I spent the last four days in Ottumwa, Iowa at the first gathering of the "International Video Game Hall of Fame". I meet some awesome friendly people and can't wait to go back next year.
For those of you that are fans of the awesome documentary "King of Kong - Fist full of Quarters", you will see some familiar faces.
I live about 45 minutes north of Ottumwa, so early on I volunteered my services as a "arcade tech" for the classic arcade games, and took all 4 days off of work to attend. Tuesday before the event I received a frantic call from Joel West who was on his way to Ottumwa from North Carolina with a Bezerk machine in tow. Joel was going to attempt to set the world score record for "Frenzy" as well as set the record for "Longest video game every played"....84 hours. The problem was, the game he was bringing didn't work. I drove up Wed. night and worked on the machine for about 3 hours, got it working, and the next morning Joel started. 4 hours into the game, the machine freaked out and died for good. I've promised Joel that if he wants to try again next year, we'll have a A+ machine here for him. If anyone has a lead on a collector quality Bezerk or Frenzy let me know.
Here's Joel in "Chasing Ghosts - Beyond the Arcade"
As for the event, the crowd was very small, and even though everyone there probably knew each other for 30 years, they were very welcoming to newcomers such as myself. Special thanks to Joel West, Paul Zimmerman, Phil Day, Walter Day, Ben Gold, Tim McVey and everyone else for hanging out and becoming new friends.
I had such a great time that I wanted to share all of the pictures..
Myself, Joel West and Paul Zimmerman right after getting the "Frenzy" machine working.
Here's the "Frenzy" working...didn't last for long.
Joel playing his 4 hours.
Steve Saunders and Billy Mitchell checking in on Sat morning. I was outside talking to Phil Day and Steve walks up to Phil and says "Well, aren't you going to introduce me?".
Raising the "Video Game Capital of the World" Flag.
Bill Mitchell hitting on my wife in this picture. He's like you would expect. Photo sucks...who sets up a photo op backlight by a giant window? Ben Gold has a great attitude about the whole "celebrity" thing!
Here's the whole family with Steve Wiebe
Steve and Billy (stole this picture from Jeff Waldron, it was just too good)
Recreating the iconic picture.
The class of 2010 (Steve Richie second from right)
How's this for "cool". Paul Zimmerman's "Demon Attack" cart, signed. In my collection now.
Roy "Mr Awesome" Shildt. Roy introduced himself to me while in the breezeway to the hall. He had just been thrown out of the event by security for very loudly challenging Billy Mitchell's new "Donkey Kong" and "Donkey Kong Jr." scores. He had a plastic shopping bag full of materials on his opinion of Billy, all of which were quite, well, creative. I think he has a point in his madness, basicly he's had his high score invalidated because people are tired of his shenanigans. This is what Roy says, not sure on if it's valid or not, but Roy's delivery shows why it would happen. I've got some of Roy's material that I'll post after I get it scanned.
Edit. Here they are. I'm not posting them in-line, but if you want to see them, here are the links.
Here are the videos that I shot of the induction....(note to self, shoot iphone video landscape from now on)
Steve Wiebe accepting his award.
Steve Richie accepting his award. Funny guy!
Steve Richie and I.
Billy Mitchell's almost tearful acceptance speech.
Sonic playing Pacman
Had a great time guys, just about right here in my backyard! Can't wait until next year! For those of you that missed it this year, well, there's always next year.