By Crix Lee in Features
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm
*Editor's Note: Cricket Lee is Joystick Division's Girl Gamer correspondent.*
On September 26, 2009, SC3 (Southern California Classic Collectors) held their bi-yearly get together in Claremont, CA and was a feast for the eyes, ears, AND hands. It was like Flynn's or any other arcade of your dreams built in your own backyard!
Held in April and September, SC3 is a local Classic game collector's group that serves not only the Metro Los Angeles area, but San Diego and Inland Empire areas as well. Founded by Steve Hertz and held in Hertz's epic win backyard, gamers are invited to not only show off and possibly add to their own collections, but to play and earn bragging rights.
Computer, console, and standing coin-op games that have been off the market for at least 10 years or more is why members willingly drive as long as 2 hrs to attend. Did I also mention that the coin-op games were rigged for free play all night long?! Two arcade rooms were built: one outside under a canopy and the other in the garage, complete with black lights and 80's music like Madonna's "Burning Up" blasting through the speakers. I seriously could live in this room. I myself played a ton of games including Tempest and an ORIGINAL standing Star Wars!
Of course the wait to play Star Wars was slightly insane as everyone wanted to get their hands on it, but were happy to wait as they could play a ton of other coin-ops. Games like like Q-Bert, Donkey Kong, Turkey Shoot, Bust A Move, Intellivision, or Vectrex were available. You could also buy, sell, and trade collectables or just take a load off in the beer and pizza garden and watch old school gaming ads projected on another huge wide screen.
Heaven built in a backyard, and it was ours from 6pm-Midnight. Collectors and enthusiasts of all ages are invited and all were equally excited to see/touch everything their little heart desired. I like to call it the "bi-yearly family reunion with the people you actually want to see", because everyone is genuinely happy to see each other and restart friendly rivalry battles on Q-bert or any other game in the joint.
Auction site ChaseTheChuckwagon.com and founder Mike Kennedy were on hand once again for the vintage gaming raffle with tickets going for two bucks a pop for prizes like working Atari 2600s -- not too shabby! There were also two world-record attempts: homerwannabee is shooting for the Atari 2600 Galaxian record and FlyHec is gunning for glory at NES Track & Field. I'll have to get back to you as to whether or not it happened, as I was EVERYWHERE touching EVERYTHING.
Thinking of joining but still not sure? Hertz sums it up best on SC3's Facebook page: "If you aren't familiar with SC3, we're just a friendly group of videogame enthusiasts who like nothing better than to get together to talk, trade, and play games. We've got a soft spot for games from the "classic" days of the early 1980s, but we love games of all eras, from Pong to PlayStation 3. If you love videogames, you're welcome to attend!"
For more info on next year's meetings and how to become a member, check out http://www.sc3videogames.com/
See you next year!
CORRECTION: Geoff Voight is the founder, Steve Hertz hosts the parties.