Midwest Gaming Classic 2006

Introduction

After taking 2005 off, the Midwest Gaming Classic returned full-force in 2006. I tried to take pictures of things I didn't see at the 2004 show. In that regard this isn't really a "best of" recap but more of a "stuff that's new to me" recap.

Disclaimer: I don't have a particularly great digital camera and I suck at taking pictures. I'll add links to better quality pictures when they start showing-up online.


Vendors

Again, the main reason I went to the MGC 2006 was for the vendors. I could be labeled a video game collector I guess. Although I don't just buy games for the sake of collecting them so maybe not. My collecting philosophy could best be summarized as "I buy games I like to play".. or maybe "I buy games I stupidly traded-in when I had no money".

NES Games

The first table I stopped at had a good assortment of boxed NES games. The copy of Metal Gear in this photo sold about three seconds after I took it. They also had a box of loose Intellivision games for $1 a piece.


Jaguar Games

I snapped this picture because the Hover Strike box has a pre-owned sticker from Electronics Boutique/Waldensoftware circa 1996. My crappy picture taking skills made it unreadable so you'll have to take my word on it. It's from store #246 but I can't remember which location that was (although I think it was in the Chicago area).

There seemed to be a lot of Jaguar games for sale this year. Nearly every table had 6-10 boxed games and even a few systems. Maybe the Jaguar is the new "en vogue" retro system of the day? The 3DO, from the same era, wasn't very well represented in the vendor area. I spotted a few systems for sale but practically no games. In 2004 there were a lot of Atari 5200 games and systems for sale but this time around they were both scarce.


Nintendo Toys

This table had a nice collection of (overpriced) Nintendo toys for sale. OK, since they're all imported from Japan I understand the high price.


Telegames

Telegames used to be a mail-order company that sold new Intellivision and Colecovision games well into the 90s. I don't know the whole story but I always assumed they either bought out surplus inventories or raided landfills in 1983. They also made a Colecovision clone system. Despite the Intellivision-style discs, I think this is their Colecovision clone. It's hard to tell and my fuzzy memory doesn't help.


Generation Nex

Generation Nex was on sale here. They had a demo of the wireless controllers running which probably wasn't their best idea since they appeared to have problems. Randomly the game would act as though the Start button had been pressed. I keep hearing there's some kind of controversy about this system. I guess some people see it as profiting off another company's hard work. I think that argument is a big stretch at best. I gave some serious thought to picking up one of these but decided to wait and see what the Wii Virtual Console will have to offer instead.


Here's what I bought in the vendor area:


Museum & Exhibits

I lumped the museum & exhibits together even though they were in different places. The museum was about the same as last time, still fun to look at though. The systems on display all had nice historical write-ups by Marty Goldberg (author & former webmaster of ClassicGaming.com).

Wolfenstein

AtariAge was back with another great display of 2600 & 5200 homebrews. Wolfenstein, however, is a hack of Venture. Good quality work though.


Adventure II

I'm still facinated by Adventure II. Yeah, I don't have a 5200, or any prospect of buying one, but I'd still love to own this game. I played the demo unit and it was great, definitely a worthy sequel to the original.


Pac Man Pinball

There were a lot of arcade & pinball games running on free play this time, many more than last time. The arcade area was a tad dark which isn't conducive to picture taking. Here's a picture of a Pac Man pinball machine which I thought was nifty.


Odyssey2

The Odyssey2 is one classic system that I know almost nothing about. I never played one or even knew someone who had one. As a result, this exhibit had me a tad stumped. I never saw an Odyssey that had a computer attachment before. Was this a normal system or some Coleco Adam type of experiment? I overheard a couple others debating this as well so at least I'm not the only Odyssey newbie.


Lynx Games

There was collection of every Lynx game made along with a few prototypes. Make the Lynx a tad smaller and add a rechargeable battery and you'd have a system that could still compete with modern handhelds.


Lynx Pins

I like video game toys and junk almost as much as the games themselves. Here's a picture of some Atari Lynx pins, reminiscent of the Activision sew-on patches.


Beggar Prince

The Sega Genesis spot in the museum featured a playable copy of Beggar Prince. Its tone reminded me of the old Naughty Dog RPGs. The graphics are some of the best for the system, similar quality and style to Chrono Trigger on the Super Nintendo. I played it for a few minutes and was impressed.


PCFX

This is the first time I've seen a PCFX in the flesh. My first thought was "that would make a sweet case mod". Of course I'd only try something like that if I found a non-working one. I think these zany PC case mods are great unless they're wrecking a perfectly good system. Trust me, in 10 years you'd rather have the original working system than the obsolete PC.


Atari Pinball

Never seen this before but sure wish I could try it.


Bally Videocade

This is the Bally Videocade, another system I've never seen before. Luckily they had one setup for play so I gave it a whirl. The controller was a pistol-grip with a single trigger and joystick at the top. I suppose you could play it with one hand but I used both out of habit. I tried Space Invaders and found the controller to be perfect, much better than the comparable 2600 controller. I wish I knew more about this system because in my brief encounter it was a blast.


At the museum something struck me. There was an original (model 1) Intellivision on display that I tried to play (even though it's really no different than the model 3 I have). It didn't work so well anymore. The connectors were rusty and the pads worn out. It had some bizarre graphic anomalies and games would randomly freak out (for lack of a better term). Between that incident, and discovering new-old systems, it occurred to me that emulation is important. One day the last Intellivision, Bally Videocade, Atari Video Pinball, and even NES will stop working. When that happens their games will be lost unless accurate emulators are around. Emulation has a bad reputation because it's associated with software piracy. I by no means support illegal software piracy of any kind. I was thrilled when the copyright holders for the Intellivision released the Intellivision Lives! collections. I'm very optimistic that this Wii Virtual Console will be a big step towards legal, high-quality emulation/classic game preservation. I think gamers who want to see classic games preserved through legal emulation should support projects such as that. Face it, without a profit motive there's no reason for the copyright holders of these various systems & games to invest the research, development, manufacturing, distribution, and advertising costs. Taking the attitude of "I'm not going to spend money on emulatorz and romz d00d" is a sure-fire way to guarantee these classic games will fade into oblivion.


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