Play old video games at New West’s Anvil Center this weekend

At the one-day Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo at the Anvil Center in New Westminster on June 25, you can play popular classic games on older gaming consoles, trade games with indie collectors, or buy the game of your dreams from a flea market vendor.

To all of you who were surprisingly good at playing the popular 90s video game, Dr. Mario, back in school days, here’s a chance to test if you still have it in you.

This weekend, brush up on your key and joystick skills, and head to the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo to battle (or casually play) the Dr Mario tournament with other gamers. Besides Dr Mario, the 10th edition of the exhibition will include Street Fighter 2, Tetris and Super Smash Bros. tournaments.

But in the age of the PS5, who would be interested in the seemingly antiquated video game console?

It turns out a lot of people.

According to founder and owner of New West’s Gamedeals video game store, Brian Hughes, the expo attracts up to 1,500 people to the Anvil Center in New West each year. Whereas before it was the nostalgia associated with games that drew the crowd, today, Hughes noted, “it’s more about the love of older video games.”

“What we’re seeing now is that a younger group of people — who didn’t grow up with these games, but were introduced to them as kids — are playing them now,” Hughes said.

In fact, one of the exhibit panels will highlight the “retro revival” trend of seeing new games created to look like those from 20 years ago. There’s undoubtedly a strong interest in old gems – so much so that even Nintendo has revived its popular Mario-themed classic games in 2021.

Hughes launched the exhibit in 2012, inspired by a similar concept he participated in in Oregon. Vancouver didn’t have a gaming exhibit at the time, he said. Other than its New West exhibit, he added, there’s still no place in the Greater Vancouver area where retro gaming fans can engage in game swapping, while discussing Legends of Zelda. and Space Invaders.

A big change over the years, Hughes noted, has been the change in the age group of people attending the event. While the first edition had mostly adults, now it’s a more family-friendly show.

What to expect at the Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo?

  • For those who often find themselves humming Mario’s Overworld theme and Underworld theme, there’s Super Mario Bros. Karaoke. at the event.
  • What do you know about video games released between 1962 and 2007? Test your knowledge in a retro game themed Jeopardy.
  • Watch an improv comedy by The Fictionals with a retro gaming twist.
  • Be part of a game-themed cosplay.
  • Listen to the music of Shane Steward influenced by his passion for video games.

The Vancouver Retro Gaming Fair will take place at the Anvil Center (777 Columbia St.) on June 25 between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets for the event are available online at game exhibition websiteor at the Gamedeals store at 407 Columbia Street.

Connect with Naveena Vijayan on Instagram @naveenavijayan.
Email Naveena, [email protected].

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