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Retro expo will go ahead

Old days gaming is the future and we're putting on a show to prove it, say beardy longhairs.

The UK games industry's event calendar is looking a little empty at the moment, what with the recent cancellation of ECTS, GDCE and SCoRE. But the good news announced today is that the Classic Gaming Expo will go ahead after all. (In the games world, for those who don't know, "Classic" means "Old", just like "Urban" means "Black".)

CGEUK was to host the 'Retro Zone' at this year's Game Zone Live, but that's also been knocked on the head. However, as organiser Chris Millard told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz, olden days games are so popular that they've decided to go ahead anyhow.

"When we heard that GZL was cancelled, we approached all our exhibitors and supporters with the idea of doing our own separate event and the response was overwhelming.

"Every single one said they still wanted to be involved, and were prepared to move their schedules around to fit the new date," Millard went on. "Even our special guests rearranged their schedules for us."

CGEUK will now be held on Saturday August 13, when classic gaming fans can sweep aside the cobwebs in Croydon's Fairfield Halls to see consoles, computers, arcade machines and pinball tables dating from the seventies right up to when The X-Files stopped being good.

Gamers will get to go head-to-head on classic machines, competing at games such OutRun, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. There will also be competitions for gamers with disabilities - these are being organised in conjunction with OneSwitch, which manufactures and imports products for disabled gamers.

Special guests at the show will include Matthew Smith of Manic Miner fame, Andy Nuttall and some of his Bullfrog colleagues, plus Ocean Software staff. Archer Maclean will also be there to show off some arcade machines from his private collection. Not quite Sting and Girls Aloud, admittedly, but they're probably handing out Gizmondo flyers down Regent Street that day.

When asked why there's still so much interest in classic gaming, Millard replied: "It's difficult to say... There are a lot of different answers.

"But overall, the simplicity of the games has a lot to do with it - the games are a lot more playable than some of the stuff that's out there now."

And retro gaming doesn't just appeal to older gamers. "When we first started taking classic games to events, kids were going straight for our machines. Rather than the newer consoles, they wanted to try out the Atari 2600s and the BBC Acorns," said Millard.

"For kids, it's fascination because they've never seen the technology before. For the 30-plus adults, it brings back memories and evokes a lot of nostalgia."

Tickets for the event will go on sale shortly from the official CGEUK website.