I was asked to cover the major retrogaming expo R3play last weekend in my professional capacity thing. That means interviewing and filming and all that stuff I love, so I knew it’d be fun anyway – but it was superb. SUPERB! I had such a great time. I’m not much of a gamer, and in fact, I wasn’t much of a one as a kid either. The only machines we had growing up were ones that could be used for something practical, like word processing. So dedicated consoles have always had a kind of alien allure for me, as have arcade machines, which were far too expensive for me to ever play on regularly at the time (of course, when we got a “PC Compatible” machine in the early 90s we immediately stacked it with arcade games).
But here was a giant, free amusement arcade, and as a favour to my deprived childhood self, I spent hours upon hours playing the old games very badly. I also hung out with Iain Lee, marvelled at tapes, floppy disks, new machines, old machines, new games for old machines (the Repton 4 guys were there, as was the Tweeting Spectrum). Risc OS, Commodore’s SID chip, The Domesday Project… all these things are forgotten but not gone.
I drank awful wine, I talked to loads of nerds. I touched things I haven’t touched in 25 years. It was an intense couple of days in a very big, very loud exhibition space, a space filled with noise, smells, and memories. Ah.
I’ll most definitely be back next year, in the meantime, here are some of our photos from the weekend…