3rd January 2011


Better late than never, RetroBear takes you on a journey by train to “That London” as he attends the first ever London Gaming Convention and has a thoroughly enjoyable time of it….


You may recall towards the end of November I mentioned I had been invited to the first London Gaming Convention not far from Arsenal Football Club. Well the good news is I did manage to attend. The bad news is it took me so long to write an article about it. However I can report that, despite a few teething problems, and those I can’t really comment on as I did not take take part, I found the whole thing to be really rather good.

It was held at the London Metropole University Rocket bar, which seemed to be a rather small venue for what this will hopefully branch out and become. There were various areas where you could go and experience gaming – a modern area for PS3, 360 and Wii fanatics, a LAN area for all the PC gamers, if 10 man Bomberman on the Sega Saturn was your thing then you could join in with that too, and finally a rather well stocked Retro area with more CRT TV’s than I have seen in a long time.


The well stocked retro area


Upstairs, there was a big stage where invited guests such as Guru Larry, Ashens and BrentalFloss all appeared, doing some Q&A sessions for the gathered masses. Elsewhere more modern gaming areas could be found and alongside that, an all out Super Smash Bros Brawl area with again up to 10 players at a time involved. It was also good to see a smattering of traders at the event, though one had to be careful with the wallet as the retro stuff was priced highly but all in rather good nick.


A smattering of traders meant those who brought enough cash with them could leave with a bagful of goodies

The event also ran alongside their usual Anime convention, with the games part being used for the first time. Whilst there is a certain amount of crossover between the two this was definitely more games orientated and the upcoming event in February 2012 plans to focus more heavily on Anime. All in all there was plenty to do and see and have a go on. I managed to revisit my love affair with Point Blank on the PS1 and, whilst some of the retro stuff broke down, there was still plenty of choice to sit down and sample.


The Q&A and audience participation stuff was good fun, but was marred by a lot of technical issues

The only criticism of the event which has been prominent is the organisation. A lot of events were cancelled or pulled at the last minute and upon arriving at the start time of 11am it was at least a further hour before the event managed to kick off. I spent a rather long hour waiting for everything to start while people ran round looking for cables. The bar was well stocked and very busy, and whilst the food on site looked and smelled great I think more thought needs to be given to the catering. There was very little to choose from and a long queue, so unfortunately like many others I preferred to wonder 250 yards down the road to McDonalds instead.


It was a long hour but at least the company was good

So all in all, with any new event starting up there are going to be a few teething issues and so this was not a bad event to go and see. The next event is planned for (to confirm) and if you are in the area it is definitely worth a look. I would once again like to extend my thanks to the team for their kind offer of an invitation and look forward to seeing them again soon. Meanwhile have a look at the images below for some of the goodies that were on general public play !


Atari Jaguar running Tempest 2000


More CRT TV's than you can throw sticks at - remember retro looks a lot better on one of these


You can't have a retro event without Sonic


The small arcade cabinet had literally hundreds of classic arcade games loaded in and was incredibly busy