Changing Retro

Posted on Oct 29th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (wildbil52)
Posted under Expo, Video Games, People I like

Another year, another RetroWorld Expo.  As a show organizer, it is an insanely fun and exhausting experience.  It's amazing to see how the expo has grown in just a few short years.  Let's take a look at RetroWorld Expo 2016.

The expo started to feel real for me when Duke Togo arrived at my house on Tuesday evening.  It was lovely of him to come bearing gifts.  One of the most exciting was a Rock Band 4 Pro guitar that I was thrilled to receive.  Most of the other gifts were beers suggested by a guy that Duke works with.  I've had several of them and none are disappointments so far.  The Thursday before the show, we spend about 12 hours moving arcade and pinball machines from our warehouse to the Oakdale Theater (about a 30 minute drive).  Duke was a trooper and helped us move machines all day.  He more than earned his RWX Volunteer stripes.  Big thanks to Duke.

After 12 hours of moving machines, Duke was in the mood for a steak So we went to a local hot spot and enjoyed a well deserved treat.  Duke made them put the hockey game on for me and within a few minutes I heard people complaining that football wasn't on anymore, but whatever, go Rangers.  I didn't take a picture of the steak because I don't take pictures of food at restaurants.  I do, however, have a picture of another steak that I ate this past weekend and it's relevant because I enjoyed it with one of the beers Duke  brought for me. Ritz bits on the side because I am classy.

Nice grill  marks, bro

Bickman and Izret were the next to show up and Will and Pam came by on Friday night as well.  Similar to last year, there was much Jackbox played.  I had several last minute emergencies that I had to attend to, but I still felt bad that I couldn't hang with the group as much as I did last year.  Pam and Will took off for the hotel and to watch the Blue Jays (sorry, Will) and Duke, Adam, Izret, and myself went out to a local diner for some good pancakes "with Buttery and Syrup".  Their menu has some pretty bad typos.

On to Saturday morning.  It starts.  I leave my house shortly before 5am and get to the Oakdale before 6am.  I gather all the supplies that we left there a few days prior and I set up my little station to check in exhibitors.  Once most of them were checked in, I moved on to the box office where I started training the volunteers on using the tablets and getting them all the supplies they needed.  There weren't a ton of people waiting outside the front door, which worried me.  Then I realized that event staff had been directing people to the side of the building to pick up pre-purchased tickets.

Yay!  people showed up again!

We expanded to a 2 day expo this year so we were a little anxious.  We had a great turnout last year, but we really wanted this event to grow, so we were hoping for a bump in attendance and we weren't disappointed. I can remember things that happened before the show and I can remember things that happened after the show.  The hours during the show are a bit of a blur for me because of all the excitement, but I'll do my best to reel it in and show some of the great stuff that went on.

The tournaments returned in a new area with more setups for more players at a time.  The tournaments this year included NHL 94, NBA Jam. Mortal Kombat II, Super Street Fighter II, WWF No Mercy and Super Smash Bros.  We really love the tournaments and wanted to expand the tournament offerings to include more games from more eras.  Big thanks to Game Haven for running the majority of our tournaments!

We also had a big Tabletop Gaming area.  I was thrilled to see this area utilized much more this year compared to last year.  Thanks in part to the Magit Tournaments run by The Dragon's Lair and Battlegrounds Gaming.  But also due to the amazing tabletop volunteer crew who brought their own games and taught people how to play all weekend long.

One of the main reasons many attend is for the arcade.  I loved last year's arcade, but we heard lots of people ask why there weren't any  pinball machines last year so we made sure to have a good selection of pins as well as arcade cabinets.  For pinball, we had Bram Stoker's Dracula, Last Action Hero, Terminator 2, Black Knight 2000, Nightmare on Elm St, and The Getaway.  We also expanded the arcade area and added more shoulder room between each machine.  Ahhh, now a gamer can breathe.

I would not mess with this kid if I were you..

We thought it might be fun to have the musical guests play on a stage in the arcade area throughout the day.  This way everyone gets to enjoy the bands, not just the ones who stay super late when concerts are normally scheduled.  I didn't get to watch each band perform, but I did catch local favorite The World is Square for the third time.  Spoiler alert: they are great.  I also got to see You Bred Raptors? perform for the first time and I absolutely loved them! If you get the chance to see them live, do not miss it.

The World is Square probably rocking my favorite song: Scar of Time

For the second straight year, I missed the cosplay contest Sad  Good thing people took lots of pictures.  This is another area of the expo that I would love to expand.  There is so much amazing cosplay in the video game and nerd space.  I just want to watch a  parade.

Only at RWX we can see Johnny Cage hoping that someone isn't about to be murdered

Speaking of Johnny Cage, I have to say that Master Daniel Pesina is one of the most genuine people I have ever met.  He is just a great guy.  He loves what he does, he loves people, he loves the happiness that surrounds our passion, and he is genuinely interested in other people.  He could not have been more accommodating and I cannot wait to see him again the next time our paths cross.

And finally, it wouldn't be RWX without Mashed Potato Pizza!  Russlyman was finally able to join up with us!  I also invited one of the volunteers that I've known for a long time.  We shut that quiet Italian restaurant DOWN!

There are a lot of people that make the show possible.  The exhibitors, vendors, musical guests, special guests, arcade and pinball contributes, the attendees, our amazing representatives at the Oakdale theater, in particular Natalie and Mike, the great gaming communities who spread the work about our show, sponsors, tournament organizers, run-on sentences, etc.  We really want all of those people to know how much we appreciate them and how we can't wait to wow you all at a bigger and better venue next year.

Thank you

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Sounds like an unreal weekend. Really hope I don't miss out next year!
I hope I can come next year!  It sounds like a blast!
My poor wife had to put up with my downtrodden a@# talking about how much I wished I was there the entire weekend. Miss being at the show, but missed hanging out with you guys the most. Next year!
Had a blast as always. I swung by the table a few times to say hi to the guys. I was also busy at the expo with my booth selling stuff, and I day two I also decided to get a tattoo at the show ha.

I think I am making it a point to come up for this one next year, assuming finances are in order.

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Like many of the people who visit this site, I am a lifelong gamer who loves and appreciates classic gaming as well as the current generation. When I started collecting games, I realized that some of the stories of my collecting might be interesting, educational, or just plain funny. The stories that I share here are meant to entertain as well as inform and they are all 100% true, which is why I include pictures.

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