From the moment the doors opened the crowd poured in. The childhood nostalgia filled the room.
They were on hand for the Durham Video Game Convention Fall Show as collectors, vendors, and game players gathered at Oshawa’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 on Oct. 30. Stores from all across the province set up shop to join the game play.
For some gamers in attendance, it was a time to relish in the retro video game surplus they didn’t get a chance to when they were younger.
“There’s not a lot of shows out on this side,” event organizer Justin Ashley said. “The more east you go from Toronto there’s nothing for shows. And I’m an Oshawa resident, I just moved here four years ago. I’m making this my home. And I’m trying to bring something that I like doing, going to conventions, to my home area.”
Also owner of Fly by Nite Buy and Sell in downtown Oshawa, Ashley was dressed as Freddy Krueger while conducting the convention.
“Most of the conventions are too far. I’m attracting a different audience that may not ever get the chance to go to those bigger shows in Toronto,” Ashley said. “I went to Fan Expo this year – I didn’t enjoy myself. It was too crammed.”
A steady flow of gamers visited the Legion hall for the event, but had ample room to check out the booths.
Ashley said he received “a lot of positive feedback,” and added “people would say ‘love the atmosphere, love the vibes of this place’.”
While at the convention, gamers took part in the Nintendo Super Smash Bros. tournament for a chance to win prizes donated by the vendors. The owner of Oshawa’s G.A.M.E.S. video game store, Jesse Manchen, hosted the tournament.
“The tournaments are cool because it’s a community event thing. We don’t charge for the tournament. It’s a small fee to enter in [the convention]. It’s to get people connected and to actually join and have fun,” Manchen said.
The show made its biggest impact on those looking to find and relive a piece of their childhood, and those who wanted to revisit some of the most influential gaming eras.
“I wouldn’t call myself a collector. I just buy the games that I want to play that I didn’t get to play when I was younger. A lot of that’s like PS2 (PlayStation 2), N64 (Nintendo 64) and PlayStation,” said one fan, who had an interest in finding older games.
“N64 was great for wrestling games because it’s just a great party console. Everyone has good memories of playing N64 when they were younger.”
The next convention is expected for spring of 2017.