Just like a republished classic game on a modern console, the convention Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2022 was back in full swing at the Oregon Convention Center from the 14th to the 16th of October. The show floor was bustling with sellers that filled their tables to the brim with games. The ongoing recession doesn’t seem to yet have any effect on the prices of classic games that remain on a higher level overall from the common titles to the more sought-after games like In The Hunt, Lunar: Silver Star Story, and Bubble Bobble Part 2 that all go for several hundreds of dollars.
Besides classics, one could also find brand new games to classic consoles like Yeah Yeah Beebiss II and Project Blue to NES. Atari Age showed off official versions of classic games in new versions to Atari consoles such as Gods and The Chaos Engine for Jaguar, and Boulder Dash and Lode Runner for Atari 2600.
But it’s not all about commerce, the organization behind Portland Retro Gaming Expo wants to “celebrate the historic contribution video games have made and continue to make in popular culture”. This can be seen through various exhibitions and panels. Among the exhibitions this year was the Art of Nintendo Power, an exposé of Pac-Man, and a room filled with Sega Saturn games and consoles. The panels included developers such as Howard Scott Warshaw (ET, Yar’s Revenge) and Warren Davis (Q*Bert) telling their stories, and matter experts like Jeremy Parish (Retronauts) and The Gaming Historian talking about specific topics like the 8-bit games of Sega.
The convention hosts several competitions such as the Blockbuster World Video Game Championship III, but the highlight is without any doubt the annual Classic Tetris World Championship. For the first time in-person since 2019, the Tetris championship drew a big audience cheering on the contestants. The enduring final between Eric “EricICX” Total and Justin “Fractal” Yu was played past the closing time of the convention show hours and saw record-breaking 2.1 million points by both players in the NES version of Tetris which the tournament is played on. Eric Tolt won 3-1 games and took home the golden Tetris trophy.
Overall Portland Retro Gaming Expo was an amazing and overwhelming experience that shows the importance of conventions for meeting and sharing the passion for classic video games and their history. You can check out a gallery of photos below: