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Introduction
The 2008 Midwest Gaming Classic was remarkably similar to the 2006 & 2007 events. That shouldn't be a surprise, this is a retro event after all. It appeared to be just as, if not more, crowded than previous years so obviously classic gamers weren't disappointed. For whatever it's worth, I don't see a need to change the basic formula. I suppose when the Playstation and N64 officially cross over from "stale" to "retro" we'll start seeing more of them at this event. Hmm, that should be happening soon.. if the Playstation or N64 was your childhood game system then chances are you're graduating college very soon. If history repeats itself, everyone who had one of these when they were 10 will start feeling nostalgic for them soon. I am going to feel so old when they start showing up at classic gaming events..   

Last year I noted that TurboGrafx-16 games and systems seemed to be hot. That trend definitely continued in 2008. The cheapest TG-16 games were priced at $10 for a chip by itself. Some games that I bought on clearance for $4.99 in 1993 were commanding triple-digits now. I must have heard someone ask "you guys have any Turbo Duos?" at every vendor's table there. Insanity. Where were all you TG-16 fans in the early 90s? On the decline was the Atari 2600. Every vendor seemed to have a giant box of games that no one was interested in. Master System games, priced in the $5-$20 range, were also more plentiful than years past.

Usual Disclaimer: I have better digital camera than previous years, but I still suck at taking pictures.

New Disclaimer: This is much shorter than previous reviews. The Midwest Gaming Classic was held at the Olympia Resort in 2006, 2007, and this year. The previous years I stayed at the hotel with the family. It's pretty nice place so we'd enjoy a little family getaway. I'd pop in and out of the show while my wife enjoyed the spa, reading by the pool, or jogging the trail around the golf course. In 2006 and 2007 the event was held in the summer but this year it was in the "spring". I want a few of you global warming alarmists to come see the beautiful weather we've been treated to in the Midwest this year. Don't give me this "you can't make a statement about global weather patterns based on a specific region" crap 'cause that's all I hear in misery-laden reports about global warming. "Some snow melted in Greenland today. Based on that we're predicting that North America will be underwater in 40 years. Never mind our opportunistic prophecies about the 2006 hurricane season." Anyway, because it was in the 30s all weekend we decided not to stay up there. I drove up for a few hours, did some shopping, and headed home.

The images on this page are thumbnails, click for the full-size image (you'd probably figure that out on your own though).


Vendors
As usual, my main reason for going to the Midwest Gaming Classic was for the vendors. I can't put into words how many games are available for sale there.

Here's one of those boxes filled with Atari 2600 games. If you ever considered starting an Atari 2600 collection you could get it 80% filled in a single day here.

The folks at Wizzywig Collectables brought a huge assortment of toys from Japan. It never ceases to amaze me that items like these simply aren't sold in America. Yeah, we can get some cool t-shirts at Hot Topic but does Nintendo have any idea how much more they could be selling?

See back in the 80s, companies (including Nintendo) knew how to pimp their characters. You name a product and someone was thrilled to slap a video game character on the side. There's a freakin' Jungle Hunt game! Other than Monopoly, name a single Nintendo-themed board game produced in the last 20 years? Get with the program Nintendo, we want more cheap stuff like this. 

Now for the borderline-legal merchandise. Every year there are a couple items that walk the line on legality. This year it was a table selling custom made NES games. There'd be no gray area if these were homebrew titles but instead they sold hacks and translations. Earthbound, iffy.. Zelda outlands, also iffy.. Final Fantasy III (now available on DS), Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2 (available for SNES), probably not legal. Of course there's still a kiosk at my local mall selling those bootleg direct-to-TV gizmos with 50-100 NES games so I suppose Nintendo has bigger fish to fry.

Wow, I never heard of the Kid Vid before. It's apparently a cassette adapter for the Atari 2600.


Museum & Exhibits
This is only a small fraction of the systems & games showcased at the Midwest Gaming Classic. These are pictures of things I didn't see at previous shows (not to say they weren't there of course).

The Atari Lynx is always well represented at this event, but this time the Game Gear made a showing. They had a playable system with a great selection to try.

Although not classic, they had a playable Panasonic-Q. It's a Gamecube/DVD combo that was only released in Japan. I gotta think this could have competed with the PS2 and Xbox in America. Then again, who didn't own a DVD player in 2002?

I have no idea what this has to do with gaming but here's and Osborne - the first "portable" computer. I've seen these for sale at numerous computer shows. It was an idea ahead of its time. Whoever came up with it accurately predicted the demand for portable computing, the technology just wasn't ready yet.

The Timex Sinclair 1000 was definitely portable though.

This was probably the highlight of the day for me.. getting to play an Aquarius for the first time. It had Astrosmash running which was fun, albeit incredibly crude compared to the Intellivision version. This is an oft-forgotten piece of PC and gaming history.

Alright, I'm not really interested in the Roller Controller, I just wanted to work in a Cabbage Patch Kids reference.

The Atari Stunt Cycle looks like something that could be marketed as a direct-to-TV system today. Maybe even a crazy Wii accessory.

The Odyssey systems were just slightly before my time. Like snowflakes, no two look alike. This is the Odyssey 3000, which looks nothing like the Odyssey 2 or the other variants.


Related Links
Midwest Gaming Classic
Lazer Dorks - Midwest Gaming Classing 2008 recap


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