Last weekend, I attended the 2019 Portland Retro Gaming Expo. I had an awesome time there.
The Portland Retro Gaming Expo. remains a show, taking heart in the Pacific Northwest US for its 14th year now. The cultural event grows a little more every year, celebrating older video and electronic games for their history, aesthetic, social aspects, and cultural impact. Vintage games include pinball, arcade machines, console setups, handheld devices, and other related oddities, Throughout many treasures to be appreciated, purchased, played, and discovered.
Here are some pictures and notes to share of my PRGE experience, showing small parts of this grand show…
Many merchants here, with the best colors of our classy consoles on the table!
On one table, a small sampling of rare imports at this PRGE
Some cool rare oddities, including TOPO, the programmable robot from the early 1980s
Playable Atari games at one booth, with old school TVs to match
Another interesting find, an extra violent edition of the original Resident Evil for the PC!
A few cheap treasures from dealers I purchased, with my guide
Also at PRGE, many creative artists and developers. Some with their own homebrew games, which I sadly overlooked in pictures. But also many just selling print or promoting webcomics and other creative work influenced by retro games. Here’s Spicy (Twitter @SpicySpaceDragn), one of many artists here.
James Rolfe, AKA the Angry Video Game Nerd was a special guest this year. Sorry for the bad picture.
Also here…console gaming playable for every generation
Arcade gaming all day,, free to play!
Nights into Dreams, an underrated Sega Saturn classic. This beautiful lenticular poster brings back precious memories.
Many, many pinball machines here, both vintage and the newest available for free play/
The music in the free play area was off the hook, and set the mood there to an awesome 80’s arcade glory that made the show more worthwhile
The best panel I went to, a reunion of Nintendo Game Counselors who worked the glory days of Nintendo HQ’s call center. Lots of fun stories, insider tidbits, and history told. Enjoyed every minute.
At that same panel, a surprise guest in the audience… Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris!
Briefly meeting Alexey Pajitnov was a big joy for me. He also signed my show pass.
Another awesome guest at PRGE at a panel, Howard Phillips, a main spokesman and producer of Nintendo of America throughout the 8-bit era. You may remember him in cartoon form from the Howard and Nester comic strips in the early Nintendo Power magazines.
Among the best of the show, this gaming history exhibit showcasing Nintendo history focused on the anniversary of the Game Boy and Nintendo Game Counselor service. I will share more pictures on that experience, in part 2 of my PRGE adventure (posting soon!).