Life As A Retro Gamer: Faith Johnson
Whether it’s the high score tables, challenges or just forming friendships, Antstream Arcade is all about community and bringing gamers both young and old together. With our carefully-curated selection of retro classics the starting point, there’s a whole new virtual neighbourhood at the heart of what we do. For our latest gamer profile, we present Faith Johnson, known as @retrofaith1 on Twitter and Faith on Antstream Arcade. Why not friend her up, and throw a challenge her way – if you dare!
Name: Faith Johnson
Antstream Arcade Handle: Faith
Occupation: Games Journalist and Retro Import Shop Owner
First Gaming Love: Sonic The Hedgehog
Favourite Games on Antstream: Pac-Man, Bubble Bobble, Metal Slug
Favourite Challenge on Antstream: One Life Metal Slug
For Faith Johnson, gaming journalist and YouTuber, the question of when she first fell in love with
gaming is an easy one. “It was Xmas 1991,” she smiles. “My brother and I received a Sega Mega Drive together with Sonic The Hedgehog and Mega Games. I had played videogames before – Pong, Commodore 64 games and in the arcades – but that Mega Drive and Sonic was like something had awoken in me.” Since that magical time, Sega’s manic blue mascot has accompanied Faith throughout her own journey in life. “Sonic represents a happy time in my life, he is my friend and is always there for me. I know it sounds crazy, but Sonic has been the most consistent thing in my life since Christmas 1991!” On a more aesthetic level, Faith cites the game’s design, colours, style and speed as more reasons to love the speedy hedgehog. “I was hooked from that first time, and it led to me where I am now. I would not be into videogames if Sonic did not exist!
Keeping the Faith
Faith’s love of Sonic is represented physically with her Sonic The Hedgehog collection, now standing at almost 400 game variants. “I also have a full UK Dreamcast set, and hundreds of fighting and extreme sports games,” she declares. Yet despite the latter segment of her collection, her favourite genre is a trickier question for Faith. “That’s a tough one as I love platformers, shmups and fighters so much… but if pressed on it then I pick fighting games. Learning the moves, combos and subtleties of the fighting systems really gets me excited and there is nothing more competitive.” Faith also acknowledges that fighting games, especially those in the one-on-one genre, are gaming at its purest. “They are always so simple to pick up, yet most take years to master.”
As well as an excellent YouTube channel, Faith also runs her own games journalism company, stemming from her website, Retrofaith.net. “I began writing about three years ago, but started taking it seriously in the summer when I was offered my first magazine deal,” she explains. “At first it was just writing about my experiences or subjects close to my heart. Then, I was offered a review code for an Indie title and things just exploded. Before I knew it I was interviewing developers and reviewing the latest games.” Today, Faith has two staff writers to help her keep up with reviews and features for Retrofaith.net which has graduated from its humble blogging origins to a fully-fledged gaming news and features website. And it will soon be getting even bigger. “There are plans in place to take it to the next level, so if any budding retro writers are looking for experience then please get in touch!”
Faith in the Dreamcast
Her love of the Mega Drive and Sonic notwithstanding, it’s Sega’s Dreamcast console that truly
represents everything Faith loves about videogames. “It’s got arcade classics, innovative tech and the best MMO of all time, Phantasy Star Online.” And of course, there’s the fighting games. “It has the best ports of the fighting games during the genre’s golden era: Street Fighter III, Garou: Mark Of The Wolves and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.” It’s the reason why Faith’s favourite gaming era, eschewing the chiptunes and pixel art of 16-bit times, is the sixth generation and her beloved Dreamcast.
While Faith missed out on Antstream Arcade’s Kickstarter campaign, she’s since become a big fan of the service. “I think it’s excellent, especially as the choice of games grows. It’s not always been easy to find what you are looking for, but the search [facility] has come on leaps and bounds since launch.” As with many fans, she mentions the challenges as a vital part of Antstream Arcade. “I think [the challenges] keep things fresh and brings a community spirit that emulation cannot match,” she says. Fair enough – but what about improvements? “I’d recommend keep working on the search and recommendation features,” notes Faith, “and more, more shooters! Otherwise, it’s great to see Antstream go from strength to strength – the leaderboards and challenges are fantastic, so more of that would be excellent.”
We think Faith will love some of our future plans and thank her for her time. Stay tuned for another retro gamer profile soon!