Between the Toes of the Giant: Gam3rCon

Gam3rCon (2)San Diego Comic Con is a beast.  It’s the biggest, baddest giant in town.  Yet, surprisingly, growing between its toes is an event called Gam3rCon!  Rather than withering in SDCC‘s shadow, Gam3rCon is thriving!Gam3rCon Main Floor Racing (1)

In some ways, I scratch my head that there are gamers who live in the San Diego area and don’t attend Comic Con.  Some are just not interested, or they’re interested but couldn’t get a ticket.  Others would attend SDCC but hate all the hype and crowds.

That’s where Gam3rCon comes in.  It’s small. It’s gaming.  It’s not Comic Con.  This was our first year to check it out, and I have to say I was impressed!

Gam3rCon Main Floor (4)Ok, so Gam3rCon is small and independent…but not really that small.  These guys and gals rent out a five story building and pack it with an insane amount of content.  Upon entering, a gamer walks into an old church sanctuary that has been converted to a shrine to gaming with dozens of Xbox 360s and PS3s.  Shooters, fighters, and DoTA seemed to dominate the scene, while a driving simulator was projected on the wall.

Gam3rCon Retro Gaming Room (3)All the while, upstairs is a retro gaming room complete with Atari, NES, SNES, N64, Dreamcast, PS2 and a freak’n rad Fairchild Channel F!  Yup, that’s the room where I parked for a bit.

Down the hall is an art gallery with some solid works of art, and if you’re interested in creating your own art, we spotted some graffiti and silk screening going on as well.  Did we mention the huge, green-screen photo booth for those of us who are less than artistic?!  Check out our interview with Mr. Benja from The 8-bit Cubist for more on that art gallery:

If tabletop gaming is more your thing, there was plenty of that going on in the tabletop gaming lounge.  Up on the roof was pizza and comedy.  Add to that film screenings and a bunch of other stuff that we probably didn’t even find, and there’s something for everyone.

If you’re thinking about doing both San Diego Comic Con and Gam3rCon, we wish you all the best.  Both are great and worth checking out.  As a pretty active guy in his 30s, I was hurting after packing both into one day.  If they were staggered by a week or two, I would have loved spending more time at both.  Yeah, I know, cry me a river, right?

Regardless, I’m stoked that there is one more gaming option in Southern California.  Best of all, this small, independent gaming con is thriving!  Game on!

Check out the gallery below for a closer look at Gam3rCon.

Gaming at the 2013 San Diego Fair

San Diego Fair Sign Custom (1)Game On Gaming Area (13)Star Trek Captain Kirk's Chair Tribble

If you live in the San Diego area and love gaming, today is the last day to Game On at the San Diego Fair!  Besides all the rides, great food, pig races, and other goofy fair stuff, this year’s theme was perfect for us electronically minded folks.

Our favorite part?

Collections!  Little did we know that the Fair allows people to display their collections.

Hand-made Items!  Created by adults and students, we were blown away by the talent and creativity of these gaming-inspired creations.

Retro Arcade!  Let’s be honest, shouldn’t every fair have a retro arcade?

 

Double Dragon vs Double Abobo Fists!?

So, you’re playing Double Dragon and get thumped on by a big dude named Abobo…

Do you lie awake wondering about Abobo’s back story?
Do you ask yourself if Abobo is actually ALSO fighting to save someone he loves?
Do you daydream about whether or not Abobo could fit into a Megaman suit or about whether or not he could hold his own as one of the Contra guys?

Well if you’re answered “YES” to any of these questions, you’re not alone! All the answers and more lie within Abobo’s Big Adventure!

Seriously, who would be crazy enough to rewrite NES gaming history around the Double Dragon character Abobo?! Clearly insanity and brilliance go hand in hand, because Abobo is both bad & rad enough to knock the socks of the 8-bit generation!

Our thanks to Nick and Roger from Abobo’s Big Adventure for doing an interview with us at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con!

Interested in building your own Abobo’s Big Adventure arcade cabinet?  These guys were kind enough to include instructions here.

Our First SC3!

Either someone put a flux capacitor into my Honda Accord, or a group of collectors in Southern California just gathered for some serious retro gaming. My wife Amber and I just attend our first SC3 meeting. For those of you who are new to the Southern California Classic Collectors group like me, let me fill you in. A bunch of private collectors bring together a fantastic, and I mean freak’n fantastic, assortment of their retro arcade machines and home consoles. For $10 each, Amber and I had unlimited playtime on machines like Zoo Keeper, Cosmic Chasm, Jungle King, Paperboy, Tron, Satan’s Hollow, Gorf, Burger Time…and the list goes on!

Our favorites were easily Warlords and Turkey Shoot! I’d love to meet the guy who invented Turkey Shoot. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s the deal. Turkeys are robbing banks, and you have to shoot them before they get sacks of money off the screen. Naturally, you get hand grenades and, yes, a “gobble” button. If that wasn’t great enough, after you die, a fan blows real feathers in front of the screen. Yup, awesome.

Warlords was pretty great too. I’m a big fan of Rampart and would simply describe Warlords and a fast-paced mix of Rampart and 4-player Pong. This seemed to be one of the most popular and socially interactive machines on the floor! Great machine!

We had a little sale table at the event. It was great to sell some video game repair tools and to chat with other collectors. However, I was happy to know that people at SC3 function on an honor system with buying and trading. That meant we didn’t have to camp out at our table and spent a majority of our time out on the arcade floor!

Mike Kennedy of GameGavel.com did a pretty great raffel in which every ticket holder got a prize.  Well done Mike!

SC3 was a hit, and we’re already looking forward to the next one!

 

Rare Game Showcase: Stadium Events and a Can of Snake Meat

As per usual, there are a good number of fantastic rare video games and collectibles on eBay.  So which will be more valuable, can of snake meat or a custom portable NES?

Games / Systems

Stadium Events NES NTSC Cart Sold Sept. 8, 2010 for $1255.00 USD.

I met the owner of this cart at the Tetris World Championship where he gave me the inside scoop on finding this game.  I’m going to respect his confidence by not disclosing exactly where he found it.  However, he did find it as a random retro video game shop.  According to him, he got it for something like $10.  Bringing it up the the register, he was sure that the owner, who was plenty game savvy, would recognize the game as being rare and reprice it.  Apparently the title had just slipped under owner’s radar, and the guy sold him the game.  He, it does sort of look like a worthless sports game, doesn’t it?  Moral of the story, go check your local video game shops…you never know.

Entex Adventure Vision Arcade Cartridge System Complete in BOX Currently at $710.00 USD with 17 hours to go

Uncharted 2 Fortune Hunter Edition Playstation 3 Game This listing is currently active with $620.00 in bids.  It’s a bit fishy that the seller is using a stock photo.

Wood Custom Portable Nintendo NES Apparently, guys in Turkey make fantastic looking NES handhelds.

CONTINUUM SERIES 1 – THE INFERNAL TETRAMORPH Vectrex Game Boxed Set Sold Sept. 1, 2010 for $212.51 USD.

Given the cool $1,026.51 USD that someone recently spent on an another Vectrex homebrew…all I have to say is, homebrewers…keep on brewing!  Here’s a bit of info from the game’s author:

LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET – 10 SETS ONLY!
Each boxed set is numbered:  __ of 10 on the back of the box.
The game is also numbered in the program, matching the box.

BONUS PUZZLE!
Each special edition cartridge contains one bonus puzzle!
The Series 1 bonus puzzle is:  THE INFERNAL TETRAMORPH

BONUS ITEM!
Each set contains a Sector-X/Continuum themed bonus pack-in item!
The Series 1 bonus item is:  THE SECTOR-X NIGHTLIGHT SET*
2 awesome collectible nightlights from the Sector-X tetralogy!
1 CONTINUUM NIGHTLIGHT + 1 ADDITIONAL NIGHTLIGHT (chosen randomly)

PRINTED BOXES!
A deviation from our normal stock labeled boxes, these are ultra high
quality sturdy shiny retail boxes complete with bonus item window display!

more info

CONTINUUM SERIES 2 – THE 7 PILLARS OF PURGATORY Vectrex Game Boxed Set Ended Sept. 9, 2010 at $330.51 USD.

LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET – 10 SETS ONLY!
Each boxed set is numbered:  __ of 10 on the back of the box.
The game is also numbered in the program, matching the box.

BONUS PUZZLE!
Each special edition cartridge contains one bonus puzzle!
The Series 1 bonus puzzle is:  THE INFERNAL TETRAMORPH

BONUS ITEM!
Each set contains a Sector-X/Continuum themed bonus pack-in item!
The Series 1 bonus item is:  THE SECTOR-X NIGHTLIGHT SET*
2 awesome collectible nightlights from the Sector-X tetralogy!
1 CONTINUUM NIGHTLIGHT + 1 ADDITIONAL NIGHTLIGHT (chosen randomly)

PRINTED BOXES!
A deviation from our normal stock labeled boxes, these are ultra high
quality sturdy shiny retail boxes complete with bonus item window display!

more info

Action 52 NES Game New Sealed Sold Sept. 9, 2010 for $234.47 USD.

Accessories

Sega 3-D Glasses New Complete Sold on Sept. 8, 2010 for $202.56 USD.

Collectibles

Metal Gear Solid 3 – Promotional Can of Snake Meat This auction is still live and has bids up to $117.00 USD.

Only the Metal Gear franchise can boost a game’s success by handing out cans of snake meat.

Wolf medallion from The Witcher – Rare This auction is still live and has bids up to $67.00 USD.

World of Nintendo Neon Sign 1987 This item didn’t sell for the seller’s steep asking price of $800 USD; however, it’s a pretty gem none the less.

Death Race by Exidy Arcade Game Flyer Sold Sept. 4, 2010 for $14.99 USD.

If you’ve never played Death Race, it’s an experience in itself. You drive a car using an arcade steering wheel with the purpose of running over skeletons.  Each time you do, it leaves behind a tomb stone.  The skeletons are pretty quick little guys, so its trickier than it sounds.  As innocent as that sounds by today’s standards, when I played it for the first time, it was undeniably creepy.  I can only imagine the reaction when this game first came out.

Rare Game Showcase: Mr. Boston & Entex Adventure Vision

Check out these fantastic gems! Each could easily be the centerpiece of a video game collection. It’s amazing to see so many rare items appear on eBay within such a short time frame.

Sega Wondermega megadrive/ genesis mega CD console Ended Aug. 21, 2010 for £261.00.

Here’s a bit of info from the seller.

This auction is for the ultra rare Victor Sega Wondermega console. It’s an all in one Megadrive and Sega CD combo, and being produced by the sound specialists Victor, it utilises superior audio and video capabilities to the regular console. The machine also does a lot of stuff besides play games. It has a visualsation program from music cds (a big deal in 1993,) also built in Midi capabilites allows users to attach any Midi device along with keyboards and additional software to create thier own music. And since this is the Japanese we’re talking about there is of course a built in Karaoke function.

The console is in great condition as you can see, it’s also been modded to play (region free) pal games. It is bundled with a Japanese psu, s-video cable for superior picture quality, and comes with Sonic CD, Night trap and Gunstar Heroes.

Entex Adventure Vision Mini Arcade Game Console 1982 Ended Aug 23, 2010 for $1,176.00 USD.

This one also has a great writeup by the seller. I love it when sellers are collectors!

The Adventure Vision was a self-contained (no external monitor required) cartridge-based video game console released by Entex Industries in 1982. The Adventure Vision uses a single vertical line of 40 red LEDs combined with a spinning mirror inside the casing to simulate 150 vertical rows (thus making it 150×40 resolution).

Estimates are that only about 50,000 of them were sold, and only about 100 of those still exist today. Our auction today includes the game unit, 3 game cartridges and 2 original game boxes. The game has always been well-cared for and is still operational.

Mr. Boston Vectrex Game Complete in Box Ended Aug 15, 2010 at $3,827.00 with a “Reserve note met.” It seems the seller (vectrex.com-net-org) was hoping for $5,000+.

Ultra rare, there are only a handful of these known to exist, and the seller states this is only one of two complete copies known. That makes this way rarer than a Nintendo World Championships cartridge. The only difference is that very few people collect Vectrex stuff, so even something this rare doesn’t garner the same demand as a Nintendo icon.

Myrian Games Six in One 6-in-1 NES Panesian Nintendo Game Ended Aug 30, 2010 for $710.00 USD.

Hot Slots Complete NES Panesian Nintendo Game Ended Aug 30, 2010 for $797.77 USD.

Peek-A-Boo Poker Complete NES Panesian Nintendo Game Ended Aug 30, 2010 for $810.00 USD.

Original Pac-Man Concept Sketches

Remember being a kid and sketching out your idea for a video game level?  My buddies and I loved to do this on the bus ride to school!  We’d draw out the level complete with pits, vines, booby traps, monsters, etc.  Then, still on paper, we’d challenge each other to tackle one another’s levels.  Naturally, none of those levels ever made it beyond out trapper keepers to the gaming world…

However, the drawings of Toru Iwatani are an entirely different story.  Not only did Iwatani do the gaming world a fantastic service by creating the iconic Pac-Man, but he actually preserved his original game design sketches for the last 30 years!  Most likely he sketched them in either 1979 or 1980.  Check out his different pixilated variations of Pac-Man and the differences between his concept board and the release version.

Iwatani revealed the sketches at the 2010 NLGD Festival of Games in the Netherlands.  Special thanks to Control for revealing these to the world.

The photos were taken by Sandra Pompe NL EVD International (Agency NL).

World Record Donkey Kong 3 Arcade Machine

Records will be set.  Machines will suffer…

If you enjoyed the movie “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” then you might find a current eBay listening of interest as it has to do with the Donkey Kong 3 world record.

Donkey Kong 3 (Arcade) World Record 3,087,100 machine! (Update:  Auction ended July 1, 2010 at $60.67 USD)

George Riley is the current world record holder for Donkey Kong 3 at 3,087,100 points (Marathon) and 857,200 (Tournament Settings).  He’s now ready to retire the machine on which he set those records.  If you’re into video game history and are a Donkey Kong nut, this may be your auction.

Of note is the fact that I was the first person ever to be recognized for getting a score of over 3 million points, and thereby flipping the game 3 different times for the first time ever.  For some history it needs to be noted that only 3 different Donkey Kong arcade games were ever released in the United States during the early 80’s.  They being Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and of course Donkey Kong 3.  The first two have fame for being featured in the film King of Kong.  Now the odds of getting a machine that has held the record on Donkey Kong, or Donkey Kong Jr. are pretty slim.  So here is your opportunity to own a piece of history.

Naturally though the machine has its share of wear.  It would be fascinating to know even an estimate of how many hours are logged on this and other world record machines.

Now about the condition.  This machine used to be originally a Donkey Kong machine before they turned it into a DK3 machine.  The spraying butten works great, and I have never had a problem with it.  Now the controller is a different story.  It at times seems hard to move, but it is still playable.  The fact that I was able to get a world record on this machine would make this obvious.  Now the main problem that has come up with the machine as of late is the fact that the monitor has been acting screwy.  For instance right after I uploaded a 2.4 million point game to Youtube the screen went down about a third making it so you could not see Stanley on the bottom level.  From what I can see this only happens when you play the game excessively at one time.  So if you are an average player who dies out in 10 to 15 minutes you will probably have no problems.  I will also provide links to Youtube to show the game play of the machine.  The video was made just recently about 3 days before auction, so it is still fresh.    The pictures that you see though were taken the day of auction.  I will start off the auction redicously low at .99 cents.  Since I can’t really ship this I will make it Pick Up Only, but I don’t mind if you find a third party company that will pick up the machine from my apartment to ship it out at your cost.  Just let them know that I live on the second floor of an Apartment building, and there is no elevator.  Thank you very much for looking, and good luck!:)

I love the fact that Riley included some YouTube videos of his playing the machine.  And, yeah, he’s good…plus I love the commentary from player videos like this.,

The auction is “local pick-up only,” so if you live in the Adelanto, California, this may be your chance to for a piece of retro gaming history.