Grassroots Gaming Expo 2012
Posted on Aug 11, 2012 by Eric Cummings
Organizers Liz and Josh Bolinger of Ottumwa, Iowa have several years experience in planning and running successful events including Grassroots Gaming Expo 2011 and The International Video Game Hall of Fame Museum's Launch Party in 2009 which played host to over 3,500 attendees.
Who better to introduce this year's Grassroots Gaming Expo than Josh and Liz themselves:
"The Grassroots Gaming Expo is a three day gaming event that celebrates not only video gaming, but also pinball, tabletop and card games as well as film. Currently, you can get weekend passes through our IndieGoGo fundraiser at http://www.indiegogo.com/grassrootsgamingexpo Not only can you get passes, but you can get a lot of other really cool, exclusive items for pledging." (Editors note "Please see sidebar on right for Perks by following above link")
"This year's expo is scheduled for October 12-14 at the Bridge View Center in Otummwa, Iowa. Hours of operation are from 10am to 10pm on Friday & Saturday the 12th and 13th, and 10am to 5pm on Sunday the 14th. "
"All money raised will go to fund the infrastructure of the event, such as the venue rental fees, needed equipment and staffing/lodging expenses. The amount we set our goal at is less than the actual operating costs of the event, but that is the bare minimum of what we need. Anything raised in excess of our goal will go towards event costs. Anything in excess of the operating costs will go towards next year's event. If we do not reach our goal, the event will still go on, and all available funds will still be applied to operating costs."
Come out and view and play systems and games spanning the history of gaming, tons of arcade titles, Rock Band Karaoke, Midwest Electronic Gaming will be there and so much more happening at Grassroots Gaming Expo 2012 in Ottumwa at the Bridge View Center on October 12-14 2012. Please help by sharing the info however you can, pledging, purchasing tickets and having a blast, helping is winning! Thank you all.
Gaming World Wide Spotlight On Patrick Scott Patterson
Posted on June 21, 2012 by Eric Cummings
This June, Gaming Entertainment Advocate Patrick Scott Patterson traveled from his hometown in Denton , Texas to Los Angeles , California so he could be there when E3 was happening. I say this because he didn't go there just for E3, he went there because it's a place of opportunity surrounding one of the biggest Events or Shows in an Industry we love, care about and want to see bettered. Scott (as I'll be referring to him from now on) said that this year he'd be going to L.A. not to cover E3 but to have fun, make a splash, grab footage/photos, reconnect with people he'd met in the Industry. He even posted on social media sites that he'd be going to E3 but wouldn't be covering much in the way of games because there were literally thousands of people at E3 to do just that. From the pictures I've seen posted on Nintendo, Guinness Social Media Pages and other people's facebook timelines, Scott was the story.
Eric: Scott, please tell us a little about yourself and a bit about what you've been doing over the last few years?
Scott: I've been gaming for more than 30 years, though in recent years I started to compete less and use my passion and knowledge of gaming history and culture to try and tear down some of the barriers that have held it back for so long. Gaming culture has always lagged behind the industry for various reasons that I've been trying to help climb over.
Eric: L.A. - E3, you have a big list of stuff to do and you've just touched down. What's your first move and why?
Scott: First thing I did upon leaving LAX was visit the Akasha Restaurant in Culver City. It resides in the Hull Building, the historic Culver City landmark, and was the site of the original Flynn's Arcade in the 1982 version of Tron. They were kind enough to let me film in there for a short while as their dinner rush began to come in, and I took it because it wasn't an opportunity I'd get at any other point while out there.
Eric: What do you think of the TRON films and what are your thoughts on the upcoming Disney/Pixar film, Wreck-It Ralph?
Scott: I think it's great that Tron caught on with the mainstream, even if it did take a few decades. It embodies gaming culture of the time and it also, in hindsight, appears ahead of it's time; as if the world just recently caught up with it. I'm looking forward to Wreck-It-Ralph for much the same reason, and I think it might help bridge the gap between classic gamers and modern gamers as well.
Eric: You were in a lot of photos with Twin Galaxies Founder Walter Day, How long have you known Walter and what's your relationship to him?
Scott: Walter Day is a dear friend of mine. We first chatted in 2001, but I didn't begin to talk to him or work with him again until 2008. He's long been a strong supporter of what I do because it is rooted deeply in what he has always tried to do for gaming as well. Always a pleasure to see him.
Eric: I've seen a few pictures of you, Walter and the President of Nintendo, Reggie Fils-Aime, presenting something to Isaiah "Triforce" Johnson during E3. Can you elaborate on the experience?
Scott: I was with Walter to be part of the presentation and he was kind enough to ensure that happened. I never expected Reggie would be part of it but it was quite a thrill. Might be easier to get a photo op with President Obama than President Fils-Aime. He's a nice guy with a strong presence to him.
Eric: Dude, you met Nolan Bushnell...I don't get star struck but I would stare for a few seconds before reality sprang me back. Did you have time to converse about anything? Would you like to add anything?
Scott: Nolan has long been a hero of mine for many different reasons, and while I don't get star struck often, I really did there and it can be seen on my face in the photo I got with him. Chatted for a short time about my studying of video game history and I joked his name comes up from time to time. He cracked a joke back, and then had to see Tommy T. Was an honor, though. I hope to get to chat with him sometime in the future with less going on around us at the time.
Eric: It genuinely appears that Adam Sessler (formerly of G4) is really happy to see you. How do you know each other?
Scott: I met Adam at E3 2009 and found him very friendly. Never had much interaction in-between but was once again greeted with a smile. I respect his work a ton.
Eric: You were at the Noobz Premiere and walked the red carpet... How, What, Who...Huh? Would you mind filling us in?
Scott: I learned that was going on and reached out to people involved in the film. Noted it to Walter who informed me he had been asked to appear in the film but was part of a gaming event on the day of filming. We chatted with Blake Freeman himself from there and found ourselves invited. All of us that were there presented him with awards and stuff on the red carpet while a press corps took pics and filmed it. Quite a thrill and something I can say with certainty I want to have happen more in the future. Maybe the next time I can be in a film or what not.
Eric: Your website patrickscottpatterson.com often has breaking news pertaining to the Gaming Industry and your examiner.com articles are often picked up by sites like kotaku.com. Do you have any RSS feeds I can subscribe to, twitter accounts I can follow or Social Media Networks your on?
Scott: I don't do the RSS stuff, but my Twitter links to everything going on everywhere for me and can be found @OriginalPSP. Things are happening at a fast, fast pace for me right now, so try and keep up with me there...
It has been my pleasure to Interview Mr. Patrick Scott Patterson for Gaming World Wide's first "Spotlight On" Feature. Thank you to Scott who was gracious enough to take the time out of his insanely busy life to let me pick his brain for you.
An Interview with Retrocade Magazine's Rob Maerz
Posted on June 16, 2012 by Josh Jones
Before his work duties exploded as Event Coordinator for Gaming World Wide, Josh Jones had the privilege to interview retrocademagazine.com's own Rob Maerz about his site and tracking Video Game World Records.
Q: What type of platforms do you accept submissions for?
Rob Maerz: Retrocade Magazine accepts scores on arcade, console and computer platforms.
We only accept emulation scores for our Arcade/MAME contests and we are the only entity accepting scores for Daphne (which is arcade laser disc emulation). All other scores have to be played on the original hardware. The reason for the exception on the arcade side is because of the limited availability of arcade machines.
On the console side, we accept scores on Arcadia 2001, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Sega Master System, NES, Odyssey 2 and Vectrex.
On computers, we currently track scores for Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64. We are also the only entity accepting scores for the Microvision handheld.
Q: How do you effectively track submissions for all these games?
Rob: Almost all of the games we track are "high scores." There are timed games but those are built into the game (like Superman, Grand Prix) i.e. we are not, at least at the moment, tracking fastest completion of Super Mario Bros. That's on the table.
We do track biggest blowouts in sports games with your total points scored as the tiebreaker.
Q: How does one submit something to Retrocade?
Rob: All scores are submitted through Retrocade Magazine's online forums at RetrocadeMagazine.net/forums. We have hundreds of games that we are tracking and if it's not there players can always request it. We are adding more games on a regular basis. Forum registration is free.
All scores must have visual evidence. For most of the games we track only a photograph of the TV screen is required. Other games where difficulty levels come into play or in the case of rolled scores we require video through YouTube or an archived stream on providers like UStream or TwitchTV. Players can choose to submit their scores via video no matter the circumstance.
Also, when we have our arcade tournaments, we partner with an arcade as we did with High Scores Arcade in Burlington, NJ for our Summer Showdown and Winter Blast contests. The arcade serves in an officiating capacity and will submit scores on behalf of the players.
The players then submit their score, name and photograph or link to online video in the respective game's thread on the Retrocade Magazine forums. From there, one of our officials will validate the score and add it to the leader board.
Players can use the electronic scoreboards to track their progress just like you would with a log book. In other words, their scores do not need to be the "new high score" to submit.
Lastly, Retrocade Magazine is one of the few if not only entities that rewards players at no up front cost to them. For example, most tournaments players pay a registration fee. Our tournaments are free to registered members of the Retrocade Magazine forums and again forum registration is free to begin with.
In the last two contests of the season, http://gamegavel.com/ awarded a $50 credit to the winner of the Atari 5200 Tournament we had not so long ago and another for the Atari 2600 Tournament in April. Second place finishers receive a copy of Randy Pearson's book "Driving Crazy" and all top three finishers receive a copy of Retrocade Magazine issue 2 digital. All this at NO COST to the player.(Editor) Wow, there are some nice perks in there =)
Q: Tell us about Retrocade Magazine, its community and some of the things that have been happening?
Rob:I started Retrocade Magazine in the summer of 2011 although I had written articles previously for Classic Video Gamer as early as 2009. I don't know that Retrocade Magazine is a "household name" at this point but I see that our audience is growing every week.
The mission of Retrocade Magazine from the onset has been to be a positive force in the classic gaming community. We created the Braumeister Award for the console homebrew of the year and we announced the recipient in our second issue. The recipient of the award was elated, thankful and it was gratifying to him to see that we appreciate his effort and talent.
Additionally, we wanted to be Electronic Games Magazine circa 1981 incarnate. Readers of Electronic Games Magazine at the time would submit their arcade and console scores to them and that's why we started score tracking and the popularity charts. Since its inception, it's grown into more than just tracking scores - we have tournaments and special contests running non-stop and there are really a lot of options for players to get involved.
We have a lot of great players who have made a name for themselves elsewhere. Mason Cramer won our last tournament, the NES Power Play. Brandon LeCroy, our NES official, also participated in that tournament and Brandon won our Arcade Summer Showdown contest last August.
Steve Wagner, a world record holder from New Jersey that I know well and have played alongside, won our Arcade Winter Blast tournament. Dick Moreland put up a great score in that tournament on Timber.
Pat Belair, a well known and very good Canadian arcade and ColecoVision player participated in both arcade tournaments and ColecoVision tournament last fall. Pat is an A+ student of the game and will share any and all his knowledge of the games with the other players which makes them better players.
German Helmut Mueller is well known in the Vectrex community and won the Vector War tournament last September and he's very much looking forward to Vector War II coming up in late August. Ian Nicholson, who writes for Retrocade Magazine and owns the site www.Vectrex.co.uk also participated along with Jasper Alto.
Christian Keilback, A. Peter Mee and James Randall are all great Atari 2600 players who have participated in contests and submitted scores. George Riley, the King of 3, has posted scores on Galaxian and Zaxxon.
Virender Dayal has won two tournaments including the ColecoVision tournament that he won by only 0.03% over Ed Kelly. Right now Virender is battling it out with Damon Stephen in our Atari 5200 tournament which, as of this writing, he only leads by 0.12%.
Then there's Ben Mullen who submitted a score of over 900,000 on Tetris (NES) and Eric Cummings score of over 400,000 on BurgerTime (NES).
So, not only do we have great players who have been submitting scores to Retrocade Magazine, but the contests have been very competitive and have literally gone down to the wire. John McKinnel, for example, won the Donkey Kong Barrel Press Competition by 300 points over Ross Benziger.
But, the scoreboards are there for players of ALL skill levels. And often players will swap tips and tricks with each other on a particular game which is what it's all about.
(Editor) - On behalf of Josh Jones and Gaming World Wide, I'd like to thank Mr. Maerz for taking time out of his schedule to do this special interview for us. Again, please visit Retrocade Magazine at www.retrocademagazine.com and join in the fun!
Get Broly to Evo 2012
Posted on May 22, 2012 by Josh Jones
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another charity event, and this one is more than worth it.
Enter Mike Begum, the best Chun-Li player in the state of Texas, and potential competitor at EVO 2012 in Las Vegas.
Mike is a near-paralyzed gamer, with the sheer determination and drive to be the best among the best. Sadly this year, his trip to compete on the world circuit has hit a snag. His van's fuel injector/pump has taken a turn for the worse. After speaking with Mike and his family, I have gotten the authorization to get him the help he needs.
At the present time, the mechanic has estimated $1000 for the bill, however he has knocked $100 off the price, so he needs $900 to make the trip. This is our goal.
I know Evo is right around the corner, and that's why I want to begin this immediately. I am asking supporters to spread the Chip-In donation link around and show the compassion of the gaming community. After all, we are a large network of family, and family has each other's backs.
Below are a few links to include when sharing the information.
Interview with Gootecks on Cross Counter:
Fox News Houston Interview (article and video):
Chip-In for donations to this cause:
Please share this with your contacts and whomever can lend a helping hand.
Gaming World Wide Event Coordinator
Review: Journey (PS3)
Posted on April 5, 2012 by Gil C. Morrison
It's quite rare these days that a game like Journey comes along. After all the space marines, calls of duty and war machines that have proven guns equal money to developers, ThatGameCompany paints a picture without taking a life. On the contrary, it breathes life into gaming culture by telling a simple story on the most basic level - a story that we can all identify with. Within the span of around two and a half hours I experienced awe, whimsy, friendship, gloom and heartbreak, but foremost, Journey exemplifies beauty.
In some ways this PlayStation Network exclusive resembles games from the pre-NES generation; one clear goal, sparse controls and what seems like a shallow narrative. Since there's no back story presented in the way of an opening cinematic, it is up to you to weave a tale...or in this case, a scarf. I started in a Lawrence of Arabia role, plopped into the desert with very little in the way of explanation. My goal was a towering mountain past the horizon. Why? You won't know until the end and even then, there may be some debate. Part of the fun then is to explore. Oddly enough, I never really felt like I was "exploring" as the obvious path seemed pretty linear but that never concerned me. The mystery of what was presented to me kept the exploration fresh, I was never pushed. I moved of my own accord. Then...I met my first companion; another faceless player. At first we communicated with short musical tones accompanied by symbols. That led to showing each other areas we'd found on our own containing pieces of scarf the other had yet to find, which allowed us to upgrade our own. Soon we're fluttering and floating alongside each other on the backs of flying squids made of ribbon, exploring the depths of an ocean and shredding down sand dunes on snowboards. Yes, Journey has a snowboarding section and it may be the best ever. You will learn the meaning of "companion" in this game. You will experience ecstasy and loneliness, all in the company of a complete stranger. One of the most emotionally charged climaxes in gaming awaits the both of you at the top of the ever present mountain. You'll notice I mentioned nothing of the graphics; they must be seen first hand. I just can't describe it.
In my book, Journey enters an under populated wing in the halls of gaming occupied by a handful of titles such as Shadow of the Colossus and Braid. It epitomizes the definition of "games are an art form" in a way few others have. As the last of three titles created by ThatGameCompany exclusively for the PS3, Journey had an affect on me and that is more than I can say for the droves of recent software. It is already the fastest selling PSN download of all time. Give this game two hours and it will give you a short but sweet experience that you won't soon forget.
Overall Score 9.5
Review: Street Fighter X Tekken
Posted on March 29, 2012 by Eric Cummings (Photo Credit: Capcom Entertainment)
Street Fighter X Tekken has a generic story about a cube that falls to Earth (given the name Pandora) which draws fighters from both universes together due to their curiosity of its power. Whatever, something had to bring them together for this to work. The game plays similar to Street Fighter 4 and SSF4, keeping the "Cross Gauge"/EX bar at the bottom of screen with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3's pop up combos and character switching thrown in. On top of that are gems you can use to power up and a Pandora Mode where a nearly defeated fighter can basically bow out and turn their partner into an unstoppable force with unlimited Cross Gauge juice. Too many cancels, crosses, and what-not to get into so let's get to it.
This is a great fighting game, no question, the best ever, no. Why? It's not well balanced for one but most have accepted that will happen in fighting games. The DLC characters locked on disc will cost $20 - Ouch! As you increase the difficulty, you must fight more matches and the last boss gets harder and cheaper. Endgame Boss on the Hardest difficulty = Many players yelling "WTF!" and possibly thrown controllers for those that don't steadily play fighting games in their gaming diet. There also seems to be no 4 player co-op mode in this version meaning no true team battles.
Most Fighting Game Fans will probably love this game overall but may harbor some resentment for the creators not doing a certain this or that. Gamers that don't live and breath the Fighting Genre might be temporarily awed at first but the effect soon passes if it doesn't hook you. Gripes aside, the game is tight on control (8.5), graphics (9.5) and sound (9) with the music falling a little short (7.5)
Overall Score 8.5