Getting Weird And Retro At EB Expo 2016

war_at_ebexpo2016Watch out Sydney, Weird And Retro (WaRriors) are back for another EB Games Expo! This time around, the WaRriors are bringing a plethora of retro gaming systems that will feature over 60 games in the best of old-school gaming.

Players will be able to get hands-on with heaps of retro gaming systems, including the Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and the Super Nintendo to name just a few. No matter how you look at it, there will be plenty of classic games on offer to tickle the nostalgic nerve.

If you are attending EB Expo 2016 (Ed: woohoo, we are!) and are in need of a retro gaming fix, then make sure you swing by the Freeplay area! The WaRriors will be waiting!

Oh yeah, we’ll be live on our social media channels from EB Expo this weekend, so join the #EBExpo conversation!

ebexpo2016_mapsource: EB Expo

 

EB Games Expo 2015: It’s A Wrap

EB_Expo15_HDRWhat do you get when a bunch of great friends invite you to Sydney to participate and assist in their retro gaming exhibit at one of the biggest gaming events of the year? You get a huge rush of adrenaline mixed with a massive dose of fun that lasts for 5 days!

This past weekend, I attended the EB Games Expo 2015 (EBExpo15) in Sydney, assisting the Weird and Retro crew in their Interactive History Museum (IHM) exhibit. Even though I have now come back to reality, the buzz of EBExpo15 is still high – I hope the buzz lasts a little while yet.

It all started three days before EB Games Expo 2015 – we picked up the rental truck, packed all the retro gaming gear and pop-culture goodies and set off for our ‘retro road trip’ to Sydney (Ed: we’ll save the story of the retro road trip for another time). Once arriving in Sydney, the bump-in was relatively easy, with all of us working in unison, we had setup the Interactive History Museum (IHM) with items from the 80s, 90s and 00s, from retro gaming systems, retro video games, to a myriad of pop-culture gear, we had three decades worth of nostalgia covered in the one area.

Once EBExpo15 kicked off, it was great to see attendees flocking to the IHM area and enjoying themselves by playing video games they hadn’t seen since they were a child or wowing at the sight of the Sale Of The Century board game with Tony Barber in the 90s section. The age range of attendees was varied, but each person that took a trip down memory lane in the IHM was not disappointed – there was something to do and see for everyone. There were plenty of compliments, which always makes you feel that all the hard work was worthwhile, like this one from a very happy patron, “Your stand was my favourite of all time!!! Thank you for showing the next generation the amazing technology advancement from when I was a kid to now. I was born in the 70’s, so my childhood of gaming was experienced in the 80’s and it was wonderful to relive all those great times. Once again, thank you.

EBExpo15 wasn’t just about the IHM. The main hall was packed with modern gaming with all the big players in the industry being present, from Sony Playstation Australia showing off their VR headset, Xbox Australia garnering interest with their Xbox One wares, to Nintendo Australia and New Zealand doing what they do best – gaming and running gaming related competitions. And what exhibition is complete without amazing Cosplay. At EBExpo15, there were cosplayers representing every medium – TV, gaming, comics and movies. The cosplayers were all equally amazing to see and humble when approached to be photographed.

Like all good things, EBExpo15 concluded on Sunday (Oct 4). After 5 days in Sydney, we had to pack up the gear (Ed: very carefully!) and make our way down the Hume Highway back to unseasonably warm Melbourne. So, was it all worth it and was it fun? Let’s just say we had the gunnest time ever! Roll on EB Games Expo 2016!

Thank you to the Weird and Retro team: Serby, Stacey, Jerry, Pedro and Kano for allowing me to share in the EB Games Expo 15 shenanigans!

Where on the road to…… EB Games Expo (Sydney)
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Pit-stop – the Ice Man (Jerry) enjoys a bit of cocktail action
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Isuzu trucks – they are not so squeezy
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We arrive at Sydney’s Showground!
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Pass picked up – time to go in and start setting up
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The Interactive History Museum – let’s go in!
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Totally 80’s – computers!
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Totally 80’s – consoles!
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Never forget the 90’s!
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The mighty SNES
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The Jaguar museum piece was a personal fave!
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The Noughties represent!
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Taking a sneak peek at the PlayStation exhibit in the main hall
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Freeplay City – the calm before the storm!
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Retro Gamer Rival (Pedro) making us drool over his mint warez!
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Getting our gear on before the start of EB Expo 15!
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Drool worthy!
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Stuffing our faces – a growing body needs sustenance!
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I love this computer. There, it has been said!
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The write-up for the Jag was pure gold!
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Taking more sneaky peeks into what PlayStation will have for us in the near future
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Yours truly making some last minute adjustments to the 90’s museum display
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Loving the view!
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It’s showtime! The IHM proves popular with all patrons
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Yay, Zool action!
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The popular 90s!
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Weird and Retro’s Serby enjoying a bit of bongo action on Donkey Konga!
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Mega Man made it to the expo!
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Sonic enjoyed on the Mega Drive by the new generation
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Even the dark side of the force enjoys a bit of retro gaming
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I wanna bust out the Barry Crocker tune now!
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Checking out the main hall during our breaks
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Serby enjoys an old classic on new hardware. Oh wait…..
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The EB Games mega-store was MEGA (and always packed)!
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So many temptations in the EB Games mega-store
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Whoa, Lego Mario and Luigi!
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More Lego retro gaming creations! *want*
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Speechless!
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Oh my gawd! This is my kind of arcade!
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Meanwhile, back in the IHM, we find Link and his Fairy!
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May the force be with you!
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16-bit Mortal Kombat WaR!
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My childhood in the 80s!
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16-bit goodies
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XBox royalty!
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If only this was $9.99!
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Busting out the vinyl
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Spin that wheel! I’m a make you feel….
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Taking a pinball break! This means WaR!
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Spooky!
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Whoa, that’s green!
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Ubisoft crashes the party!
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On my best behaviour
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Sonic competes at the Nintendo stand!
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We made it on the Gamespot #EBExpo15 social media wall!
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Best tattoos at show!
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Mini Luigi beating his bro on Super Mario Kart
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Star-Lord and Drax the Destroyer enjoying some Dayyyyytoooooona USA!
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Ah, all good things must come to an end.
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On The Road To EB Games Expo 2015

EB_Expo_Titleimage source: techradar

This time of year is always the best! The weather starts warming up, trees start blossoming, the major sporting codes play their respective finals and the biggest gaming event hits Sydney – it is, EB Games Expo 2015 time!

For the first time ever, ausretrogamer will be attending EB Games Expo 2015, assisting the Weird and Retro (WaR) crew in the Retro Central Park area. As you may (or may not) have known, Weird and Retro have been running the Retro Central Park area (formerly known as the Retro Gamer Garden) within the Freeplay City attraction at EB Games Expo for the last two years.

After hearing about all of the fun the WaR team has had at previous EB Games Expo events, we knew we wanted to be part of the action. We begged and groveled till they relented and allowed us to hit the road with them to Sydney (Ed: Um, this may not have been how it went down!).

To say we are looking forward to EB Games Expo 2015 would be a great understatement – we can’t wait! It will be great to travel with awesome friends and experience this event first hand. If you are attending, please come by the Retro Central Park area and get a hit of nostalgia by playing some old classics, or come by to check out the Interactive History Museum – you’ll have a ball! Hope to see you there!

The essentials are packed!
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Details:
Event: EB Games Expo 2015
When: October 2 – 4, 2015
Where: Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

 

EB Games Expo 2014

EB_Expo

Get excited gamers! Tickets to EB Games Expo 2014 go on sale tomorrow (April 24, 10AM AEST)!

Australia’s biggest video gaming event caters for all gamers, from the modern to retro! I can’t wait to check out the Retro Central Park Freeplay City area which will be run by our very good friends, Weird and Retro.

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If you are in Sydney and are free between October 3 – 5, then you should get yourself down to the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park precinct  for one heck of a weekend! If you are from interstate or overseas, then I hope this event tempts you to come to Sydney! Hope to see you there!

All images sourced from and remain the property of: EB Games Expo 2014

 

WaR breaks out at EB Games Expo

It is always a pleasure meeting up and chatting with like minded and passionate retro gamers. One retro gamer in particular is so passionate and down to earth, he is like a magnet for other retroholics. The retro gaming magnet I speak of is none other than Aleks Svetislav (aka: Serblander or Serby), one half of the great Weird and Retro (WaR) team. I have caught up with Serby a few times during the year and it never ceases to amaze me at the things they get up to – from hunting arcade machines across the country, to running retro club days and their awesome television show segment on New Game Plus on channel 31, to name a few.

In the recent past, WaR have been involved in events bringing retro gaming to the masses. Their events caught the eye of EB Games Australia which has lead to the WaR team being invited to participate in this years EB Games Expo (October 4 – 6). We caught up with Serby to get the lowdown on all things EB Games Expo and Weird and Retro.

For those that have been living on the moon and have not heard of Weird and Retro, this is what the lovely folks at EB Games have said about them:

“Weird And Retro are Australia’s premier retro gaming gurus. Watch them on TV or game with them in person at their numerous community events. Weird and Retro are keeping the pixelated past alive by bringing weird and retro to all generations!”

Now, on with grilling Serby!

AUSRETROGAMER [ARG]: Hey Serby, take us through the details of how your involvement with the EB Games Expo came about?
Aleks Svetislav [Serby]: It all started on Twitter. Earlier this year, our good friend Susie (@SiouxsieKate on Twitter) mentioned us to the community manager of EB Games Australia (EB) answering her call for any retro collectors in Melbourne to help out with retro consoles for their EB GameAThon; a 25 hour livestream to raise money for the Starlight Foundation. I followed up, they agreed, we gave a presentation, the crowd (and EB directors watching) loved it, and the rest as they say, is retro gaming history.

Kano and Serby at the Nintendo Experience for EB's Starlight GameAThon 2013 fundraiser

L-to-R: Kano and Serby at the Nintendo Experience for EB’s Starlight GameAThon 2013 fundraiser

ARG: Who came up with the awesome idea of a ‘Retro Gamer Garden’ theme for the Expo? 
Serby: The Retro Gamer Garden theme was put forward to me at our first business meeting with EB by Kelsey Gamble. I loved it (as well as the complimentary lamb business lunch)! While we worked together on it in terms of adding extra themes and features, the credit for this awesome theme goes to EB Games!

ARG: Did you have any other ideas apart from the Garden theme?
Serby: Once I heard of their Retro Gamer Garden idea, I was sold. There was no need to explore any other themes. We were all excited about the garden theme and were on the same page, so it was full steam ahead. What we did do was add to the theme – for example, I came up with the idea to have a ‘gaming pond’ where you could play retro fishing games on a fishing controller while sitting in the comfort of a fold-out camping chair (ARG: You are so clever Serby!). Bringing a VHS player to watch old school cult classics while playing the movie tie-in games, as well as some other features that we hope you will get to see next year.

Andrew Owen [Monash University] at the War exhibit at the Computer Games Boot Camp 2013

Andrew Owen [Monash University] at the WaR exhibit at the Computer Games Boot Camp 2013

ARG: What is your main aim or what would you like (hope) to achieve with the Retro Gamer Garden?
Serby: We are very experienced with gaming events, expos, red carpet events and crowds. What we aim to achieve with the Retro Gamer Garden is the same as with all our other events: to make people aware of and excited about the rich history and great fun that retro gaming has to offer. This is not only for the bearded merchants of reminiscence from ye old times, but for all the younger generations who may not have been exposed to or have had a chance to enjoy gaming on actual retro hardware.

ARG: How will the retro systems be sourced? Are you bringing your own? If so, which ones? How are you going to cart this precious cargo? Will there be any arcade machines?
Serby: One of the reasons that Weird And Retro was chosen to run the retro event for EB Games Expo (apart from all of our event experience and good working relationship with EB) is that we can supply and run all the retro games and systems needed for the event. As such, EB offered to fly us to the expo and back and have all our retro ‘luggage’ transported by their transport company. However, due to the uber rare and expensive nature of our collection, we did not want to take any chances with couriers damaging our rarities. So, we offered to drive a hire truck to Sydney and back ourselves. This way, we not only ensure that everything will get all the TLC that it needs, but we just scored another ‘paid for’ Retro Road Trip! Oh, and there may also be an arcade machine or gaming kiosk coming with us too.

The 'Interactive Retro Gaming Museum' for YMCA's Pixel Arcade event

The ‘Interactive Retro Gaming Museum’ for YMCA’s Pixel Arcade event

ARG: Will you be running competitions during the expo? If so, which games, what format and most importantly, what are the prizes?
Serby: As with all of our events, we will be running some WaR comps (not to be confused with ‘war camps’). Like at all of our larger events, we aim to have our regular 10-player Saturn Bomberman tournament; running on a projector in front of a large audience. We will have to see if space and facilities will permit this. Back by popular demand will be C64anabalt: the recent cartridge release from the ever awesome RGCD. This C64 release is based on the popular Canabalt game. As far as prizes go, isn’t seeing and playing with your favourite retro gamers from the television screen in real life prize enough? (winks).

ARG: If PAX Aus is anything to go by, I reckon your area will be extremely popular! Do you have helpers on hand? If not, can I sneak into your luggage.
Serby: (Laughs), thanks for the offer Alex, but EB security already have an ‘AusRetroGamer Wanted’ poster (ARG: I have been exposed!) at all entry points so smuggling yourself through them would be tougher than squeezing anything past a cavity search by the TSA (laughs). Apart from the ‘faces’ of Weird And Retro (Serby & Kano), we will almost have the full contingent of ‘WaRiors’ coming along and helping out: Pedro (aka: RetroGamerRival), Jamie, Stacey Borg, and returning to EB from our previous EB GameAThon venture: Jerry (aka: @icemanfx). ARG: No love for ausretrogamer hey. This changes everything Serby (wink).

Weird and Retro on their infamous 'Retro Road Trip'. Completing Serby's life-long dream in owning Gauntlet II

Weird and Retro (Kano and Serby) on their infamous ‘Retro Road Trip’. Completing Serby’s life-long dream in owning a Gauntlet II machine

ARG: Can you give us an exclusive on something about the EB Games Expo that we didn’t already know about?
Serby: For AusRetroGamer? Absolutely! Those that follow our Weird And Retro twitter exploits, you will know of our retro hunts. Well for this years EB Games Expo, we will be bringing the mother-load of our Retro Road Trip pick-ups! I am talking about none other than an original 1986 4-Player Atari Games arcade cabinet that is Gauntlet II! ARG: WHOA, I am fully gobsmacked! I hope she is guarded like Fort Knox.

ARG: Apart from the Expo, will you have time to go on a retro hunt while in Sydney?
Serby: Weird And Retro never goes to Sydney without visiting our friends and previous event sponsors: ‘Retro Games Top Ryde City’ and ‘The Gamesmen’ in Penshurst! If you want retro, then do not go there! Leave it all for us!

Weird and Retro area at the Amiga Users Group meet - showcasing RGCD's latest C64 releases

Weird and Retro area at the Amiga Users Group meet – showcasing RGCD’s latest C64 releases

ARG: What is next for Weird and Retro?
Serby: WaR is breaking out on all fronts! Apart from EB Games Expo, we are already booked for the annual two day AFTERSHOCK event taking place at Monash University (Caulfield Campus) on Saturday 7 – Sunday 8 December. Events for 2014 are looking good with the 7-day Computer Games Boot Camp 2014, PAX Aus and EB Games Expo 2014. Monthly club meets (in Victoria) include: Retro Tuesday on the first Tuesday of every month; and AUG (Amiga Users Group) every third Sunday of each month. I was recently stopped at a Cash Converters (pawn store) while on a GameCube retro hunt by a mature couple who were big fans of our WaR segment on the New Game Plus TV show, which reminds me: we need to record more WaR TV segments! We have also set-up our Weird and Retro YouTube channel so watch out (no pun intended) for upcoming feature length segments, reviews, event videos and more! Our weirdandretro.com site is under construction – this is where you will find a host of retro related goodies in the not too distant future. In the meantime, if you cannot join us in person at any community event, you can follow our exploits on Facebook and Twitter. If you like to see a lot of ‘Retro Gaming Show & Tell’ then following us on twitter is highly recommended!

ARG: Hang on, did you say PAX? Are you joining us at the Classic Games Console crew?
Serby: Looks like it (winks).
ARG: Oh man, that is awesome! We will have a blast.

ARG: Finally, what is your all time favourite arcade game?
Serby: As a Highlander would say: “There can be only one!” But as Weird And Retro has two co-hosts, I will give you (my) two. My two all time favourite arcade games are Gauntlet II and Mortal Kombat II. Gauntlet II was the first game that introduced me to multi-player gaming. It was more than just 2 players at one time, which has led me to my love (and vast collection) of multi-player LAN games and consoles. As for Mortal Kombat II, I was a champion. Having played the game for five plus hours a day, every day, for almost a year, at a local Dandenong arcade (for free), I was bound to become a flawless champion! Anyone want to take on Kitana?

Well there you have it. Thank you Serby for your time and candid responses. We wish you all the best at the upcoming EB Games Expo. We are certain the Retro Gamer Garden will be quite popular. All the best in your future retro endeavors and adventures. We will definitely see each other again in the not so distant future.

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