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Old Is the New New

Classic Game Fest

By James Renovitch, Fri., Aug. 15, 2014

Old Is the New New

Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.
$10 (kids under 12, free)
www.classicgamefest.com

You youngsters don't understand real video games! When we were kids, we only had a handful of bits and one button, and we liked it. The fans of Game Over Videogames get it, and this weekend they'll be at the Palmer Events Center for the local chain's seventh annual Classic Game Fest.

How does one celebrate vintage gaming culture? For starters, play a whole bunch of perfectly aged games. There are Smash Bros. Melee, Killer Instinct, and Mario Kart 64 tournaments for kids, adults, and pros. For those looking for a less cutthroat environment, consoles, PCs, and arcade cabinets from the glory days offer entertainment without all the bulky quarters.

If you like your action a bit more fast and furious, experts will be doing speed runs of games like Mario, Sonic, MegaMan, and Adventure. Speed runs involve players completing a game in the shortest amount of time possible. This often involves exploiting shortcuts (e.g., warp zones) or glitches in the original code. Someone will also have the onerous task of playing the "worst game ever made," E.T. Luckily, it's also a speed run, so at least it will be over quickly.

What gaming festival would be complete without a cosplay contest? Get your finest fantasy duds on and enter one of the three categories: kids, adults, and team. With any luck we can get an impromptu Luigi Death Stare-Off competition happening. The buxom Mariedoll adds star power as the contest's emcee and guest judge.

To ensure that your ears get as much retro action as your eyes, bands play for the majority of both days. That includes chiptunes, nerdcore favorites like Mega Ran, and local video game prog rockers Descendants of Erdrick.

If all that isn't enough, in addition to a bevy of exhibitors and vendors there will be special guests like the author of Ready Player One, Ernie Cline, shaking hands and being his usual awesomely nerdy self. Darrell Spice Jr. shows how to make your very own Atari game. You can also check out Game Over Videogames' museum of all things vintage and gamey or trade in your classic games for cash, just like at their stores.

So, you can keep your motion-captured whosie-whatsits. We'll stick with our chunky pixels and bouncy bleeps and bloops, and we'll like it.

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