A little over a week ago a remarkable event took place in Wolverhampton, which turned a racecourse into a Technicolor time machine. And as you might expect, the conference centre at Dunstall Park really did seem bigger on the inside!
The happening in question was Revival 2014, a computer and console games expo with a difference – it might not have looked out of place back in the 1980s or 1990s, for this was something very special – a ‘retro gamer’s’ time warp.
I have to admit to being more than a little retro myself, having started both ‘serious’ computing and gaming back in 1982 at the start of the British home computer boom, and I am glad I spotted an advertisement for this second event in the now-annual series while reading the latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine. I was determined to be there or be square on Saturday 9 August, the first day of the two day show. As it happens I was unable to make it on the Sunday, which is just as well as I would have gotten a soaking due to the rain, but fortunately the Saturday weather was perfect, especially for sitting outside eating lunch in the glorious sunshine.
The event, which filled the racecourse’s foyer, bar and biggest function rooms, was headlined by legendary US computer games designer John Romero, a rockstar-like programmer equally known for his long hair as well as game titles like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Dangerous Dave and Quake to his credit – and he certainly had fans following him around and asking for his autograph all day. He even gave a very interesting and well-received Q&A session about his career and work as part of a packed programme of talks by seminal games makers and journalists from the British scene.
Behind the scenes of Revival 2014, though, the real powers that be were busy corralling computers and gang-mastering arcade games, with the vital assistance of some important partners and exhibitors, not to mention a substantial number of dealers in retro and arcade goodies both esoteric and popular. Continue reading Going retro down in Wolvo