Hello everyone and welcome back to another edition of Video Gaming news also known as our Monday Newz. I hope you all had an amazing weekend. It’s no secret that Summer is starting to come to a close. For the next month or so everyone who is celebrating Summer will be getting in their last vacation days, beach days, or whatever days they assimilate with the glorious season that is Summer. I am a big fan of the Summer for all of those reasons mentioned, it gives you the weather needed to be outside (for the most part) BBQing, drinking a couple of beers or your liquid of choice and hanging out with family and friends.
There are also events that only come around once per year during Summer, one such event is the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo. It’s put together at the Cradle Of Aviation Museum in Garden City, Long Island NY and this year was held from August 11th and 12th. This was the expos 4th year going, the All4Gamerz team and I decided to check the expo and see what it was all about. Today’s article will be focusing on our experience at the LI Retro Gaming Expo. Let’s begin!
The Journey Begins
For those of you who might not know about the Cradle Of Aviation, it is a large museum dedicated to the history of aviation. I know, I was just as shocked by that myself. With that being said, because of all the history with aviation, the museum is very large with two levels to it. It was able to hold a lot of different activities from tournaments to cosplayers dressed as Street Fighter characters to pose and perform some martial arts moves. Not only that but there were plenty of tables with items you could purchase, I’ll discuss more on that in a little bit. Just by entering the museum you could tell right away you were going to have a one of a kind experience. The atmosphere was bright and engaging with all things gaming at the forefront plus we walked into steel drums playing the theme song of Super Mario Bros. How much more atmospheric can you get?! If there was any question if LI Retro Gaming Expo knew what they were doing, that was answered immediately with a resounding yes by simply walking in.
Just about anyone can put on an expo, have a few people come in, look at what you got, and then leave. However, it takes talent to organize something that I believe was a wild success. It’s their fourth year doing it so I think there are a few other people out there who would agree with my statement. I personally love Video Games as a tool for self-expression, escapism, and most of all entertainment. Just like Movies and TV but a lot more engaging. Seeing so many people who hold the same thoughts as I do meet up under one roof and celebrate this was astonishing. Not only were there things geared toward retro console gaming but there were also card games and D&D! You could tell that this was designed for gamers from all over the place. The fact that a lot of thought, energy, labor, and love went into making this expo as amazing as it was, still has me spellbound.
As we walked around there were so many things pulling us in so many directions, we wanted to see it all. We were like kids in a candy store bouncing off the walls wanting to eat the whole facility. On the ground level, there were the merchants selling their wares (who says things that way, I feel like I should be a character from The Witcher now) and they had some really amazing things to sell! I first stopped by a booth that was selling NES and SNES games as well as ROMs. I saw a SNES cartridge with Zelda on it that was not A Link To The Past and became very interested. With my interest piqued I picked it up and examined it, it was a ROM called The Legend Of Zelda: Parallel Worlds. People talk about this game online but I never played it. The guy behind the table saw my interest and asked if I would want to play on his mobile SNES device. Of course, I said yes, I didn’t play long because there was so much more to see and do but the few minutes I played it I enjoyed the game. It’s really just an “upgraded” Link To The Past clone where Link now has Blonde hair instead of Pink with more enemies and different puzzles. I didn’t get to the puzzles but that’s what I have heard before. We moved right along from there.
The team and I decided to divide and conquer at one point, pretty much right off the bat really. I walked around and saw more amazing things being sold, not just video games but physical art as well. People have a knack for creating incredible artwork when it comes to a subject matter they are passionate about. I ran into a lot of amazing people who create their own art and I am going to shine some well-deserved light on the ones I met. To start with, there’s a group of people who create their own limited edition shirts over at ONERADTEE.com and their newest shirt is the Arkado Returns Tee. It features a lot of Arcade characters from back in the glory days of the 80’s Arcade cabinets. Check them out and if you like the shirt go ahead and donate to their Kickstarter and snag one for yourself. Of course, LI Retro Gaming had their own shirts of which I sadly did not pick up because I bought so many other pieces of art. Next year will be different! Ok, getting back to the artists.
There was a talented artist by the name if Russ Keach who has a site called Gameoftoons.com. He has a lot of drawings that focus on pop culture and you guessed it, video games. I would check out his site and follow his social media pages as well, he’s very talented and you may just want to pick up one of his drawings and hang it up in your place. One of the tables I stopped at and bought something from was Video Game Shadow Box. His website is VideoGameShadowbox.com, pretty straightforward right there. The owner’s name is Anthony DePalma, he puts these amazing looking shadow boxes together from all different games. He had Metroid, Final Fantasy, Super Mario, and of course Zelda. I should note that I almost drooled on myself when I saw the Zelda ones. Great quality and a very nice guy to speak with. I would encourage anyone who enjoys wall art based on video games to check his site out. If you like art to be a little more traditional in the realm of it being displayed on canvas then I would say check out the guys at Canvas Quest! I was really amazed at all of the work these guys had at their table. The art they had displayed ranged from cover art from games to scenes from the games themselves. One that caught my eye was a Mario 64 piece and it was the cover of the game. The way they had it wrapped on the canvas was great because they had the logos on the sides of the piece so it seemed like you were looking at a really big N64 game box. To find out more about what they do check out their social media for Facebook- facebook.com/canvasquestprints or take a look at their Instagram at canvas_quest.
There are four more people I would really like to talk about here with the next one being the last artist in the way of a pen to paper artistry. Joe Hogan had a pretty small table comparative to a lot of other artists but his illustrations caught the eye of a lot of people including myself. The first thing my eyes noticed was the picture of what looked to be a Goosebumps book but with Majoras Mask on it instead of the iconic green mask my generation and I are used to seeing. I loved it so much, I just had to pick it up. Plus two more illustrations. They’re so good I encourage you to check out Jonhoganart.deviantart.com and prove me wrong. You just might buy something from him yourself.
To wrap up the amazing artists I met while exploring the Expo, I met an amazing guy by the name of Joshua Guskin who owns his own business centered around arcade cabinets called Guscade. He sells arcade cabinets, restores them and he is the amazing customer service rep to speak with when you have a problem. I got the chance to play a little bit on his Pac-Man cabinet and the controls were amazing. They did not feel cheap by any stretch of the imagination, if you love quality arcade cabinets then check out guscade.com. We have been thinking about putting together a podcast for a little while now and will talk more on that in the future, that’s why I am so happy and psyched I got to meet and talk with a gaming podcast called Playable Characters Podcast. The interview video game characters and have been doing so very well! If you’re like me and would want to hear a chain chomp or a bullet bills backstory, you want to check this podcast out. I got to speak with one of the show’s creators Brian McGuinness who was really delightful to speak with. His explanation of the premise of the show got me excited to check them out and I say go and do the same at iTunes or google play music or check them out at playablecharacterspodcast.com.
Before I speak about the last artist we ran into, I would like to take a moment and go over the second part of our day. In between all of the video games that were being sold and all of the art that was being bought my self and the team decided to check out the upstairs. Upstairs had a little more of the same, art, video games, and apparel being sold. Also Emperor Palpatine and a stormtrooper walking around. Did I mention there was a lot of Star Wars stuff too?! Sorry, back on track. There was a playable museum of a lot of Gamings most amazing titles from the past on their original platforms! There was Sonic The Hedgehog and Echo the dolphin on the Genesis, the OG Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo 64, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat Arcade cabinets. It brought a tear to my eye to see so many CRTVs with the systems I grew up with and children excited to pick it up and play. There was of course tournaments and LAN parties but that was at another location downstairs and unfortunately, the team and I did not witness or participate in any except one LAN party which I took a quick picture of.
The playable museum was my favorite part of the day, I got a chance to show that I really wasn’t half bad at Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. I went 3-0 and will hold that until next year. Speaking of me patting myself on the back, this is an amazing transition for the last artist we were fortunate to meet. Towards the tail end of our Journey, we met It’s All Fun And Games from YouTube. Dom who is the face or voice of the channel had an amazing set up for audio and camera. He really brought the professional aspect to what a lot of other people would shrug off as “just a hobby”. He is really passionate about what he does and he has some really interesting things on his channel such as reviews, top 10 lists, and of course highlights from the LI Retro Gaming Expo. The team and I met with him and did some video game trivia for his channel. The team did well with getting 1 to 2 questions correct but I was the only one who went 3 for 3. I will use both the 3-0 arcade wins and the 3/3 trivia questions correct as bragging rights until next year. Please check out his content at Domsfunandgames.com, you won’t be disappointed.
Time To Hit The Dusty Trail
We had spent a few hours walking around this year’s Expo but we can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to be there for both Saturday and Sunday. Was there any magic we missed by going on one day or did we get to see all the Expo had to offer? We will never know for this year but that is why next year we plan on going not only for both days but we will set up our own table there as well! We all went home with amazing treasures, great memories, and met some amazing people. I hope everyone who attended had just as much fun as we did and we all look forward to going again next year. Here are more photos of us and the Expo, enjoy!
Thank you all for taking the time to read up about our time at the 2018 LI Retro Gaming Expo, make sure to come by next year if you can. If you liked what you read, leave a comment down below or if you didn’t like it leave one telling me why you didn’t like it. Until next week everyone, take care.