While Nic and Julie enjoyed the X chromosome of life at Geek Girl Con, I was on the very other side of the spectrum enjoying the companies of many other XY chromosome sharing retro gaming enthusiast. “Where was I?” you ask, well by the title of this post, I was at the Classic Gaming Expo. The Classic Gaming Expo people have been very busy this year, bringing retro gaming and the Video Game History Museum all over the country, beginning with the DICE summit here in Vegas, then traveling to PAX East, making a stop at E3, then returning back to Las Vegas for this years Classic Gaming Expo 2012.
This year the Classic Gaming Expo took place at the newly renovated Plaza Hotel in Fremont, which is now nice on the inside, but still maintains it’s cheapskate attitude by charging $5 for parking. The elevators in the parking garage didn’t function well either, but at least the expo hall where CGE was taking place was in tip top shape. The hall itself wasn’t too big or too small for all of the exhibitors (the pic above was only the middle section) and the Video Game History Museum was walled off from the rest of the hall giving it it’s own private little piece of retro heaven. Each exhibitor had a great selection, so if you were looking for some rare item, you would probably be lucky enough to find it…for a price. I managed to actually snag both NES games I wanted for great prices, grabbing Uninvited for $22 and Shadowgate complete in the box for only $10!
JJgames.com and PriceCharting.com were there providing Nintendo World Championships 1990 and Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991 tournaments. Anyone who hasn’t had an opportunity to play on these special Nintendo cartridges were in for a treat. The cartridge itself is timed, and gives you objectives to finish on three games contained within them. In World Championships you had 6:21 to play Super Mario 3, Pin-Bot, and Dr. Mario just like the televised tournament from 1990. Campus Challenge was basically the same, just substitute three new games, Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and the endless classic Tetris. JJ Games kept everyone’s scores and allowed one final showdown of the top 8 to compete and see who was going to be Las Vegas’ World Champ. The whole tournament was really spoiled by the winner though, who exploited Super Mario 3 with endless goomba smashing. Inevitably making me want to smash in his goomba face. I didn’t even know these cartridges were being mass produced and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even though I really didn’t understand the rules until my second run into Campus Challenge.
The PR group from Wreck it Ralph brought along their Fix it Felix Jr. arcade machine and allowed people to play it for free in attempts to win some cool Wreck it Ralph swag. The special thing about this machine was the fact that it was one of the only two Fix it Felix Jr. arcade machines in the world, the other of which stands in the Pixar’s Interactive Studios. How many people will get to say they played on a real Fix it Felix Jr. arcade machine? Not many, making that experience really special.
The highlight of the expo, besides the endless amount of purchasable retro goodies, was the Video Game History Musem. The museum itself was well worth the price of admission into CGE itself. From gaming well before my time, Intellivisions to Coleco Visions, Nintendo to Sega, rare to import, the museum was filled with rich gaming history. It almost felt surreal, looking at a piece of gaming history I knew nothing about, calling myself a so called gamer without knowing how we got to where we are today. Some items were more nostalgiac than others, seeing items I had only heard about during my childhood and had never actually seen in person, Sega Channel, Atari Lynx, Jaguar and the like. After seeing only a portions of the Video Game History Museum’s collection, I feel confident that one day they will meet their goal and have a building to call their own.
Classic Gaming Expo 2012 was a great experience. Everyone was friendly, awkward, and always willing to strike a deal. There were plenty of games to play, things to see, and bittracks to listen to. Smells were abundant and lisps a dime a dozen. It’s an expo I hope becomes a yearly event, partly because I won a Nintendo Entertainment System in the box as a raffle prize from the guys at Super Video Games Bros. But even if I hadn’t won that beautiful piece of gaming history, I would still make the short drive to the Plaza Hotel, pay $5 for parking, and time travel back to when games didn’t look good at all.
Enjoy this short video that was so kindly edited way above our blogs capabilities.
Back to the Farm.
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