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Portland Retro Gaming Expo report

By Petrea Mitchell| September 29, 2011 | Comments Off on Portland Retro Gaming Expo report

[ Portland Retro Gaming Expo sign ] This year I finally made it to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. It was like stepping into an old arcade, complete with vintage soundtrack (one set included the theme from Star Wars, followed by “Billy Jean”, followed by “Rock Lobster”) and gaming machines. In the freeplay arcade, I got to revisit Pac-Man, Centipede, Space Invaders (including the pinball version), Donkey Kong, and more. Lined up next to that was a whole museum of old gaming consoles, all working and available to try out.

Panels included tips on video game collecting, a trivia contest which I and some random strangers who decided to form a team did not do very well at, and my personal favorite: Ed Fries, former head of Microsoft’s gaming division, doing a presentation on how he developed a version of Halo for the Atari 2600. There were also tournaments, raffles, and a cosplay contest. Oh, yes, and the dealers’ area, where I found something for my 286 that I keep around to play old games on, something for the Amiga 500 that I also keep around to play old games on, and two GBA games for my DS Lite.

You have probably figured out by now that I’m right dead center in the PRGE’s target demographic. It will come as no surprise to you that I absolutely loved it. I spent a certain amount of time just walking around with a big silly grin on my face. I will definitely be back next year.

See the usual photostream for more photos and commentary, plus the story of probably the weakest computer ever to run Mandelbrot set calculations.

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