Life As A Retro Gamer: Ronnie Weston
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 Ronnie Weston, known as Ronnieweston.com on Antstream Arcade. Ronnie is a special entry in our gamer profiles as we’ll find out – why not friend him up, and throw a challenge his way – if you dare!
Name: Ronnie Weston
Age: 35 “In hexadecimal!”
Antstream Arcade Handle: Ronnieweston.com
First Gaming Love: Lunar Lander & Asteroids
Favourite Games on Antstream: Defender, Joust and Marble Madness
Favourite Challenge on Antstream: All the Defender ones, especially Last Man Standing
Picture the scene: it’s New Year’s Eve, 1979. A young Ronnie Weston, eyes gleaming with the excitement of this glorious time for gaming, has forgotten all about the impending new decade. “It was a tech explosion,” he says, “and in the spare room, someone had a Binatone Pong game set up.” As the evening progressed, Ronnie forgot about all else, until midnight arrived. “And my Xmas LED watch switched over from ‘79’ to ‘80’,” he smiles. To Ronnie, it felt like a new era, and indeed it was. “My first console was a Teleng Colourstars with three cartridges: Ball/Paddle, Enduro and Tank Battle. Then, my first computer, an Atari 400 with membrane keyboard.”
Ron: Defender Of Mankind
As a child of the late Seventies/early Eighties, the evocative hum and vibrant colours of the arcade quickly became Ronnie’s second home. “I was about twelve – my pal and I would ride our BMXs several times a week to the seafront arcades on Canvey Island,” he remembers. “We’d play Pac-Man, Asteroids, Defender, Robotron, Scramble, Galaxian and more.” If that roll call of early arcade giants doesn’t inspire you, nothing will. Today, most of them are available to stream on Antstream Arcade; back in the Eighties, Ronnie often had to rely on his Nan to take him to the Canvey amusements. “After the Bingo, she once headed to the arcade for the jackpot machines,” he recalls fondly. “Imagine all the gamer faces when she pushed past them to drop 10p into the Robotron machine, mistaking it for a fruit machine! She called out, ‘How do you win at this one then?’ while firing randomly at the hulks!”
An Antstream Ron
Ronnie’s favourite era for gaming is the early Eighties, so it’s no surprise that Antstream Arcade’s huge library of arcade classics dominates his favourites list. “I haven’t discovered many new games or platforms – I know they’re there, but I tend to stick to the arcade classics.” And as a competitive sort, the regular tournaments and challenges are a particular boon to him. “I spend too much time obsessing about getting top,” he grins. “But I like the community around [Antstream Arcade] and the fantastic gamers to play against.” As you’d expect of such an arcade mega fan, Ronnie also plays these games as intended – on an arcade cabinet. Check out this video of him demonstrating Antstream Arcade on his bespoke 1UP cabinet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Riryp_2LE
Ronnie The Record Breaker
Ronnie is one of the most competitive gamers we have on Antstream Arcade and a few weeks ago contributed to a feature called Tips From The Top, lending important high score hints for one of his favourites, Pac-Man. Today, he plays games for charity (see www.ronnieweston.com for more information) and holds the world record for the mobile game, Crossy Road. “My place of work, The London Stock Exchange, has a scheme where any money raised by staff events is matched by them,” he explains. “I’m not much of a runner, so I thought I’d try to find some videogame challenges or scores to beat. I started playing Crossy Road as my son loved it, and the Twin Galaxies World Record was less than 1000 points at the time.” Thus inspired, Ronnie duly took the Crossy Road crown for himself. “It’s actually a pretty clever game,” he says. “It has that rare quality of luring you into thinking that you got that ‘game over’ because of a silly easily-avoided mistake, meaning you could easily improve with ‘just one more go’. It’s also appealing to retro gamers as it’s all about the high score.” Since his Crossy Road achievement, Ronnie has starred at more charity events including raising money for the NHS by totting up one million points, live, on Pac-Man. That’s a lot of dot-munching.
Super-competitive gamer, arcade super fan and Antstream Arcade star, check out Ronnie’s record-breaking antics on his website, www.ronnieweston.com.
The Other Half Of Ron
But wait! Before you go, Antstream Arcade is intrigued on how Ronnie’s competitiveness goes down with his better half. Boasting a similar online profile, only dedicated to fashion, Lyndsey says: “We are not too affected by his competitiveness as he is a night owl and I am a morning person, so it’s perfect for him to fit all his craziness in – when we are asleep!” You can follow Lyndsey on Instagram at @fashionfun40s.
Thanks to Ronnie and Lyndsey - stay tuned for another retro gamer profile soon!