Q&A with James White – Classic Gaming World Record Holder!

25
Sep
2014

If you’ve ever been to The Galloping Ghost in Brookfield, Illinois, then chances are you ran into this man.  James White has many house and world records that were earned at the Ghost, including Bad Dudes, Discs of Tron, Forgotten Worlds, and one of my favorites, Xenophobe. James is the Galloping Ghost’s 2012 Gamer of The Year and has also been immortalized by Twin Galaxies in the form of his own trading cards.  I got a chance to speak with James and ask him a few questions about his achievements and future gaming goals.

 

8Bit – What was your first world record game and what was the experience like?

James White – My first world record at the GGA was Ninja Gaiden. I had it for a very short time, then the owner (of The Galloping Ghost), Doc Mack and myself were going back and forth. Doc then claimed the world record on the game, at first when I lost it I was a little crushed but some things you have to let go.

 

8Bit – Being the Galloping Ghost’s 2012 Gamer of The Year, what advice would you give anyone who wants to achieve greatness in gaming?

JW – What can I say, I myself have been playing at the arcades for a very long time. Actually, it was 4 years ago when I stepped inside the GGA and thought, “well we shall see what would happen.” My advice, well it is not so simple for people that have the current consoles. I have a Wii U at home, but I do not play it that much. Since I believe that arcades are probably making a comeback, or if you are lucky enough to find one near you that is good, but as hard as anyone tries sometimes you have to listen to that old joke, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Practice… I hope that was good advice.

 

8Bit – What are your top 3 classic arcade games and why?

JW – Good one! I will put these in no particular order. First, there is Sinistar, in which I do have the house score at the GGA. I like that game a lot. True it is tough unless you know what you are doing, and if so, you have to balance between battling the warrior ships and gathering crystals for sinibombs in the later levels. I like the game for its challenge. When I first played it a very long time ago, that game sucked all of my tokens! My next one is Forgotten Worlds, I also have the impossible house score at the GGA. As for the world record – who knows. The world record says it was accomplished by Isaiah “Triforce” Johnson. I have beat the game in one run and have a high score over 3 million, Triforce claims that he has over 5 million on that game. I like the game very much since it is one of the games that I can still finish in one run. But, I am not so sure if Triforce’s world record is false, we may never know. Finally a weird one, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, the arcade version. The score I have at the GGA is one of the current world record scores that I still have there. I like that game as well. Sure, it is one of those games in which you just cannot finish in one run, and only have the first run you have to get the top score. To be honest, I like the game, but that is a hard one. It has a good challenge, and no, I am not really the huge Michael Jackson fan like I was in the 80’s. Will a true Michael Jackson fan like this game or not, who knows. Will there someday be a Captain EO game? Try looking Captain EO up on Google.

 

8Bit – Do you have any pregame rituals or anything to hype you up to get a good score in a game?

JW – Pregame rituals? That is a unique one. Really, I do not have any at the moment or if any. I just set my sights on trying to focus and try and play my best. Actually, I play better at arcade games now than I did 30 years ago.

 

8Bit – Really? What do you think has changed in the last 30 years? I feel like I have gotten worse at gaming after all of these years, haha.

JW – Well, too many things both good and bad, not much with me. I get a little older and wiser each day. I still think the 80’s was the best decade. I enjoyed a whole lot of my youth during that time. I even graduated from high school in the 80’s, 1989 to be exact. These days are a bit screwy, to be honest I always look on the positive side of things.

 

8Bit – You just came back from the Icon Gallery in Fairfield, Iowa. What was that all about?

JW – Well, being at the Icon Gallery in Fairfield, Iowa is and will always be a really great experience. Last month was my second trip out there. There were a handful of gaming greats like Billy Mitchell and Richie Knuckles and George Leutz. When I met Billy Mitchell for the first time last year, I was nervous as hell, but he is really a very nice guy. Sure, he may seem to be a weird person, but being the gamer of the century, meeting him is a great honor. And Walter Day is a very kind person when he hosts these events.

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8Bit – What were you being honored for at this event?

JW – This year I was being honored along with fellow GGA past Gamer of the Year at the GGA inductees Matt Rocco and Matt Walters. When I went to the ICON event for the first time in 2013, I was honored for being Gamer of the Year.

 

8Bit – What is your great white buffalo? As in, which is the score that got away?

JW – Final Fight. I first achieved that world record in that game in July of 2013. I thought it would not be beat… until recently, by a good friend of mine at the GGA. And how did I handle it? I shook his hand and congratulated him.

 

8Bit – You once called out Jay Maynard, A.K.A. The Tron Guy, to come out and beat your scores in both Tron and Discs of Tron.  Have you ever gotten a response from him? 

JW – Will I ever hear from the Tron Guy? Who knows. Maybe never? There is a huge difference between an “internet” celebrity and a “gaming” celebrity, in which I am just an average one at least. Jay Maynard’s only claim to fame is just giving speeches and walking around in a Tron suit. Has he played Tron or Discs of Tron or even Robotron?  Okay, Robotron is not Tron related, I just threw that in for the fun of it. Wherever he is, he should have the decency to accept my challenge. So far no one has heard from him. Where is he? Who knows?

 Matt Rocco, James White, and Fred DeHart

8Bit – Outside of gaming, what else are you passionate about?

JW – I am an avid volleyball player and I have been playing the sport as long as I have been playing video games. For now, I just play the indoor game. I played beach doubles for a while. I am not getting any younger. I just stick with the competitive indoor game.

 

8Bit – Is there anything that you would like to promote here? Anything we should be playing or watching?

JW – You guys should talk about the Galloping Ghost Arcade sometime in your podcasts. As for playing and watching, keep track of me and Jungle King, I will be over that game this week. As of today on Jungle King, I have the top score on Aurcade.com. My new personal/ house, and Aurcade top score is now 67,340! I beat Steve Wagner’s top score by 1,100 points exactly.