I’ve been fortunate to be off on vacation for the last week, in fact I almost had my requested time off revoked but thankfully one of my best friends and fellow co-worker stepped in to cover for me at the hotel. I couldn’t think of a better way to end my vacation than by visiting the 11th Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition or the OVGE. This was my first time I was able to visit and it certainly won’t be my last.
This year the exhibition was held at PJ Gamers, a fantastic place for gaming when you are visiting Oklahoma. There they had setup tables for various artists, authors, and dealers for all sort of retro products ranging from Aquarius carts to Zoids.
On display they had an amazing selection of vintage gaming consoles like the Sands 2200, the Emerson Arcadia 2001, and of course Atari’s Pong. Click on those image for full sized photos of those consoles.
But what really caught my eye was the signed Dragon’s Lair lunchbox, the Pac-Man Musical Color TV, and a freaking WaterWorld cart for the Atari 2600!
On the Atari 2600 front it got even better as I found this beautiful and longed for Crazy Climber cartridge, I could have walked away from the table with it in my collection for a mere $80.
Also in attendance at the OVGE was the one and only Rob “Flack” O’Hara and I made sure to pick up a copy of one of his books, in this case it was the awesome “Commodork” and his kids had also put together some great magnets that I felt would find a welcome place at the Arkadia Retrocade.
Friend to Arkadia and the Retroist, Earl Green, was there with some of his impressive Dr. Who tomes as well as his Phosphor Dot Fossils Documentaries!
Earl though also brought along his collection of handheld games, in particular those beautiful Coleco Mini-Arcades. Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger, Q*Bert, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, and Zaxxon, there was even the TomyTronic Pac-Man game. To be honest I hadn’t even known of the existence of the Zaxxon version and I was pretty overcome when after so many years of yearing for these collectibles I got my chance to play them, he wasn’t selling them mind you but demonstrating how things have changed through the years with handheld gaming.
Thanks to Earl I was able to nab a few more items for the Arkadia Retrocade, beside the Aquarius carts up top the Players who visit the arcade can get a chance to give Missile Command and Star Raiders a shot on the Atari 5200. Or if they want they can give Dragonfire and Beauty and the Beast a try on the Intellivision!
I picked up this cool T-Shirt from Brandon Staggs at the OVGE and even nabbed a nice “Retro Gamer In Training” for a friend. Mr. Staggs had a nice selection of vintage gaming company shirts like Atari, Vectrex, Colecovision, etc.
I also was able to introduce myself to Brett Weiss and pick up a copy of his first book in the phenomenal Classic Home Video Game series, he was even kind enough to include one of his Twin Galaxies signed autograph cards!
This first volume covers the gaming systems from 1972 to 1984 and offers a small review and description of the titles that were made available for it. It is incredibly in depth to say the least, the chapter on the Atari 2600 starts on page 28 and goes until page 132! I was also able to nab some goodies for the Arkadia Retrocade from Brett.
I was all set to spend a very long day with my fellow retro fans at the OVGE, not to mention take about a thousand more photos…sadly that was not to be. My Wife had scheduled her vacation the same time as I, our first vacation since 2005 in fact, but what we thought was just allergies turned out to be actual sickness. After taking a break for lunch…well, let us just say that the employees and our fellow diners at the Cheesecake Factory had an interesting afternoon.
So with a heavy heart but glad that I was able to meet and see so many friends at the OVGE we turned back home…right after we stopped by a pharmacy to grab some cold medicine. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend the 12th Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition next year and I’ll be sure to report on it if I do.