and a sense of rhythm and timing. They emphasize goal setting and teach one the value of being persistent.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
They certainly can be. I personally find puzzle games to be quite soothing.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from a video game?
When they are properly developed, cast, and executed, I do enjoy Hollywood adaptations of video games. However, more often than not, they are hastily thrown together, which comes off to the viewing public as nothing more than an attempt at a cash grab.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
The man, the myth, the mustachioed icon known as Mario. The embodiment of the everyman, he has saved the day countless times, while simultaneously holding down a variety of occupations including (but not limited to) plumber, construction worker, and referee.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
The first word that springs to my mind when I hear the term “video games” is “fun,” which to me is (and has always been) their fundamental purpose.
Of these five video game elements, which is the most important to you and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
Without a doubt, gameplay is the most important element. In my opinion, the other four elements are simply accent pieces to the gameplay. They can enhance the experience, but without enjoyable gameplay, they are rather pointless.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Wow, that is a tough one from a single player standpoint, but I will say Night Stalker for the Intellivision. It will always have a special place in my gaming heart. On the multiplayer front, I’m going to say NBA Jam for the Wii. While Michelle and I have many games that we enjoy playing cooperatively, this is the title that we love playing the most, because, well, it’s NBA Jam! How can you not enjoy that game?
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
While boss battles can be quite fun, as they frequently challenge the player to develop and execute sound strategy, they are not necessarily always the best part of a video game. In fact, many classic titles lack the presence of boss characters outright, yet they are still every bit as enjoyable. Pac-Man gets chased by the same four ghosts 256 times, yet it is still a supremely fun and challenging game despite the absence of a greater, boss level threat.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 20 years?
To sum it up in one word: Everywhere. It is almost omnipresent today. Between console games, PC games, and the countless portable device (phones, tablets, etc.) games, video games have expanded into nearly every facet of our lives, and I don’t see that trend changing.