PLAY Blackpool Arcade, Indie and Retro Gaming Expo

The UK’s favourite Arcade, Indie & Retro video gaming expo was back for 3 days at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th May 2015.

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

PLAY Blackpool is brought to you by the organisers of PLAY Expo and was jam packed with hundreds of games and consoles, an arcade, huge traders area, exhibitors, guest talks, cosplay, board gaming, tournaments and a whole lot more.  PLAY Blackpool was sponsored by the wonderful folks at funstock.co.uk, who gave attendees the chance to win a Retron 5 console. You can check into the Facebook event here and a full show line-up of what occurred this weekend can be found on the PLAY Blackpool website.

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UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 SkySaga

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Wulver Blade

PLAY Blackpool had an exclusive preview of SkySaga: Infinite Isles on the show floor as well as a PS4 Zone featuring loads of cool PSN titles such as the brilliant multiplayer Towerfall Ascension. The Xbox One Zone featured the best in download and Indie games for Microsoft’s next-gen machine. Fantastic indie games such as the award winning Wulverblade and latest virtual reality projects from Llamasoft were featured along with the awesome Oculus Rift. Plus, for the first time at PLAY Blackpool there was a dedicated Minecraft Zone running the Hunger Games map as well as a standard Minecraft world where you are encouraged to build and explore.

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

A great line up of nostalgic retro consoles and computers were featured running classic and modern games including Sega, Nintendo, Atari, Sony, Commodore, Sinclair, Xbox, Amstrad, Neo Geo, PC Engine and more. The retro arcade was brimming over with classic machines, all set to free-play, including Outrun, Pacman, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, Space Invaders and Space Harrier. Game tournaments included Super Smash Bros, Fifa & Halo Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, PES 2015 & Drive Club on PS4, Ultra Street Fighter IV on Xbox 360 and 16 player Halo fee for alls. The Gamers lounge area featured multi-player games including Mario Kart Double Dash. It was a gamers paradise!

I got a pre-show walk round from one of the event organisers Dave Moore, who went through everything the event had planned for the long bank holiday weekend. I grabbed a few pictures of the arcade machines just after they had been delivered. “It’s our fourth year in Blackpool and this is the first year the show will be over three days. We brought in over 4000 visitors last year and we are expecting up to 6000 this year” said organiser Andy Brown.

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

Guest Q&A sessions for the weekend include the famous Oliver Twins, the legendary Jeff Minter, Artist David Rowe (along with exclusive limited edition artwork), Steve Lycett from Sumo Digital, Andrew Hewson and a Q&A panel with other former Hewson Consultants including Stewart Gilray and Simon Cobb. The first European public screening of a brand new documentary telling the story of Atari and how they created a new industry, hosted by Jeff Minter, was being shown at the hotel cinema. Also, as a PLAY Blackpool exclusive, the unreleased Llamasoft TXK VR project made an appearance this weekend. Boom!

The dealers area was choc full of gaming goodies, board and card games, action figures, consoles and a dedicated board game demo area. Clickable images below are linked to source so go exploring to find out who’s who!

UPDATE! Flickr Saturday photo album and the YouTube video.

PLAY Blackpool 2015: Retro Collect
PLAY Blackpool 2015 PS4 ZonePLAY Blackpool 2015

PLAY Blackpool 2015 Tempest Arcade GamePLAY Blackpool 2015 Mr. Do! Arcade Game

PLAY Blackpool 2015 Grim Tree GamesPLAY Blackpool 2015 Grim Tree Games

PLAY Blackpool 2015 Paul's Custom CabsPLAY Blackpool 2015 Mini Arcade Machines

PLAT Blackpool Expo 2015 Warp ZonePLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Estatic Arts

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro GTPLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Oh Japan!PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 David Rowe

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Geek is Chic T-ShirtsPLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 MishPrint T-Shirts

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Extreme Fliers Micro DronePLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro Gaming Roundup

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Console Passion PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 The Computer Shop

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro GamingPLAY Blackpool Expo 2015 Retro Gaming

PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015PLAY Blackpool Expo 2015

In August the team take PLAY Expo to Margate. More gaming fun!
PLAY Margate 2015

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Life-size paper craft Zelda, 226 hours of pure crafting.

This life size paper craft Zelda took 226 hours to build, 88 hours of cutting and 138 hours of folding and building. She stands 1.7 meters tall (5’6”), the upper body is built in 160/g-paper and the skirt in 200/g-paper.

The builder, minidelirium, used templates from PaperJuke and the completed model has been shipped off to a new home. As life sized gaming characters go, this is one heck of an accomplishment.

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Life-size paper craft ZeldaLife-size paper craft Zelda

Life-size paper craft ZeldaLife-size paper craft Zelda

Life-size paper craft Zelda

Manhattan bedroom arcade, a collection of retro games that came with a high price

Chris Kooluris’s Manhattan apartment comes complete with an unusual feature, his bedroom is a shrine to video games complete with restored arcade cabinets, art, an (expensive) emulation console, pinball tables (in the lounge) and collections of action figures from his youth.

The bedroom looked far more sedate until Chris read the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. “The book just blew me away. It awakened something in me and I started thinking that I can’t believe I’m not surrounded by all these things that I grew up loving.”

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Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom

This amazing looking room cost $32,000 and took up most of his spare time. The major problem with this project stems from the fact he lost his fiancée in the process. His ex-partner was supportive at first, but when his hobby turned into an obsession the relationship broke down and he found himself sleeping alone under a Ninja Turtles quilt on his newly acquired futon. He does, however, host weekly games nights with his friends.

“There’s a fine line between a hobby and an obsession, and I think what happened is I just got so consumed by it all. There probably should be therapists for hobbyists. It can take over.”

On a far more positive note Chris has this to add “Men and women of the world who have passions, don’t let other people make you feel ashamed of them.  And for the love of god, let those passions spill out into your physical space.  So many people live in cookie cutter spaces.  Not me, and neither should you.  Cowabunga!”

Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroomChris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom
Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroomChris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom
Chris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroomChris Kooluris's retro gaming Manhattan bedroom

Retro Gaming Corsetry at Pixel Lust II 16-29 March 2015

PIXEL LUST II is a two week extravaganza of retro gaming themed art and events taking place between 16-29 March 2015 at Blackburn Is Open on King William Street, Blackburn and will feature new work, by new artists and those involved in the 2014 exhibition.

There’s a focus on making stuff at Pixel Lust II. Getting practical with art, programming and electronics workshops and celebrating technologies such as Minecraft, Arduino and Raspberry Pi, that encourage adults and young people alike to get their hands dirty (but only digitally, of course).

Prints and original art will be for sale in the Pixel Lust shop alongside electronics kits for Shrimp and Raspberry Pi computers.

This bespoke retro gaming corset and posture collar, hand created by Curvitude Corsetry , is just one of the many items on display.

bespoke retro gaming corset and posture collar, hand created by Curvitude Corsetrybespoke retro gaming corset and posture collar, hand created by Curvitude Corsetrybespoke retro gaming corset and posture collar, hand created by Curvitude Corsetry

Events (missed a few, they started last week!)

Tue 17 Mar 2015 Shrimping.it: POV Workshop 6pm – 9pm, £10 per kit, Ages 11+

Electronics workshop for beginners. Learn how to programme the Arduino-compatible Shrimp microcomputer and create your own persistence of vision LED ‘wand’ to render your favourite 8-bit sprite in mid air.

Read more about shrimping.it here: http://shrimping.it/blog/

Price includes kit which is yours to keep.

Wed 18 Mar 2015 Retro Gaming Party 6pm – 9pm, FREE, Ages 11+

An evening of retro gaming. Play on our arcade cabinet and retro consoles or bring along your own. Enter the competition for a chance to win the coveted PIXEL LUST Golden Joystick.

Thu 19 Mar 2015 Stitch-A-Sprite Workshop 6pm-9pm, FREE, Ages 11+

Textiles workshop. Learn cross stitch and other techniques to make your own sprite pin badge or hair accessory to take home. Materials provided.

Fri 20 Mar 2015 Beats Of Rage II: Live Music Night 19:00, FREE, Ages 16+

A night of live music inspired by retro video games, featuring:

RICK BAINES
How is this former member of Semihere going to top last year’s bleep opus homage to classic game themes? Only one way to find out.
https://soundcloud.com/rickbaines

BASTARD OF THE SKIES
Their brand of sludge metal was influenced by a youth of shotgunning imps in the corridors of Phobos Base. They’re heavier than an Amiga 500 power supply and twice as powerful as a Playstation 4.
https://www.facebook.com/bastardoftheskies

Sat 21 Mar 2015 Craft Jam 12:00 – 17:00, FREE, Ages 11+

Open-source art and craft event. Anything goes, as long as it’s got fewer than 32 bits.

Materials and assistance provided.

Under-16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Sun 22 Mar 2015 Pixelcon 2015 11:00 – 17:00, FREE, Ages 11+

Participant-driven unconference, featuring workshops and talks based around art, electronics and retro gaming.

At this unconference, there are no prebooked speeches or boring sessions you can’t escape from. Attendees are encouraged to present their own 25-minute talks or workshops, programmed on the day.

Think a talk isn’t for you? No problem. One of the rules of the unconference is that you can vote with your feet; the speaker won’t feel insulted and there are three different talks to choose from at any time.

Light lunch and refreshments provided.

Under-16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Arrive early to plan your workshop or talk!

Mon 23 Mar 2015 Jewellery Workshop 18:00 – 21:00, FREE, Ages 11+

Learn new techniques in ceramic and beaded jewellery, then make your own pixel creations.

Under-16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Tue 24 Mar 2015 Shrimping.It: Memory Game Workshop (Arduino) 18:00 – 21:00

Electronics workshop for beginners. Create and take home your own standalone memory game similar to the MB Simon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_%28game%29

Uses the Arduino-compatible Shrimp microprocessor. Read more about shrimping.it here: http://shrimping.it/blog/

£10, Ages 11+
Under-16s should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Price includes kit which is yours to keep.

Wed 25 Mar 2015 Fun with Scratch: Teaching Kids To Code Workshop 17:00 – 20:00

Scratch is the ideal introduction to programming for children. An eight year old with no previous experience could get an interactive game or animation up and running within a couple of hours.

Bring along a laptop and with the help of our experts your child will be writing code by the end of the evening.

Ages 7+
Under-16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Thu 26 Mar 2015 Stitch-A-Sprite Workshop 18:00 – 21:00

Textiles workshop. Learn cross stitch and other techniques to make your own sprite pin badge or hair accessory to take home. Materials provided.

FREE, Ages 11+
Children aged 11-16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Fri 27 Mar 2015 World Building With Minecraft Workshop 18:00 – 21:00

Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, make sure to build a shelter before that happens.

This workshop will teach minecraft players and beginners how to build playable minecraft worlds outside of the game.

We have a limited number of machines available, so please bring your own laptop if you have one.

FREE
Age 8+
Children aged 11-16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Sat 28 Mar 2015 HACK // BURN Tech Jam 12:00 – 17:00

Open-source electronics and tech event, presented by Blackburn Hackspace. Build your own tech projects with advice from our experts.

Soldering irons, wood saws, 3D printers, and other tools will be available for use.

Materials shop on site covering shrimping.it Arduino compatible components, Raspberry PI and electronics bits.

FREE
Ages 11+
Children aged 11-16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Sun 29 Mar 2015 GAME OVER Closing Party – Live Music, Art Sale 16:00 – 21:00

A last chance to meet our artists and buy work, including ex-display framed prints at a discounted rate.

With live music from:

THREE FINGER SALUTE
This newly formed three-piece presents jazz interpretations of classic video game tunes. Not to be missed.

SCORPION STARE
Futuristic, industrial, alternative, atmospheric: they’ll fit right in.
https://soundcloud.com/scorpion-stare

THE RAGAMUFFINS
With charming, well written lyrics and catchy hooks, these boys will make you move your feet without even resorting to scrolling multicoloured arrows.
https://www.facebook.com/theragamuffinsuk

FREE ENTRY
BYOB
Ages 16+

Art sale starts 4pm
Bands start 6pm

Mario, Metroid and The Legend of Zelda limited edition prints by artist and illustrator Harlan Elam

The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Super Mario Bros. limited edition 8-Bit prints by the artist and illustrator Harlan Elam.

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“Super Mario Bros. came bundled with my first NES and started my life long obsession with gaming. Everyone privileged enough to play it probably remembers level one more than any other. The idea here is to capture those memories of the level we played the most and offer them up as framed nostalgia, or paper Nintendo.”

Super Mario Bros. by Harlan Elam

“The Legend of Zelda introduced me to a different level of gaming, one that combined an open world and difficult puzzles. It was also my first introduction to interactive fantasy storytelling that led to a life long love affair with escapism reading. It required a lot of trial and error and teaming up with friends to beat different areas of the game. How many times did we enter The Eagle on our quest to defeat Ganon? Too many to count.”

The Legend of Zelda by Harlan Elam

“If The Legend of Zelda turned me on to fantasy RPGs, Metroid got me heavily into sci-fi. I remember a lot of Saturday mornings exploring Zebes, finding new power ups, and killing aliens. What I remember most is starting in level one and finding the Morph Ball. I was amazed. I wanted to take that memory and combine it with the most memorable enemies from the game so I could print it up, frame it proudly, and bask in all its nostalgic glory. Pray for true peace in space!”

Metroid by Harlan Elam

ZX Spectrum Castlevania: Spectral Interlude.

Castlevania: Spectral Interlude is an action-adventure platform game with elements of RPG.

It was originally envisioned as a ‘demake’ of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest but eventually turned into an original independent game for ZX Spectrum. It tells a new story which tries to remain consistent with the canon of the original franchise and explains why the Belmonts disappeared for many years.

FEATURES
  • More than 150 game screens, including hidden rooms
  • 10 enemy types and unique bosses
  • Upgrades
  • Built-in game map
  • 2 difficulty levels
  • “Lost” story explaining the disappearance of Belmonts from later Castlevania games
  • Soundtrack with 12 songs (which is freaking awesome btw, Soundcloud player below)

Download now from Spectral Interlude. You need ZX Spectrum 128 compatible computer or emulator.


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Geeky Nesting Dolls by The Butler Art

I own a set of nesting dolls that belonged to my mum, the traditional Russian kind.

The Butler Art has produced some brilliantly geeky, but disturbing, nesting dolls featuring Ghostbusters, Mario and Friday the 13th. They would look great ‘nesting’ on my shelf.


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Modern Fossils for Retro Fans.

These modern fossils are made from actual archaic technology that was once cutting-edge. Most of these examples were discovered in the United States, although the various species are represented all over the world.

Crafted by Christopher Locke and available from his website The Heartless Machine.

“It has been shown recently that the true demise of most of these specimens came from runaway consumerism and wastefulness at the high end of the food chain.”

First seen around 1989, this Dexteludicrum (or Game Boy) has been found throughout the world. The Dexteludicrum obviously shares some of the same traits as Dominaludus, but includes some extra components.

Anaticula persequor is more commonly known as “Duck Hunt Gun” or “Nintendo Zapper.” This specimen is seen most often alongside Dominaludus nintendicus, although it is unclear exactly what their relationship was. Fossil records imply that this species was an isolated occurrence, seemingly without a predecessor or any significant offspring.

First appearing around 1900, this “rotary phone” stuck around for a long time. Although the circumdactylos has since become almost extinct, it is still a recognizeable icon, and images of it are still common today.

The “Boom Box” has predominantly been found in very close proximity to Asportatio acroamatis, and it seems possible that it is a distant relative of Ambulephebus sonysymphonia.

There are more designs, and inventive descriptions, available to purchase from the website.

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