Visit Atarimax Store

Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by:

Article #598 (635 is last):
From: Michael Current 
Subject: Computer game show brings back the Pac Man era
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Sun Sep  6 17:22:31 1998

 Yahoo! News                                          Technology Headlines
Tuesday August 25 12:26 PM EDT

Computer game show brings back the Pac Man era

By Lauren Fielder

SAN FRANCISCO (Wired) - Trade shows that tout PlayStation, Nintendo, Sega,
and their ilk would seem to signal the death of the classics.

But there are still enough Atari, Intellivision, and Coleco enthusiasts
breathing life into the old computer game systems to conjure up a
Pac-Man-sized convention of their own.

The International Classic Video/Computer Game Expo, or more casually, World
of Atari '98, took place over the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, marking what
Atari Gaming Headquarters Web site editor Keita Iida hopes is the first of
many such shows to come.

Atari Gaming Headquarters, along with the World of Atari's main sponsor and
show promoter, Rich Tsukiji, sponsored the production with hopes of creating
an atmosphere for serious classic game fans and new patrons on the retro
game bandwagon.

While the attendance was in the hundreds rather than the tens of thousands,
Iida said the atmosphere was cozy, fun, and even more focused than the
corporate spreads E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) and Comdex have become.

``Everyone there had a shared interest in classic games. It was definitely
more of a niche audience,'' said Iida. ``Everyone was smiling and talking
about games-it was friendly. There wasn't the same sense of competition you
find at an E3 or Comdex. You didn't have the companies competing for
everyone's attention.''

The show was more than just a bunch of dusty systems and reminiscing
game-players. Third-party peripheral company Nyko set up a booth to show off
its new PlayStation Trackball Controller, an item that fans of Marble
Madness, Missile Command, and Centipede will appreciate when trying to
simulate the arcade feel on their Sony console systems.

The showstoppers were the speeches by gaming industry legends: Rob Fulop,
the designer of Cosmic Ark, Demon Attack, Missile Command, and many others;
Leonard Herman, the video game historian and author of Phoenix: The Fall and
Rise of Videogames; and John Harris, the designer of Frogger and
Mouseattack, among others, for the Atari 8-bit systems.

``Reading in a history book is one thing,'' Iida said. ``But doing that, you
really can't get into the same detail. Someone who is really into this stuff
will dig seeing these people.''

Iida said he hopes that next year's event will grow in attendance, and he
wants to begin planning the event even earlier. It's not likely, even with
the dedicated followers, that the World of Atari show will ever be the size
of E3. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.


Visit Atarimax Store