I was looking back at last year's Midwest Gaming Classic recap and realized it was pretty skimpy. I decided that this time around I'd go back to taking a bunch of pictures even if I look like a dork in the process. I'm already at a classic gaming show so how much dorkier can I really look?
The 2009 Midwest Gaming Classic was the most crowded I remember (not counting 2004 which was more cramped but in a much smaller venue). I'm getting the impression that game collecting is becoming a more popular hobby by the day. It makes sense, they're a childhood toy you can still enjoy as an adult. If someone spots you playing Frogger they say "Cool, Frogger!". If the same person spots you playing with a He-Man figure their reaction will involve avoidance, possibly for months.
Usual Disclaimer: I'm not a great photographer, these are as good as they get. The images on this page are thumbnails, click for the full-size image (you'd probably figure that out on your own though).
The vendor floor was packed tight on Saturday morning, excellent selection as usual. An interesting thing this time around is that Atari 2600 and Intellivision games were cheaper than ever, $1-$2 in box except for a couple rare titles. One vendor even had an "all Intellivision games must go" sign. Apparently the Atari 2600 and Intellivision collectors market is thouroughly saturated.
The first table had a variety of Famicom and TurboGrafx-16 games. See that TurboGrafx-16/Duo Adapter? A couple minutes after walking away I realized that one of those would be really handy for whenever my Duo control pad finally wears out. By the time I made it back it was already gone. So my advice for future Midwest Gaming Classic attendees is to get there early and don't pass up anything good the first time you see it.
Even more TurboGrafx-16 games - the prices weren't great on these at any vendor and I didn't see many buyers. Maybe the mini TurboGrafx-16 craze that started when the Virtual Console was launched has died down. Hopefully that will mean lower prices next time around for those of us who were into the system before it was "cool".
Songbird Productions was there and selling an assortment of still new Jaguar games. I can't recommend any of these other than Tempest 2000.
They also sold a number of their original titles. I can't imagine the amount of effort it takes to produce a quality independent game like this. It's something I'd love to do someday (although not for an Atari console). Whether you like the Jaguar or not you have to admire the dedication of its fanbase.
Huh, come to think of it I don't know if they make rechargeable 9-volt batteries, better check... $10 for one!? What a rip. OK, I guess it's not that bad if you're hooked on these old handheld games. The football and baseball ones I leave on my desk at the office get a lot mileage from visitors and the nighttime security guards.
I think I talked about this last year too. These NES hack reproductions just don't seem right to me. I assume neither the original rights holder or creator of the hack receive any compensation for the sale of the game. Yeah, the original rights holder isn't getting a dime of used game sales either but something about this feels different.
Museum & Exhibits
The museum this time around was bigger than before, the best one yet overall. There were a number of classic computers and handhelds that I don't recall seeing in the past. The photos here are things I don't think I captured in previous visits, there was a lot more than what is pictured below.
The Microvision was the first cartridge-based handheld game. I wasn't aware of it until I decided to write that Grif's Tavern piece. It was cool to see one in person because they're not especially common.
Another system I learned about while writing Grif's Tavern was the Arcadia 2001. It was released in 1982 and had a weak library, mostly clones of games already available for other consoles. The hardware itself looks like the bastard child of an Atari 2600 and Intellivision. This console quickly disappeared during the crash of 1983.
It's also too early to consider the original Playstation to be a classic system, like the last one this was neat to see though. I wonder, how long is it before a system can be labeled "classic"? It hasn't yet been 10 years since the last Playstation game was published. At the same time, someone who had their first Playstation in 1995 at age 10 would already consider it "classic".