Davin Loh is a competitive player, specializing in fighting games, who currently (at the time of the interview) holds ten high scores, including Capcom VS SNK II, X-Men VS The Atom, Samurai Showdown I-IV, and Ninja Baseball Batman. Loh grew up in Indiana and started playing video games in eighth grade, during which he and his friends would ride their bicycles to the arcades or local venues with arcade cabinets and play. Loh cites Street Fighter II as his introduction to fighting games. In learning the mechanics and algorithms of play and characters in this particular game, he was able to transfer this knowledge to other fighting games. Currently located in Chicago, Loh visits Headquarters Beercade, Galloping Ghost, and Emporium Arcade to investigate other people’s strategies and practice his own. In these spaces, he discusses arcade cabinets as a retro luxury that appeals to the nostalgia of players who grew up with these games.
Much of Loh’s interview deals with intersections of video games and culture. Loh talks about his observations of the influences of Japanese and American video game designs and markets as well as the connections between video games and other media such as comic books and film. Furthermore, Loh’s experience with other games, like Poker and games on his home consoles, contribute to his training and return to arcade spaces. Poker especially aids him in the mental battles associated with psyching out his opponents in fighting game tournaments. And in keeping up with video games, Loh continuously seeks to keep his records under his belt while adding to the records he holds.