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Oklahoma Video Game Expo 2011

On July 18th 2011 the Oklahoma Video Game Expo opened it's doors for it's annual event. In fact this was the 8th event so if you've been a gamer in Oklahoma and haven't been to this convention SHAME ON YOU! This is a place of heaven for gamers. It's not like these things happen all the time in Oklahoma, that I know of at least, so we need to support these things when they happen. My biggest reason for wanting to go was to find Sega Saturn games. Ever since buying the Saturn I've been excited to play the gems on it, but buying online is always a worrisome thing for me, because I'm OCD and can't actually examine the game disc/cart, the case, the manual, etc.

This expo is all about absorbing the great history of Video Games. All decades were well represented here at the convention. Classic games to Buy, Sell and Trade. I think most people just out right bought things. Didn't see any selling (from the people walking into as customers) or trading going on. Of course the people coming here were gamers that were likely wanting to expand their libraries and not shrink them. So...meh.

My friend John and I got there about 30 minutes after the doors had opened and you could tell that some booths were still setting up in the corner areas. We paid our entry fee of $5 and as we walked onto the event floor there was the local GameXchange booth on our right and the St. Louis based Trade-n-Games on our left. We focused on left to right. Since the event floor was designed in a circle, we would make our way back around to the front and then start the circle again. Anyway, the vendor on the left had quite a few rare or just plain hard to find games. The Deluxe Edition of Growlanser Generations in brand new condition! If I had to estimate how many games this guy had alone, I would probably say at least 150 games. Great selection of game titles, NES to PS3. I first checked to see if he had any Saturn games and he had a few. The ones that weren't sports games I already had. Like Grid Runner and The Mansion of Hidden Souls. Well he did have Mystaria: The Realms of Lore (Blazing Heroes in North America), but he was asking a high price for it. So I ended up passing on it.

Next to the Trade-n-Games was the Bad Game Beatdown booth. Nothing was technically for sell, since it was meant to showcase the bad games throughout video game's history. A tournament was held here that would feature Shaq-Fu. Before the day was done, the convention had crowned the "Best Shaq-Fu Player"....I don't think I would want that title. There wasn't much else going on throughout the day there for this booth, since it was focused on that one thing.

There were people selling old school video game neon marquee signs that were used in arcades. Vendors that sold hard crafted game character based plushies. A vendor who sold books he wrote over the history of this great industry, his name is Brett Weiss if you're interested to see his view on the industry as a whole. Very few people are devoted enough to actually write about this industry. So it was nice to hear him and John talk for a little while. I know he liked it. It's not exactly something I can sit down and do, so I didn't have any input to give or real questions to ask him, but still it was nice to hear.

Close to his booth on the other side was the Oklahoma based Nintendo Okie. They were giving away free games if you got 4 out of 7 questions correctly. John went first and got half a point out of 7, he got half of a question right. With nothing to lose I stepped up to the plate and got a whopping 1 out of 7 correct. So we didn't win any games. Big deal. These guys were cool and very enthusiast about gaming and the industry. Despite there name, they asked very balanced questions. Which I wasn't expecting and caused me to be miss at least 2 questions.

All in all I really enjoyed this event. My highlight of the day was near the end when the One Ups played. They are a band of 4 based out of Arkansas. Only 3 were able to show up and they play rock style game soundtrack covers. I talked with them before and after they played and they were also very awesome guys. Down to earth, easy to talk to and full of fun facts about the group. I hope to see more for them soon.