THIS WEEKEND signals the return of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo—and, like every year, there's just no way to see all that the celebration of retro gaming has to offer, unlessa you're sprinting from room to room and shooting meth directly into your eyeballs. Lucky for you, we've singled out the expo's most crucial happenings.
Pre-Parties at Ground Kontrol, (511 NW Couch), Thurs Sept 16-Fri Sept 17, 7 pm-1 am
Technically precursors to the Expo, the pre-gaming festivities are held at Ground Kontrol. Thursday night sees a free-play night at the arcade where the price of admission will net you a night of free arcade cabinets. On Friday, the arcade hosts the official PRGE pre-party.
Verdict: Booze plus videogames. What more do you need?
Robin Mihara Keynote, Sat Sept 18, 4-5 pm
Robin Mihara took third place in the 1990 Nintendo World Championships, and his keynote will cover not only his experiences in that bizarre era where a gaming company could promote competitive Super Mario Bros. like it was the friggin' Olympics, but his upcoming film Ecstasy of Order, which chronicles his search for the world's best Tetris players.
Verdict: Totally geeky, this keynote should perfectly epitomize the spirit of the expo.
Live Auction, Sat Sept 18, 6-9 pm
If you're at the Retro Gaming Expo, you're either a collector or have that gene inside you that will have you salivating over the items in this year's auction. From a four-foot-tall Master Chief sculpture to a boxed Commodore 64, there's something here for every generation of gamer.
Verdict: Can someone spot me for that rad Street Fighter II arcade stick?
This tiny box only allows me so many words, but the rest of the Expo's schedule can be found at retrogamingexpo.com. There's an entire Sunday of stuff I didn't get to mention, so after you pencil (finger?) the above dates into your iPhone, head over there for more organized gaming nostalgia.