Retro video games expo takes over Vancouver
// Niggie Purrahnama

Attention all retro video game nerds: to those of you who still have your Super Nintendo out and ready to go, get excited. On Mar. 17, Gamedeals Video Games will be hosting a Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo full of fun, social activities, and, yes, there will be alcoholic beverages available.

Brian Hughes, the owner of Gamedeals, a video game store in Vancouver, and creator of the Retro Gaming Expo, thinks that retro video games have a unique appeal.

“I find that a lot of people prefer retro games to modern ones,” he says. “These are the games we grew up with, and like the music we listened to in high school, they will always have a special place in our hearts.”

This appeal reaches all ages. Hughes says that he has been aiming to attract a demographic ranging from ages 16 to 35 for this event.

Hughes’ inspiration to create a Vancouver version of the Retro Gaming expo came from the hype and popularity created by other cities, like Seattle and Portland: “I've only ever been to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, and it was awesome,” states Hughes.

This past experience has given Hughes not only the drive, but also the proper knowledge and networking in order to create a successful event.

The Expo will take place at the Columbia in New Westminster. When asked why the event wasn’t to be held in central Vancouver, Hughes points out that the layout and size of the Columbia was a right fit for the event, and the fact that the space is fully licensed is definitely a plus. The venue is strategically close to both the Columbia Skytrain station, and Hughes’ own Gamedeals store.

There is a long list of different performers and presenters who will be attending the event, one of whom is none other than John Hancock. Described as “a long-time video game collector, enthusiast, and historian,” Hancock’s love of video games has resulted in a large video game collection that has been reviewed and publicized by the media. He was also one of the organizers for the Portland Retro Video Game Expo.

Causing a bit of a media stir for the expedition is the up-and-coming new Youtube game show, Game To Win. Game To Win will be featuring one of their episodes live at the event, choosing guests at random and putting them up to diverse retro gaming challenges, with prizes for the winners.

There will also be performances, such as Geeks After Dark, a nerdy yet classy array of burlesque performers putting on a show geared to the tastes of the retro gaming crowd.

Hughes’ main objective for the event is, quite simply, “to have an awesome time. Anytime we can get like-minded people together for a party is a win in my books.”

The event will take place at the Columbia Theatre at 530 Columbia Street in New Westminster, on Mar. 17. Tickets are available online through the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo website.

//Niggie Purrahnama, writer

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