Pure Geekery Road Trip: Louisville Arcade Expo

Claire and I hit the road this past weekend to attend the Louisville Arcade Expo this past weekend. Not only was it our first convention as Pure Geekery, but it was my first convention period. Prior to this, I’ve only wandered around the halls outside of GenCon. Not actually going in. I spoke with Claire to figure out what exactly to expect and what we should plan for, and she told me basically to chill out and just go and enjoy it. So that’s exactly what we did.

We started our journey at 10:00am with plans on making it to Louisville around noon. As it turns out, neither one of us are good at remembering to eat until we’re hungry so we made a slight detour to get some lunch and ended up down there about 1:00pm instead. When we walked in the doors, we were blown away. So many games. So many flashing lights. It was hard to know what to do first!

We started walking around and checked out some of the various merch booths. It was very hard to not buy all of the things. They had all kinds of video game art, and classic games to buy. One guy had games from Atari all the way up to PS2. We were having a ball just browsing

Claire plays Wizard of Oz pinball.

Claire plays Wizard of Oz pinball.

the games and pointing out ones we loved as kids. Although I was caught a bit off guard when I asked him if he had Deus Ex for the PS2 and he had never heard of it. Claire was very close to asking him for his nerd card back. The art was amazing as well. Lots of reimagined video game covers and perler bead sprites.

We checked out the various games next. Claire’s jaw about hit the floor when she saw the Wizard of Oz pinball machine. Claire plays roller derby as D.G. OZsome (DG as in Dorothy Gale) and has a dog named Judy (as in Judy Garland). She’s the one I made the Wizard of Oz cross stitch for. So if anyone wants to make Claire very happy, buy her that game. She also couldn’t stop smiling when she was playing Caddyshack pinball. It was the game her dad taught her to play on. I was stoked about some of the arcade versions of the old Atari games I used to play with my dad. They had Tempest which was one of my favorites! It was fun playing these games as they were meant to be played.

There were console games as well. They even had a “timeline” of all the consoles from the beginning to now. It was fantastic. We ran into the Horrible Night guys over at the Super Smash Brothers set up. We didn’t get to chat long because we were heading over to a seminar, but it was nice seeing some friendly faces!

Playing some Atari.

Playing some Atari.

The seminar was interesting. The developers had decided to create a new game for the Atari 2600. Apparently, there is a compiler that will allow you to write these games in Visual Basic (he kept using Visual Basic and BASIC interchangeably so I think it’s VB). It’s an interesting and novel concept for sure. But I’m not quite sure I understand why you would pursue only that avenue. If it were me, I’d want to produce it as an HTML5 or Android game as well, to reach a bigger audience. I’m just going to assume their target audience is not me. I did enjoy hearing about the technical limitation on developing for that platform.

Overall, we had a great time. It’s a three day event, but for us one day was plenty to see and do what we wanted to do. The only thing that got a bit on our nerves is people would at times be a bit inconsiderate and play multiple turns at a game. They’d reset the console if they missed something they meant to grab, or just play another game after they’d lost. The unspoken rule at the convention was “if you get game over, you move on.” Kind of like when you’d line up at your friends house to play. But this was the minority and seemed to be the consoles only so it didn’t ruin our time.

As an aside, we peppered the expo with our business cards. And if you happened to meet us or find one, and that’s how you ended up here please leave us a comment, post on our Facebook wall, or tweet at us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

The pictures in this post are only a fraction of what we took. Check out our full album on Flickr.

2 Responses to “Pure Geekery Road Trip: Louisville Arcade Expo”
  1. Kimberly Scott says:
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