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July 2014

In this episode, we are live from the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo in Atlanta, GA where we have the privilege of hosting a panel discussion with several of the “Arcade Legends” in the scene today.

We delve into many topics on this panel and cover everything from what it takes to be a world-class gamer, to the inspiration behind the Twin Galaxies trading card program to some insight into the production of the movie “The King of Arcades” by Richie Knucklez.

We cover a lot of ground, so get ready for some really insightful discussion!

Panel Participants include:

Billy Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell is well known among gamers and non-gamers alike. Having achieved success in the early 80’s by setting records on video games, Billy was featured in Life Magazine and even toured the country as member of the U.S. National Video Game Team. Setting himself apart as a fierce competitor, Billy was named “Video Game Player of the Century” at the 1999 Tokyo game show and received a special award presented by Namco founder Masaya Nakamura for the first-ever “perfect” game of Pac-Man. Mr. Mitchell has also starred in the films Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade and King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. To this day, Billy Mitchell continues to score world records and promote gaming for a new generation.

Walter Day

Since 1981, Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day has played an integral part in shaping the landscape for classic and modern-day gaming. What began as a storefront arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa, Twin Galaxies has morphed into the gold-standard for competitive gaming record keeping! Walter has been featured in multiple film, television, and print projects including “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” “Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade,” and as assistant editor for video games in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Since his retirement from the video game industry in 2010, Walter helped to establish the International Video Game Hall of Fame and continues to develop Twin Galaxies trading cards to honor achievements in gaming.

David Cruz

Marathon runner and triathlete David Cruz applies the same principles of training and focus to athletic competition as he does to competitive gaming. A Florida resident and longtime world record holder on the arcade classic Tron, David played over 16 hours to re-take the record on Tron in 2011 with a whopping score of 11,125,999 points. Mr. Cruz has been a longtime member of Twin Galaxies International and participated in the first-ever “Tron-Off” event in 2010. SFGE gladly welcomes David to our impressive list of “Arcade Legends.”

Richie Knucklez

Owner of two public arcades, host of the web show “Arcade Culture,” Kong-Off organizer, and World Record holder of seven classic arcade games like Space Invaders and Phoenix, Richie Knucklez is a retro gaming legend. In the new documentary feature film “The King of Arcades[2]” From director Sean Tiedeman and Co-Producer Adam F. Goldberg (ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” “Fanboys“), we will see how Richie has earned the crown he so rightly deserves.

George Leutz

On February 14, 2013, George Leutz set out to break a high score record on the classic arcade game Q*Bert that stood for over 30 years. One quarter and 84 hours later, George would set a new Guinness World Record on February 18, solidifying his status as one of classic gaming’s elite. George’s accomplishment took mainstream media by storm with coverage on Kotaku, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Joel West

Joel is a legend in the classic gaming community, having been featured in the infamous 1982 LIFE magazine photo spread featuring video game superstars. The former record holder for Berzerk has been featured in numerous news articles and in the 2007 documentary feature film, Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

Be sure to check the Gameroom Junkies podcast and the Arcade Repair Tips podcast feeds as well, as both shows will feature more panel discussion coverage from the expo!

Thanks for listening and GAME ON!