PAX Aus: It’s All About The People

featured3Sure, there’s always heaps to see and do at PAX Aus (more and more each year it seems!), but the best part is always the people – meeting new people and catching up with old friends. We had many laughs, hugs, handshakes and great conversations over the course of PAX Aus 2016 – here a just a few of the wonderful people we caught up with.

Many of the great people from Ausretrogamer, Retro Domination, Weird and RetroBartronica, Zax Amusements, Pinmem and the Bayside Pinball Club who worked with PAX to bring you the CGAcga-team

The CGA enforcer team was fantastic (again) this year – here are just a few
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A special thanks to the fabulous CGA Enforcer Team Leader – Zailee (thanks also to Spyder!)
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Look who stopped by the CGA to chat with Glenn – none other than Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg, PAX Aus Content Manager
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… or is it Gabby Boreland?
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Glenn and Zailee
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The ausretrogamer team – Alex Boz, Kerith (ms ausretrogamer), Alan Ly and Brant Raven
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Alex with Weird and Retro‘s Serby
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Greg and Josh from Bartronica
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Retro Domination‘s Matt and Daz
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…and Mark and Peter
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‘We’re just making sure they work!’ Weird and Retro‘s Dr Curlytek with Scott Kellett and Pete
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Bayside Pinball Club President – Lucas Bardin
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Lucas with pinball wizards Nick Hamhougias and Wal Dickie
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Group shot with some of our interstate friends – Meezergal and Lord Panek from Sydney plus artist, DM,  retro game developer and top hat wearer Mr Ant Stiller from Brisbane
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Ant with bro Grant, or ‘Granthony’
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Nick with Melbourne Silverball League‘s Martin Robbinsmarto-nick

Paul and Hoa – Weird and Retro
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Aaron from Press Play on Tape Podcast and the adorable Phoebe
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Aaron and Phoebe with fellow Tasmanians Tehkella and Damian
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Chris Van Graas very kindly loaned some amazing items for the CGA retro museum, including Mel Croucher’s ZX Spectrum used to code ‘Deus Ex Machina’ and Chris Huelsbeck’s MIDI sampler used to create the famous music for ‘Turrican’
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Chris also introduced us to three metre pizzas!
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Alex with passionate classic gamer, Harmik
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Retrogamer and artist Sean Tagg with the awesome Henry
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Pinball prodigy Jordan ‘JTH’ Tredaway and family
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The talented costume and prop-makers from Combustible Props
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Bethesda ANZ Community Manager Noel Wheatley, CNET Editor Seamus Byrne and Stacey Borg (Dr Curlytek) with Alex pre-panel (‘Geek Trash or Treasure? Finding Collectibles with Real Value‘)
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Seamus also stopped by the CGA for quick game
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Some friendly faces in the ‘Geek Trash or Treasure’ audience – Serby, Skye, Alan, Aaron, Damian and Tehkella
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Selfie with Frank and Lauren from Mana Mojo
selfie-mana-mojo(Photo from Mana Mojo)

Great pic of tech journalist Adam Turner and son
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Shane Rubans, Marcus Sezenov (Rosstown Retro Pinball Arcade) and Luke Marburg
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John and Ryan Sozanski
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Alex with Hal, Kale and Kevin Tilley (Reset magazine)
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Sairuk with Aaron
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Alex with Kelly (Weird and Retro) and Andrew Owen
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Tamagotchi!
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Alex with Adam Renardson, Content Services Manager PlayStation Australia
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Developer and YouTuber Rob Caporetto with programmer and CGA enforcer Rajesh Singh
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Raj, Rob, Kevin and Chris
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Rob in super-cool mode!
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The most triumphant moment of PAX Aus 2016 – collecting our ‘PAX XP’ PAX Aus towels (thanks to Alan for doing most of the legwork):
victory-towel-photo-2(Photo from Meezergal)

PAX Aus 2016 was a blast – and spending time with awesome people was really what made it. We’re already looking forward to 2017, can’t wait to see you there!

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Sean Tagg: The PAX Aus King Of Kong

PAX_DK_4There was no doubt that the Classic Gaming area was popular at this year’s PAX Aus event. One of the more popular attractions were the competitions, especially the high score challenge on the original Donkey Kong arcade machine (Ed: a big thanks to Greg Pell for sharing his awesome machine with us all!).

The PAX Aus patrons swarmed to the Donkey Kong machine like moths to a flame. High scores were racked up while players took control of ‘Jumpman’ to hurdle over barrels in the attempt to save Pauline from the evil clutches of the great anthropomorphic gorilla.

With great poise and precision four-way control, Sean Tagg showed the masses how to go about saving Pauline. While Billy Mitchell was declared the King Of Kong all those years ago, it was Sean Tagg’s high score of 103,900 (on Sunday) which saw him crowned as the PAX Aus King Of Kong! Well done Sean!

Sean Tagg barrel jumps and then hammers his way up to the top!
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Sean’s high score was enough to clinch the PAX Aus King of Kong crown
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Like father, like son – Henry gets in on some arcade action!
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The PAX Aus Classic Gaming medal is handed to its rightful owner!
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Interview with Sean Tagg: Out Run Extraordinaire

The great thing about social media, it brings people together. I have met plenty of wonderful and interesting people and Sean Tagg is definitely one of them. Upon my initial twitter conversations with Sean, I found him to be very engaging by sharing his video gaming knowledge (which he has plenty of) and also assisting in gaming related queries. Sean is one of those genuinely great people that likes to share information and be helpful – traits that are well admired.

I am digressing! I have been an admirer of Sean’s creative talents for over a year and I thought it was high time I lassoed the gaming warrior and ask him some pressing questions.  Here it goes!

AUSRETROGAMER [ARG]: So Sean, tell us how it all started – how did you get into video gaming? What are your earliest memories?
Sean Tagg [ST]: My earliest memories of playing video games date back to 1979 -80. My family used to take me to a caravan site in Wales (UK). The site had a barn full of arcade machines. I vividly recall playing some pretty cool arcade machines like; Space Invaders, Missile Command and Battle Zone. I used to have to stand on a milk crate to look through the scope on Battle Zone as I was only 7 years old.

ARG: What was your first console or gaming experience ?
ST: My first game was a LCD pinball game called Wildfire – made by Palitoy. Palitoy was based locally to where I lived and were huge in the day. They manufactured Star Wars and Action Man figures too. I later had other LCD games including Munchman, Frogger and BMX Flyer.

Sean’s first foray into gaming: Wildfire

ARG: Were you ever a brand fan (Sega vs Nintendo, Spectrum vs Commodore vs Amstrad)? If so, which side did you take?
ST: I was a Commodore fan. My first computer was the C64c, then I upgraded to the Amiga when I saw Ocean’s Batman game! I was a big fan of Stunt Car Racer, Anco’s Kick Off 2 and many more. Years later, I saw Golden Axe running on a Japanese Sega Mega Drive and I knew I had to have one. I’ve had quite a few of Sega’s machines, all imports – the Game Gear, Mega CD, Nomad, Saturn and Dreamcast.

ARG: You are an oracle of sorts on Sega’s venerable Out Run game (we love your blog site!). When did you first play it and what got you hooked for life?
ST: I first played Out Run the year it was released, 1986. Every arcade on the seafront of our holiday town had the deluxe cabinet version. I suppose it gave me a feeling of being able to drive and show off in a Ferrari, something no other game could do at the time. I think being a fan of sports cars, exotic locations and Caribbean steel drum music helps! OK, the last one was a lie (smiles)

The awesome 16-bit Sega Lego Mega Drive

ARG: Speaking of arcade games – what other ones tickle your fancy?
ST: All of Yu Suzuki’s big deluxe machines are fond favorites. I am glad to have grown up and experienced playing Out Run, Space Harrier, After Burner, Power Drift, Enduro Racer and R360 in the arcades. These days, I most play Mr Do!, Wonder Boy, Shinobi, Galaga, Robocop, Strider, Ghouls’n Ghosts, Rainbow Islands and Bubble Bobble. [ARG]: A list of classics!

ARG: We are admirers of your Lego video gaming inspired creations – how did this come about and which creations are your favourite?
ST: I play Lego with my 5 year old lad a fair bit. One day, I just thought that it would be cool to try and create the Out Run deluxe cabinet with Lego, incorporating my smartphone running MAME. Check out the stop motion video (below) of it being made. Oh yeh, I also enjoyed making the Lego Sega Mega Drive (smiles).

ARG: Can you give us a scoop – what will you create next with Lego?
ST: Maybe a Sega Hang On arcade sit-down bike (winks). [ARG]: We would love to see that!

ARG: You are also a restorer extraordinaire – tell us about the cocktail table restoration project?
ST: I picked it up on eBay 6 years ago. When it arrived it looked far worse than the photos and I thought “What have I done. It’s junk!”. After stripping it down and cleaning it, I started to take a shine to it. I spent a fair bit of time on a great site called Arcade Controls – the forums helped me to build the control panels, learn how to configure the software and the wiring. 6 years later, between having two kids and moving to Australia (with the machine in tow) it’s finally complete! [ARG]: It looks damn awesome too.

I also built this Bubble Bobble machine from scratch. [ARG]: Oh wow, it looks like we may be paying you a visit in the near future. That machine looks very inviting. I’ll play as Bub.

Built from scratch! The guy is a talent.

ARG: Are there any other hobbies you enjoy?
ST: I like art and woodwork. I’ve recently done some Shenmue drawings that I’m pretty happy with. I’m looking to do 4 characters in total.

Sean Tagg – a man of many talents. These drawings are sublime

ARG: Now comes the two hardest questions of this interview:

ARG: What is your all-time favourite gaming system?
ST: When it comes to retro systems, it has to be Sega’s Dreamcast. As for the current generation consoles, Microsoft’s XBox360 is my pick.

ARG: What is your all-time favourite video game?
ST: Easy, Shenmue. [ARG]: What? I would have thought Out Run?
ST:
Well, Outrun is in Shenmue, as with many other Yu Suzuki classics (smiles).

Well Sean, that wraps it up. Thank you very much for making time to participate in this interview – it wasn’t that scary after all. We will keep tabs on your wonderful creations and we will definitely be catching up with you in the near future.

To keep tabs on what Sean is up to, you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram and his website.