Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Live at Keller Auditorium March 4!
Jason Isbell has established himself as one of the most respected songwriters of his generation. Don’t miss Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, March 4th at Keller Auditorium!

It's that time of year, boys and girls, when every geek's fancy turns to thoughts of blocky pixels and single-button joysticks. Yes, my friends, 'tis time once again for the Portland Retro Gaming Expo.

I've pasted the official press release below the jump, but the crucial details are as follows: The event is scheduled for September 24 and 25, will be held at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel and tickets are priced anywhere from $10 to $45, depending on how many people you're bringing with you, and how much of the weekend you'd like to spend at the gathering.

Anything I didn't cover above, or that the below press release misses, can be found at the official Portland Retro Gaming Expo site. Likewise, if you want to see things we've written about the event in previous years, I've got hyperlinks here, here and here.

We'll have a more detailed preview of the 2011 iteration of the PRGE in an upcoming copy of the Mercury's wood pulp iteration. Stay tuned.

As promised, the press release:


August 30, 2011 - Portland, Ore. - The sixth-annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE) will be held at a new location in 2011: the Doubletree Hotel in Portland’s Lloyd District. The new venue will allow the Expo to accommodate several enhancements including more space in common areas and a greatly expanded freeplay arcade. The Doubletree location also offers closer proximity to public transportation and restaurants.

PRGE is a convention attracting fans of video games and their history. It is made up of three areas: The Freeplay Arcade, the Theater and the Vendor Marketplace.

The Freeplay Arcade allows attendees to play 30 full-size arcade games, 6 pinball machines and over 40 home video game consoles including classic like the Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. All games are free to play with paid admission.

The Theater is a venue within the Expo hall where attendees can see a number of speakers and panels. The Expo keynote will include Thor Aackerlund and Robin Mihara, the first- and third-place winners of the 1990 Nintendo World Championships.

The Vendor Marketplace is by far the largest and most popular part of the convention. It will host over 35 vendors selling everything from classic video game consoles to gaming-related crafts and homebrew video games.

Additionally, the Expo includes a video game trivia contest, a cosplay/costume contest and a live auction featuring rare video game items and memorabilia.

At 17,000 square feet, the exhibit hall at the Doubletree will double the size of last year's Expo. This will allow more breathing room for vendors and attendees and, unlike last year, the event will take place in one large hall instead of being spread across multiple smaller rooms. Additional enhancements in 2011 include a live DJ, a larger theater and an expanded roster of speakers and entertainers.

“The Expo will be twice the size it was last year. We've grown from 250 people in 2006 to over 1,200 people in 2010. Our expansion in 2011 is mainly a response to the growth in interest and attendance we've seen in the last few years.” says Chuck Van Pelt, one of the organizers of the PRGE.

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“We listen to what our attendees say after each event and roll those suggestions into the next Expo. For example, our Vendor Marketplace has always been the most popular part of the show and has been expanded to over 35 unique exhibitors this year. ”

For tickets or information on the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, visit

[Propers to Molotov Arts for the header image.]
[Edited slightly because Bobby Roberts is much smarter than I am.]

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30