Photo: Mental_Floss/Chris Higgins
On September 30, I spent a geektastic day at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo.I arrived early and got a look at many booths before they opened (later, they would be swarmed by thousands of attendees).
For much of the day I was one of several referees for the Classic Tetris World Championship. The whole day was a joy—a convention hall filled with classic games, from Atari to Zelda, with pinball in between. And, this being a Portland event, there were game-themed crafts everywhere. The expo organisers summarized the weekend like so:
- Over 3,000 attendees came through the doors over the weekend
- Over 160 arcade and pinball machines were on display for freeplay
- Over 70 retro video game consoles were set up to play
- There were over 70 vendors in attendance
- Our after-hours event was a blast with over 200 people dining and drinking until midnight right in the Mega-cade
Our live auction was packed with over 400 attendees. At the auction we raised nearly $900 for Portland’s Cat Adoption TeaI just want to emphasise that this event had a “Mega-cade” and it was, indeed, mega.
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Oregon Trail: This actually happened. In 2012. I have hope for future generations. (To the side of the mega-cade was a large area with various classic computers and game systems set up for free play.)
Atari 2600 Combat: This also happened, in a little time-warp area in the back of the hall. In the closeup you can see that the game is Combat. Remind you of your childhood much?
The Mega-cade was frankly more mega than these photos convey. Rows of pinball machines, standup arcade games, co-op games, and lots of driving games—all in freeplay mode!—made for a geeky paradise.
Here's the X-Men game. Note that in this modified version, instead of two CRT screens, it has one large (and quite nice) LCD. The family that plays X-Men together…stays together.
And here's a Back to the Future pinball game on the fritz. When was the last time you got to see inside a BTTF pinball game?!
It's hard to see here, but this is a parent teaching a child to play the Empire Strikes Back game. This kid's gonna grow up right.
There were thousands of game cartridges (and some floppy/CD games) on display, plus some other neat memorabilia. Here's a look at part of what you missed.
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