Thursday, July 11, 2024

My 2024 Retro Gaming Convention Schedule for July - October -- Brett Weiss

 Here's my convention schedule for the next few months. October is going to be packed!

Classic Game Fest - July 19-21 (Austin, TX)

This fantastic show is hosted by my good buddy David Kaelin of Game Over Videogames, who has supported my writing career since the beginning. Classic Game Fest is an awesome celebration of retro gaming, featuring a vast array of classic video games, consoles, and memorabilia. With numerous vendors, panels, and tournaments, and even live music, it’s an event that brings together gamers of all ages to relive the golden era of gaming. The guest list this year is impressive and includes Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, E.T. and Yars’ Revenge programmer Howard Scott Warshaw, and Pitfall! and Freeway creator David Crane. I’ll be a guest as well, selling and autographing my books.

Portland Retro Gaming Expo – Sept. 27-29

One of the original retro gaming conventions, this event is a must-visit for any video game fan. The Portland Retro Gaming Expo is beloved for its extensive exhibitor hall, packed with rare games, consoles, and accessories. Additionally, it offers an impressive lineup of speakers, including industry veterans and gaming historians, as well as educational and entertaining panels and a super fun auction. It’s the closest thing we have to the late, great Classic Gaming Expo. The guest list this year is long and includes the original Mortal Kombat crew: Daniel Pesina (Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, Scorpion), Ho-Sung Pak (Liu Kang, Shang Tsung), Elizabeth Malecki (Sonya Blade), Richard Divizio (Kano), and Carlos Pesina (Raiden). I’ll be a guest as well, doing a panel on the market crash of 1983.

Houston Arcade Expo – October 11-13

Known for its party-like atmosphere, this expo features live rock and pop music and runs into the crazy hours of the night. The Houston Arcade Expo offers a unique experience with numerous arcade games and pinball machines set to free play, allowing attendees to enjoy endless gaming, as well as a little drinking and carousing. The event also includes tournaments, cosplay contests, and a Saturday morning swap meet, making it a highlight of the year. I’ll be a guest at the show, autographing and selling my books, and I’m looking forward to seeing the other guests, including my buddies Brian F. Colin (Rampage) and Tim Kitzrow (the voice of NBA Jam and NFL Blitz).

Video GameSummit/Pinball Expo - Oct. 17-19 (Near Chicago)

A melding of Video Game Summit and the long-running Pinball Expo, one of the oldest events of its type in the country, this gathering promises a fantastic blend of both worlds. Attendees can explore a wide range of video games and pinball machines, attend informative panels, and participate in exciting tournaments. The event attracts collectors, gamers, YouTubers, pinball experts, and more, offering a fun opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. Along with yours truly, guests include “The Immortal” John Hancock (YouTuber), Michael Thomasson (historian), Brian F. Colin (Rampage), and Paul Niemeyer (Mortal Kombat artist), all good friends of mine. Yes, I will have a supply of my books with me.

Retropalooza – October 26-27 (Fort Worth, TX)

I've attended most Dallas-Fort Worth Retropaloozas since its inception in 2013, and also to a couple in Houston. Hosted by the Game Chasers, this event is always a lot of fun. Retropalooza features YouTube guests and a fantastic vendor’s room. The swap meet-like atmosphere makes it a favorite among retro gaming fans—you will definitely have great opportunities to add to your collection and probably find some good deals. I’ll be there either as an attendee/fan, a vendor, or working at the Heritage Auctions booth—that remains to be seen. The guest list thus far is comprised mostly of voice actors and YouTubers, the latter including familiar faces Boogie2988, the Game Chasers, and 8-bit Eric.

I hope to see you at one of these conventions! Each event offers something unique, and they’re all fantastic opportunities to celebrate the rich history of gaming.

Monday, July 8, 2024

Meet Gaming Legend & Atari Co-Founder Nolan Bushnell at Classic Game Fest in Austin!

Are you a fan of classic video games and the industry pioneers who made them possible? If so, you won't want to miss the opportunity to meet Nolan Bushnell, the legendary co-founder of Atari and a true icon in the gaming world, at Classic Game Fest in Austin on Saturday, July 20th. This is a rare chance to interact with the man who played a pivotal role in creating the gaming industry as we know it today.

Nolan Bushnell is scheduled for a panel and Q&A session where he will share his incredible journey, insights into the early days of Atari, and the impact of his work on the gaming industry. This is your chance to hear firsthand stories from one of the most famous figureheads in all of gaming. Whether you're a long-time fan or a newcomer to the world of video games, Bushnell's stories and experiences are sure to be both entertaining and enlightening.

But that's not all! For those who want an even more exclusive experience, there will be a special VIP-only meet and greet with Nolan Bushnell. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with an icon, ask him questions, and maybe even snag an autograph. It's an experience no gaming enthusiast should miss, especially if you are in driving distance of Austin or you can grab a reasonably priced flight.

I have the honor of being a guest at Classic Game Fest as well. I will be there all three days, signing my books and sharing my passion for classic video games. Speaking of books, I first met Nolan Bushnell back in 2009 at the ScrewAttack Game Convention. He was incredibly cool and very nice, making a lasting impression on me. During our conversation, he expressed his surprise and delight that McFarland had published a textbook-quality hardcover book focused exclusively on Atari and other pre-NES consoles: Classic Home Video Games: 1972-1984. His appreciation for the preservation and recognition of early gaming history was truly inspiring, and it’s an encounter I’ll never forget. 

In recent times, we were in the same documentary, Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story, which was very exciting and something my 12-year-old self would not have believed.

Classic Game Fest is shaping up to be an incredible event for anyone who loves video games, with a diverse lineup of panels, vendors, console games, live music, arcades on free play, and special guests, including Howard Scott Warshaw (E.T., Yars’ Revenge), David Crane (Pitfall!, Freeway), Garry Kitchen (Keystone Kapers, Atari 2600 Donkey Kong), Dan Kitchen (Crackpots, Atari 2600 Double Dragon), and G. to theNext Level (YouTuber), among others. Make sure to mark your calendars and join us for a weekend full of nostalgia, fun, and fantastic opportunities to add to your collection and connect with fellow gamers and industry legends like Nolan Bushnell. See you there!

Classic Game Fest

Palmer Events Center

Austin Texas

July 19-21, 2024

Get tickets HERE.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Metal Jesus Rocks & Kelsey Lewin are Annoyed with Retro Gaming Stores

Recently, popular YouTuber Metal Jesus Rocks and Pink Gorilla store owner Kelsey Lewin released a video highlighting some of the most frustrating practices in retro gaming stores. Inspired by their discussion, I decided to create a response video to share one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to shopping for vintage video games.

In their video, Metal Jesus Rocks and Kelsey covered a lot of ground, mentioning how frustrating it is when stores don't mark reproduction cartridges as such or fail to price their games. These issues can make it hard to trust a store and leave customers feeling annoyed. Their video really got me thinking about my own experiences and what bothers me the most when I'm game chasing.

Without giving too much away here, I can say that it's something that some of you have probably encountered and found equally frustrating. It's a practice that can ruin the shopping experience and make you want to turn around and leave immediately.

This particular annoyance is something that not only affects the way we shop but also speaks to a larger issue within the retro gaming community. It's a problem that reflects a lack of consideration for the customers who keep these stores in business. By addressing this issue, and by highlighting MJR’s video, I hope to encourage store owners to improve their practices and create a more welcoming environment for all of us who love hunting for classic games.

I won't spoil the surprise here because I want you to watch the video to find out what it is. I think you'll find it relatable, and hopefully, it will spark some positive changes in how retro game stores operate. There are awesome retrogaming stores all around the country, but some could use a few pointers.