Hey man, what are you doing this weekend?

NO! WRONG! You're riding your bike down to the Portland Crowne Plaza Hotel and soaking in 10 hours of classic gaming via the 2009 Portland Retro Gaming Expo!


The latest issue of The Merc should be hitting newsstands sometime today and it includes a shamefully short preview of the event. Since the block o' text I'm afforded in print is only 330 words I couldn't go into full details on what exactly will be appearing at the Expo, but Blogtown saddles me with no such limitations.

I recently bounced emails back and forth with PRGE organizer/retro gaming aficionado/disarmingly polite guy Chuck Van Pelt of RecycledGamer on why exactly people ought to attend the show and he sent over a comprehensive list of what exactly would be in attendance. Hit the jump for a full rundown.

Says Mr. Van Pelt:

Here's the vendor/exhibit list:

* AtariAge - This is an online Atari collectors forum. They will be releasing a few new homebrew Atari 2600 games at our show. Homebrew games are new games written for classic game consoles.
* Billy Galaxy - Portland, OR - Retro toy store located on East Burnside
* ChaseTheChuckWagon.com - This is an online auction site specializing in classic home video games
* Corey Strite - Longview, WA - Individual collector selling classic games
* Deep End Gear - Makers of custom game console dust covers
* DQU Comics - producers of the Terragoth Chronicles comic series
* Gerald Levinzon - Seattle, WA - Individual collector selling classic games
* Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade - Portland retro gaming mecca
* NintendoAge - An online forum for collectors of Nintendo games and systems
* RecycledGamer - Portland, OR - This is me - I'll have a booth where I sell classic video games
* Y-bot Classic Video Games - Portland, OR - Individual collector selling classic games
* Don Russell - Roseville, CA - Individual collector selling classic games
* Josh England - Portland, OR - Individual collector selling classic games
* Colby Statchwick - Sandy, OR - Individual collector selling classic games
* Batari - Portland, OR - Creator of Batari BASIC programming language for homebrew Atari game creation.
* The Nerd Report - Portland, OR - A local internet podcast show, they will be broadcasting the Expo live on the internet
* GameTrader - Beaverton, OR - Used video game store
* Nathan Mayo - Hillsboro, OR - Individual collector selling classic games
* John Masterson - Seattle, WA - Individual collector selling classic games
* CD Game Exchange - Portland, OR - Used video game store
* Video Game Wizards - Portland, OR - Used video game store

Other happenings

* A performance by chiptune music artist Leeni (http://www.leeni.us)
* Bill Carlton - World record holder for Missile Command and subject of the documentary "High Score". Bill will have a table where he will talk with fans about his experiences. Bill is also bringing several full-size arcade video games for free play.
* Classic game console timeline - A display of video game consoles from Pong through the modern era.
* Live auction - We will auction off 20 classic gaming collectibles from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
* Freeplay area - There will be a large section of classic video game consoles set up for all attendees to play for free. There are also several game tournaments scheduled that are open to all comers.
* The "Atari Living Room" of the 1970's - We will recreate a 70's living room complete with orange plaid couch, shag carpet, woodgrain TV set and of course and Atari 2600.
* Full-size, fully functional R2-D2 robot owned by Scott Boothby of Vancouver, WA. Scott brought R2 last year and he was a big hit. He has since added even more features - this thing is really amazing.

The show kicks off Sunday, September 20 at 10AM and the Expo closes its doors at 8PM. Ticket info can be found at the official website, and those interested in attending should get tickets, like, yesterday. There's very real concerns that the Expo may pre-sell its entire lot of tickets, so try to get yours ASAP.

And if 10 hours of reliving your childhood just isn't enough, Ground Kontrol is hosting both a pre- and post-Expo party. 7PM to 2:30AM on Saturday for the first party and 8PM until question marks on Sunday for the second.

Also, double points to the first person to score me a copy of Pulseman. My birthday is the day after the Expo, so you'd be a dick if you didn't spend wads of cash on me.