Tony Hawk Says 'Always Surreal' to See Himself in Video Game Form — Especially When Character's Hurt

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Tony Hawk has been a video game character since the '90s, but the novelty isn't lost on him.

"It's always surreal," he tells PEOPLE while chatting about the upcoming new edition of his game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. "Especially now with the technology and with how high definition everything is."

Prior iterations of the skateboarding game, Hawk, 52, says included a "more blocky version" of himself. He explains, "I mean still yes, it's you, but now it's most definitely you, and it's you and your current in your current state. So I would say that when I see my character falling, it feels much more real."

He jokes, "I cringe more when I see the injuries."

The pro skateboarder's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 puts the original two video games into one collection. Explains Hawk: "If you played the original, then you'll feel like you're right back in it because it's the same control scheme, the same maps, same skaters, the same tricks. It's just brought into the newest technology of today with the PS4, and Xbox One, and PC."

And there's other fun updates: new skaters, a more contemporary vibe and the original roster of skaters have been changed to reflect their actual age. Says Hawk, "We put them in their current age, because everyone still skates. So I thought, why don't we celebrate that instead of pretending that we're all stuck in a time capsule."

Hawk got the internet's attention this week when he participated in the #GotMilkChallenge, performing a McTwist while holding a full glass of milk — and didn't spill a single drop.

"I was expecting it to spill into my face and not be able to see," he admits to PEOPLE. "I really thought it was just going to be a big, beautiful disaster, and that was the entertainment value in it. "

After a go with water in the cup, Hawk says he tried it just once with the milk — the successful first attempt actually becoming the final cut.

"I thought it was cool," he says of the challenge. "I thought it was a fun engagement, and a way to transcend other sports. That we could all be participating in the same type of challenge, but doing our own thing at the same time."

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. Activision

And Hawk hopes that other aspiring athletes are encouraged by the challenge to try something new. In fact, he says he's noticed more people taking up his sport due to coronavirus-caused self-isolation.

"Learn the basics, get comfortable with the basics," he advises wannabe boarders. "In terms of controlling your board, turning, pushing, stopping before you start trying the ollies, and the kick flips. Because if you really have a better understanding of how to control your board, and being comfortable in motion, that's going to benefit you with learning these other tricks. I think that the general approach is that, 'I want to go learn all the crazy stuff right away.' There's a foundation that you need to learn beforehand."

He says skateboarding will "teach you a lot about perseverance. I think a lot about self confidence, and ultimately the reward of following your own path."

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