Remember the good old days of videogames? You and your friends huddled around a tiny CRT TV kicking each other in Street Fighter, battling Bowser in Super Mario Bros, or blasting demons in Doom. Modern videogames offer best in class visuals and expansive experiences. But there’s nothing quite like blowing into a cartridge, slamming it into a console, and enjoying the simple games of time gone by. If that description triggered even the smallest twang of nostalgia, dive deep into the feels at Classic Game Fest 2022 at the Palmer Events Center. Whether you’re an NES junkie or an Atari nerd, there’s something for everyone to remember and enjoy.
Classic Game Fest – Born from the love of gaming
When Classic Game Fest founder and organizer David Kaelin first conceived the yearly event, it started as a retro gaming tournament. Taking place in the summer of 2007 at the original Austin location of Game Over Videogames, the tournament soon grew from competition to convention in a matter of years. Today, it’s the largest retro convention in Texas and the fifth largest in the US.
But the vibe is the same as it’s always been.
“The overall vibe of CGF is a relaxed, family-friendly, and nostalgic video game experience”, shared Kaelin in 2021. “You can see, play, buy, sell, collect the games and systems as well as meet the people who made them, play in tournaments, hear live video game music performances, etc. It’s a fully immersive retro gaming-centered experience!”
Classic Game Fest 2022 – So much to do!
Like last year, Classic Game Fest expanded to two floors and this year is no different. The first thing fans see upon walking in is the vendor hall. Nearly 100 sellers of retro games, custom crafts, gamer culture apparel and the occasional cosplay weaponry full the heart of the hall. If you’re a retro videogame collector, you need to be there when the doors open with a VIP wristband. And while it’s a blast cruising the booths soaking in the nostalgia, if a classic game or neat desk toy catches your eye, pick it up! Nothing better than supporting independent artisans and vendors.
For those like me who aren’t retro collectors, Classic Game Fest isn’t just a marketplace. As a celebration of all things videogames, there’s more to do than shop. The upstairs stage plays host to panels from a variety of streamers, YouTube personalities, and stars from your favorite games. Highlights include the creator of Q*Bert Warren Davis, the voice of Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat, Daniel Pesina, and author Brett Weiss.
The upstairs floor also features a free-play arcade with games from yesterday and yesteryear along with regular performances by videogame-themed musical acts. Regular attendees like Bitforce, DJ Rockman, and Descendants of Erdrick are joined by K-Murdock and Gross Angel. Add to the festivities an amazing cosplay contest toward the end of the second day, and you have a complete weekend of gamer-focused fun.
Speaking of contests, Classic Game Fest is filled with videogame tournaments. From a qualifying Tetris competition to Mario Kart, there’s an event for everybody. C’mon now. Admit it. You’ve been bragging about your Rocket League skills for years. Time to show them off at Classic Game Fest!
Classic Game Fest 2022 – A Treat for Gamers Everywhere
But the main thing I love about Classic Game Fest, and any gaming convention, is the sense of community. Talking about games with like-minded enthusiasts is a bonding experience that goes beyond the booths and the bands. It’s about creating connections with cool people who simply love the games of yesteryear.
So, whether you owned Super Mario World as a kid, competed in Halo LAN parties, or own your friends in Fortnight, Classic Game Fest should be where you are July 23rd and 24th. It’ll be an amazing weekend of vendors, games, and new experiences.
When: July 23rd and 24th
Where: Palmer Events Center More info: https://classicgamefest.com/
How Much: VIP Weekend passes that include a t-shirt and early entry are $40. VIP Weekend passes without the shirt run $25. Saurday only will cost $20 and Sunday only runs $10.
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