|Louisville Arcade Expo 2013
||[Mar. 11th, 2013|12:42 pm]
Yep.. still alive... just mostly living on Facebook these days, but there was enough in this past weekend to merit posting it all here.|
So... The expo... I found out about it on Friday afternoon... it was a 3.5 hour drive from my home, and I didn't have huge, solid plans, so I said, the heck with it, I'm going to go.
While I had the opportunity to be impulsive, no one else apparently did, so I was going to go alone. In the interests of saving a bit of cash, I decided to make it a day trip, to save the cost of a night or two in the hotel. I packed up my vintage handheld game systems (Atari Lynx, and Neo Geo Pocket Color) (since they mentioned consoles would be there) and set off for Louisville at a nice, early, 7:30am
The trip down was pretty easy, and I had plenty of music along the way to keep me focused on driving, though, I did spend a fair bit of time muddling through what I would be doing costume-wise for this year. I've set some ambitious goals. I just need to make it happen.
I got to louisville with time to spare, and as I got there, I started to recognize the freeway exits/road signs, and it turned out this was being held at the same hotel that CONglomeration was held in last year. Doh! Since I had a little extra time on my hands, I stopped off at the liquor barn across the street and augmented my mini liquor bottle collection. (The chess set is essentially done, but I have decided I like the numerous varieties of small bottles, and I've got the space, and for the most part, this stuff doesn't go bad, so why not?)
My new aquisitions safely tucked away in the car, I checked into the expo. More or less a grand ball room, with the lights dimmed, and hundreds of arcade machines and pinballs, all set to free play. Many classics were there, and some were for sale, others were simply on loan from the private owners. I played a great number of games, reminisced about games I used to really enjoy, and got to see both some new, prototype pinball machines and some ridiculously rare, "I've only heard stories about them" games, to include the rare, head to head pinball table version of Joust.
They also had a side room for vintage computer and console games, also containing many cherished memories and a few systems that you really only ever just heard about in whispered conversations. I got to show off my Lynx set with a couple of the guys who were on staff, and I was able to set up at a table for a while to let kids try them out. They'd never seen anything like them before, and it was cool to get to share this bit of gaming history with them. (and, it was a chance for me to play some multi-player games with them, that I don't often get to play with folks).
On top of all this, I got to finally sit down and socialize with a couple people I knew from the steampunk community, but had never really had a chance to get to know. Ginny and Chuck were manning the table for the Derby City Comicon, so they were pretty much there for the duration of the show. Ginny had just gotten back from touring the Jim Beam distillery, which I wish I had known about as I would have gladly joined in on. We spent a while gabbing about games and memories and just really getting to know each other. It was nice to have some friendly faces to talk with. I don't mind going places alone, but over the last several years, it's gotten to be the exception, rather than the rule for me to go places without companionship.
Even so, over the course of the day, I had opportunity to talk with other game enthusiasts. I taught a lady how to play Track & Field, I swapped pinball advice with a trio of gents who were standing in the midst of the pinball area in awe of the assembled electronics, and they were exceedingly welcoming when I mentioned this was my first trip to the expo. They were locals, and I have to say, There was a bit of Kentucky charm.
I also was able to put my working knowledge of arcade machines to use by putting free credits on a couple games that were not set to free play for whatever reason. I made quite a few people happy by enabling them to play games they had never had an opportunity before to play. In between all that, I took a break, outside, to see a couple guys stuck in the parking lot. One of them had left the car lights on, and run down their battery. I popped over to my car to retrieve my jumper cables, and got their car started again.
I would have called it a successful day at that, but I received a gracious invitation from Ginny and Chuck to have dinner with them. I took them up on it, as Ginny had heard of a neat little local place that specialized in a variety of bourbon based drinks and food. A short hop down the road, and a couple hours later, we were all pleasantly full, happily surprised at the cocktails, and much richer for the shared conversations.
I took my leave around 9:45, and drove home, though I did stop off just outside of cincinatti to grab a quick catnap as I was starting to feel sleepy. Made it home, safe and sound, and lost an hour of sleep to daylight savings.
It's been a while since I got to do anything like this that wasn't planned out to the nth degree. I'm glad I listened to the little kid in me, and went to play.