Gamer Profile: Ryan Culver

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For the arcade, don’t ask me why, but for some reason I was always drawn to Gyruss.  Every time I would hit an arcade, I’d play a bunch of games but always look for Gyruss.  Maybe it was something to do with wanting to fly but I also liked how the ship moved in that cool arc around the outside of the screen and everything came flying out of the middle.  I don’t know anyone else who actually liked that game, but I was bummed when I stopped being able to find it at the arcades. ~Ray Culver

Ryan_Culver

Favorite Classic Arcade Game: Gyruss

Favorite Classic Console Game: Super Mario Bros.

As far as my favorite classics, I have two, an arcade game and a console game.

Now one of my most memorable video game experiences was playing the original NES at my friend’s house as a kid and working every night to beat Super Mario Bros.  It was by far the most popular and talked about game at that time and the big challenge then was to beat that dragon.  We had gotten there a couple times before but got killed, so every time you made it to the last part, you’d get nervous, like something real was actually on the line.  You would get all set and sit up straight, ready to go, and then you would just go and go and go and then all of a sudden it’s over and we got to see what the end was like and how it all wrapped up.  I still remember exactly the night we beat that game for the first time.  We talked about it a lot at school that next week.

I got into Zelda and Metroid and Punch Out and others after that, but even after finishing those games, nothing stuck with me like that night I first beat SMB.  The funny thing is, back then it felt like it took forever to get through one of those games.  But a few months ago I sat down with a girlfriend to play some old school NES and we pulled out Contra.  I think it was less than an hour and we had gotten all the way to the end of that game.  I hadn’t played the old stuff in a long time and it made me appreciate how far gaming has come over the years.

I see some of the stuff now and I don’t think we ever thought it could look like it does now back then.  Getting to be a part of that process was blast and I look forward to doing more in the future.

More on Ryan:

Ryan on The Obsolete Gamer Show

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Ryan Culver is an actor who among many other projects played Nathan Drake for the PlayStation commercial for PlayStation’s All-Star Battle Royale. The guys not only nails the look for Nathan Drake, but is actually a man of action and adventure himself flying people all over the world.

Check out his commercial:

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Check out our podcast with Ryan here.

Be sure to check out our other celebrity gamer profiles.

Memories of Multiplayer

Ryan Culver

This week on the Obsolete Gamer Show we had a chance to interview Ryan Culver who played Nathan Drake for the PlayStation commercial for PlayStation’s All-Star Battle Royale. The guys not only nails the look for Nathan Drake, but is actually a man of action and adventure himself flying people all over the world.

Check out his commercial here:

In our panel discussion we talk about our memories of playing multiplayer games be it with a bunch of friend in our homes or thousands of players online and all the good and bad the comes with playing with others. Remember you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

Or listen here.

Why I Prefer Video Games Over Board, Card, and Pen & Paper Games

Why I Prefer Video Games Over Board, Card, and Pen & Paper Games

I grew up playing a ton of board games, card games, and pen-and-paper RPG games but for many years now I’ve been sick of playing them and have favored video games ever since multiplayer and playing online against other people became abundant.

Battletech Box
Battletech Box

Well, even before then back in the days of hotseat (hotseat is multiple players playing on the same system at the same physical location), especially on my Commodore 64 and Amiga, as well as my friends’ NES, Sega Genesis, and SNES consoles, I would rather play a good balanced video game than deal with the arguments and drama that playing traditional games came with.

Now I love board games, card games, and RPGs but the problem I found throughout the years is that most people you play with will cheat at every opportunity or they don’t really know the rules of the game or they create their own house rules that sometimes make the game have nothing to do with the original game.

I grew up playing Monopoly, Sorry, Talisman, Battletech, Hero Quest, Munchkin, Guillotine, Chez Geek, Magic the Gathering, Jihad (the Vampire the Masquerade card game), Dungeons and Dragons (every version; AD&D every version as well), Shadowrun, Mechwarrior, and Vampire: The Masquerade. I’ve played more but those are the ones that easily pop into my head right now. I remember playing Battletech at a game store called Gamesters here in Miami with my friend Tom Birmingham and it was us two against two other players. The other players would do shit like waste time then make their guys move twice and fire twice. Even with their cheating, we decimated them.

Munchkin Card Game
Munchkin Card Game

For card games, especially Munchkin, there would be so many arguments that one time my friends stayed up all night playing the game and they decided to wake me up at 5 AM asking me to make a rule judgement. The conversation went something like this:

Friend 1: “Yeah we wanted to know how to interpret the Loaded Die card…”
Me: “You have got to be fucking kidding me. You know I’m going to kick you guys each in the balls the next time I see you.”
Friend 2: “I told you not to wake him up because of the game.”
Friend 1: “Shh… Anyways, we want to know if you can counter a Loaded Die card with another Loaded Die card.”
Me: “Yes, now please fuck off and never call me again not even if there’s an emergency. And yes, I will cock/cunt kick you all next time I see you. Good night.”

Vampire The Masquerade book
Vampire The Masquerade book

For pen and paper RPGs people would cheat on their die rolls just so their character would always do well. What’s the point of doing something if there is no penalty? How about playing a game where your character can actually die? What would be the point of real life if no bad things happened? Another problem that I found is that almost nobody knew how to actually role-play anything other than being a combat monster useless fucking character that killed everything that the Dungeon Master (DM) or Game Master (GM) had spent hours designing. I always think of the D&D sketch by the Dead Ale Wives when I think of RPGs. For that I’d rather go play Diablo, at least that’s the point of that game!

Anyways, I grew tired of people ruining games for me so even as a kiddo I knew that unless the controller was broken in hotseat or somebody was using a bot online, video games would solve all that shit by preventing arguments from happening. Whereas on a traditional game you have to enterpret the rules and logic, in a video game everything is happening much faster (no need for die rolls other than internally within the program) and everything is more fluid. Whereas before playing something like Battletech, a battle would take 4 hours of real life time, that would translate into a 5-10 minute match in an RTS game.

Spy vs Spy on the c64
Spy vs Spy on the c64

The logic is simple and it’s even more obvious to me these days as I grow older than video games will continue to propagate even more and those old games will just continue to die. Now yes, I do agree that they should continue to exist. What are you going to do when a natural disaster happens and there’s no power? They’re great for that. Sometimes they’re great for parties so that at least you can play something with a non-gamer.

Auto Assault Box
Auto Assault Box

Now I’m not encouraging people to play an MMO unless it’s something like Auto Assault or Mechwarrior (two dead games) or PlanetSide (still around but almost nobody plays it) where skill and strategy mean something but more something along the lines as playing Starcraft or any favorite FPS game or anything else for that matter, so long as it’s not a gear based shitty game.. Just be careful with the online cheaters that will employ bots to win like a little bitch!

Another problem that traditional games have versus computer games, especially pen and paper RPGs is that they would take up so much time that it essentially became a ritual that you would have to dedicate time for each week. Think of it as the dedication a WoWhead gives their guild for raiding and other stuff in that game, except instead of clicking on World of Warcraft from any computer to connect you have to go to their house, buy food and drinks, and then drive home (usually really late that night or the next morning). It was even worse as a kid because of parents imposing curfews but I guess that doesn’t matter these days since parenting has gone to shit. =P With online gaming these days, you literally can play any game 24 hours a day and find people willing to play with you. You can’t beat that (although that does create problems like gaming addicts and more but that’s another topic for discussion)

Ur Quan Masters Battle
Ur Quan Masters Battle

I’d rather play a video game against a friend where it’s much harder to cheat than play a traditional game that could potentially ruin a friendship. I’ve seen some of my friends get into a permanent feud both over traditional games as well as video games but not as much for video games. Anyways, I’ll take something like a hotseat game of Star Control 2 (The Ur-Quan Masters) over a shitty game of Monopoly! However, just because I love video games that doesn’t mean that I won’t join you for a quick board game or card game or RPG session either!