A few of us can still remember what it was like when video games were the size of refrigerators with little TVs mounted on them, and when pinball machines only cost a quarter and featured product tie-ins no more elaborate than a painting of Burt Reynolds from Smokey and the Bandit. Those days are, alas, gone, because of course, everything is gone now, BUT, if you're looking to revisit those old muscle memories, you might want to get yourself down to Tacoma today or tomorrow (or both!) for the 2015 NW Pinball and Arcade Show, which promises over 400 pinball and arcade games from the 1950s-present ON FREE PLAY (HELLO?!), as well as "pinball and Magic tournaments, board games, speakers, game designers, artists, vendors, a Kid Zone, prizes, and many one of a kind games." (Full list of games is here.)
Paid for by Committee to Reelect Judge North, P.O. Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165
One-day passes are $30/$15 (ages 6-14) for Saturday, $20/$10 Sunday. A pretty cheap date, all things considered. BONUS: While you're down there, you can visit all your friends who can no longer afford to live in Seattle (and maybe do some poking around for a place of your own)! Sorry, Tacoma. You're so much better than you get treated... Read on for full details.
Event: 2015 Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show
Dates: Saturday, June 6 (10am-11:30pm) - Sunday, June 7 (9am-3pm)
(actually, it started yesterday, but unless you're heading down to Tacoma in an '85 Delorean outfitted with a Flux Capacitor, you should probably just focus on today and tomorrow.)
Location: Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
(1500 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402)
(Not to be confused with Landmark Convention Center at 47 Saint Helens Ave)
•Over 400 pinball and arcade games on free play, with many rare and unique games!
•Huge PAPA Circuit Pinball Tournament for IFPA World Pinball Player Ranking points with large cash prizes.
•Rookie, women's, kid's and classic's pinball tournaments.
•Magic the Gathering tournament.
•Rooms for Magic, board games and RPG game playing.
•Guest speaker: Greg Freres! Greg is pinball artist and graphic designer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. His work can be found on games like Medieval Madness, Elvira, Mustang, Wizard of Oz, Dr. Dude, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Revenge from Mars, Scared Stiff and the arcade games Smash TV and Arch Rivals. Greg is currently a full time artist at Stern Pinball.
•Guest speaker: Dennis Nordman! Dennis is a pinball designer with 20 years of experience in the field. His design work can be found on games like Pirates of the Caribbean, Wheel of Fortune, White Water, Elvira and the Party Monsters, Dr. Dude, Scared Stiff and Demolition Man. His current work includes Lexy Lightspeed for Multimorphic. At the 2009 Seattle show Nordman and Freres came up with the idea for the Whoa Nellie! pinball machine, which they later produced in a limited run through their own company WhizBang Pinball. Stern recently announced they will do a full run of Whoa Nellie! Nordman and Freres will talk about the project and bring one to the show for you to play.
•Guest speaker: Paul Faris! Paul designed this year's show poster! Faris is an illustrator and art director with 20 years of experience working on arcade and pinball games. Faris's work can be found on Evel Knievel, Xenon, Centaur, Back to the Future, Hook, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Checkpoint and Frankenstein.
•Tech seminars! Learn about the inner workings of pinball and arcade games and how to repair them!
•Kid's Zone! A large area of family friendly and kid-oriented games that will provide fun, history, teaching opportunities and kid's tournaments.
•Awards ceremony! The NW Pinball and Arcade Show is a non-profit event, part of the money raised from ticket sales goes to college scholarships for students planning on majoring in fields related to game design. The final day of the show we have a ceremony to award the scholarship, as well as trophies to tournament winners and things like best restoration and best in show for the games people volunteered.
•World Record High Score Attempts from top arcade and pinball players from around the United States!
•Vendors, artists and cool merchandise!
•Raffles and prizes, including two Xboxes and at least one full-sized pinball or arcade game awarded to one randomly drawn attendee every day of the show!
Prepare to joust, buzzard bait!