Sam McNear is in our next trading card spotlight, currently on display card number 3372, From the collection of Superstars of 2020. Sam is also featured on card number 3547. Sam is a classic arcade collector, gamer restorer and score chaser. He likes to play classic arcade games whenever he gets a chance. Sam is determined to achieve a number of high scores on games such as Asteroids and Star Castle. HE currently has Space Duel and Jr. Pac-Man holds world records. Sam has a live stream from his home arcade called “Digital Jazz Arcade”, where he goes for the world record.
Do you remember your first video game/arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
I don’t remember my first one, but I remember going to the arcade in the next town after school almost every day. I used to walk maybe 45 minutes almost every day to get there. I loved all the games and noticed the high score board in the arcade (electric works in Forest Grove OR) and didn’t stop playing until I had my name on that board. I ended up getting my name on the board for almost every game in the arcade. I wish someone had taken a picture of that high score board.
What is your opinion about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to the old, classic games?
I’m honestly not a big fan of new games, although my kids and wife do love some online games. I prefer classics with custom game control panels with joysticks, trackballs, leaf buttons, etc.
As far as new arcade games go, most are redemption games of some sort. I like to play them some, but they all play quickly and feel rigged to get as much money as possible. So, it doesn’t look like there isn’t much skill involved in playing.
Have you ever thought you’d be on video game trading cards when you were little?
No, but then I thought I’d have a WR, or at least a joystick with a top score in the magazine. I accumulated a number of points only to be defeated by someone else before the next addition to the magazine.
What is your world record score in singles and doubles games?
I officially hold the Twin Galaxy (TG) world record (WR) for space duel. And I share the official TG WR with John McAllister on Single Ship Doubles. i also have tg2Ra Place on Junior Pacman Turbo.
Unofficially I hold WR for single ship asteroids. I have the full game on my YouTube channel (Digital Jazz Arcade) so that people can see that the scores are valid, but more importantly, to help people learn my strategies so that they can use my scores with practice. be able to defeat I like a challenge.
Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on trading cards? If yes, where?
never, it’s 1. Isscheduled tribe,
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was he?
I met Walter Day at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. Where he called Billy Mitchell and we all talked. I told him about my little Pac Jr. Documentary and getting the WR on Junior Pac Turbo which has since been beaten.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
friend. The first time I met Walter, he was kind, friendly, and I thought we would be friends at the time.
Are you still involved in competitive gaming today, and what are your goals?
Yes, I like to play in competitions. I attended several Grinkfests and Battle of the Arcades. I also participated in the 1 Ship Asteroid Contest in Asteroids Junkie on Facebook, where I got the unofficial WR. I will continue to compete in classic arcade competitions as often as possible. It’s my personal goal to get 10 top 10 Twins Galaxy scores on ten different classic games.
When did you first play Space Duel and what do you remember about it?
I remember when Space Duel showed up at the Electric Works arcade. I played it and it was really hard compared to Asteroids and Deluxe. But I fell in love with the tethered feature. I was getting over 100k soon and then the arcade pulled it for something that would make more money, I believe it was gravitar but as we all know the game in the arcade is as popular was not. I love Gravitator Don’t get me wrong, but I love Space Duel even more.
Do you prefer arcade or console gaming and why?
I think consoles killed the golden age of arcades, yes, I have some dislike towards consoles. With that said I played console games for many years after the arcade ended and it was a lot of fun playing with my kids. But if arcades were still alive in the ’80s, I’m sure I would have taken my kids to arcades instead of playing on PlayStation. I think arcade machines are the real thing and consoles are just imitations.
Once I realized I could go on and buy real arcade games for my home about 15 years ago, as you can imagine I stopped playing console games.
When it comes down to me it’s the control that makes the difference. Normal handheld controllers on consoles can’t compare to customized controls on an arcade machine. You can’t play Space Duel on any console the same way.
When did you first play Space Duel and why was that game a draw for you?
I love Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe so when I saw Space Duel which was a color vector, I was shocked. The ability to be able to play doubles is what I always thought Asteroids and Deluxe were missing. The Space Duel was actually the next step for asteroids. I’m not sure why it wasn’t called Asteroid 3. Probably because there was no asteroid.
What sports do you play today and what are your favorite sports?
I still play all the classics. Lately I’ve been playing Donkey Kong Jr. Still chasing that kill screen. I came close many times. I’m also playing Asteroid Deluxe, and Omega Race my goal is to get over 300k on AD and OR definitely over a million on TG settings.
As far as style goes, I love all the golden fields of the 80s and 70s. I really enjoy all 5 buttons or similar games like Space Duel, Omega Race, Star Castle, etc…
If you could own an arcade game other than Space Duel, what would it be and why?
I’ve been an arcade collector for a while, so I already have most of the games I really wanted. Like Tron and my most recently acquired a rare cliff hanger. But I still really want an ice-cold beer. ICB is just a game I always play when I go to the arcade that has it.
What does it take to be the world record holder on arcade games?
Well, it takes practice, practice, practice and some skill, and it doesn’t hurt to own the sport.
Are video games primarily aimed at children, teenagers or adults?
All three, classic arcade games that I think were primarily aimed at showing off boys, but seem to be loved by games of all ages.
Do you believe that some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
Well, this is an interesting question. I never liked fighting games when they came out. Maybe because they all sounded alike or I was never good at them, or I never thought fighting of any kind was a good idea.
As I look back at the history where fighting and 1st person shooter games are today, I know some are influenced by them. When they started getting popular in the 90s, games like Street Fighter and Doom never felt real, and where more of a joke, so I don’t think they really promoted violence, but today’s games are so realistic that some To impress people has to be violent. I know given the history of all the mass shootings in America that some of those killers liked to play graphicscheduled tribe Person Shooter.
Do you prefer to play space duel alone or with a doubles partner? You have records on both.
Good question, I’d say I like playing tethered ships best alone. But I like to play doubles with a single ship, which is not tethered. Playing doubles with tether is fun but very hard to play. I’m trying to play Single Ship Single Player Do to get the record on that version. But ’80s records are at a peak, and no games are available to play.
Which company makes the best games and why?
I have a hard time answering this because I love sports for so many different reasons. I would say that Atari made most of my favorite games. Games like Space Duel, Asteroids, Tempest, Pole Position, Missile Command, Battlezone, and Dig Dug Atari gave me many hits and games I liked. But I love tato games like alpine skis, cukes and frontline.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Absolutely! When I’m stressed, I like to play and play video games while listening to music. It makes my mind focus on the game instead of the stress of the day. Sometimes all it takes to relieve stress is to focus on something else for a while.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
I’d say Q*bert. Q*bert is just a fun character, everything from voice to voice. Although I love laser disc characters like Dirk and Lupine III J
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘space due’?
I see my personal record as 477,770 which is higher than the world record. I really want to beat this score and post it on TG.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Besides Space Duel my favorite single player game is Alpine Skis by Taito, and favorite multiplayer game is Mario Bros.
If you could design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
I guess I would love to see an arcade style game that would combine the PC games Marble Drop, Crazy Machines and the arcade games Break Out or Arkanoid. I think a good main character would be a mad scientist who looks like Einstein.
Where do you see arcade gaming in the next 10 years?
I hope the new generation see the talent in the genre of classic arcade games and start playing and be inspired to make more games like the classic style. I hope someone starts making classic games for a new generation. I like the idea of arcade 1up, it’s a great idea. But I think the controls need a lot of improvement. I wish they put real arcade quality joysticks and buttons into machines like the one that Xarcade uses. I would pay the extra cost for the actual controls. But 1up is showing big business, there is a market for classic games and my hope is that someone will correct it and the classic gaming community continues. Grow. Actually, I think it’s on the rise. Just look at all the retro gaming exposés. The expo here in Portland (before covid) was growing like a doubling in size every year.
This is one in an ongoing series of articles based on the Walter Day Collection of e-sports/video gaming trading cards – see more details here. thewalterdaycollection.com,