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Time Warps

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If there's one flaw in my ultimate goal of making huge bags of scratch writing about videogames, it's that most of you reading this are already furiously thumbing your sweaty way toward the escort ads in the back of the paper. If there are two flaws however, it's that I live in Portland: For all our amazing coffee, pretentious microbrews, and tattooed ladies of flexible morality, we have an almost complete lack of any sort of game development scene. California is the American Mecca of game development, and Seattle plays host to Microsoft and Nintendo. What Portland does have, though, is a host of people who remember exactly how awesome the good old days were.

These people include the Northwest Classic Games Enthusiasts, hosts of this weekend's Portland Retro Games Expo (PRGE). The full details of the event are too immense to fit inside my tiny newsprint box (look for a full rundown on blogtown.portlandmercury.com), but those of you with ruby-hued memories of burning through hundreds of dollars in smoky arcades and arguing the superiority of Sega over Nintendo (suck it, Mario!) suddenly have plans for the weekend.

Not just for collectors (though there will be a huge number of classic game aficionados there looking to buy, sell, and trade the treasures of your childhood), the PRGE also boasts a live performance from hyper-precious chiptune artist Leeni, a freeplay area stocked with classic consoles and arcade games, numerous classic gaming tournaments, and a fully functional R2-D2 replica. (Yes, it's treading right into Star Wars fandom, but it makes me giggle, so it gets a mention.) Tickets are just $10 (either at the door or on the PGRE website, retrogamingexpo.com), so you have no excuse: two fancy beers will put a bigger dent in your wallet, and no bottle of Angry Turtle Fedora Pilsner will remind you why you spent your childhood playing with a fat Italian.

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