OVGE (Oklahoma Video Gaming Exhibition) 2012

The 2012 OVGE event in Tulsa has come and gone, and it was another good year. I was an oddball at this event in that, in and among my usual sales of video games and game-related swag, I was debuting a new book that has nothing to do with video games whatsoever. It didn’t exactly fly off the table, but that’s okay – I wasn’t as much of an oddball as I thought, because there was plenty of sci-fi in the air at this year’s OVGE. Get ready for drool-worthy sights both game-related and otherwise.

OVGE 2012
The scene from the wide-open space in the center of the dealers’/exhibitors’ area

OVGE 2012
Just a part of Brandon Staggs’ awesome display of Star Trek games.

OVGE 2012
More from Brandon Staggs’ Trek game display; he told me this little display was his son’s idea. The boy must be firing on all cylinders, because if I had a miniature model of a Star Trek TNG pinball, I would have done *exactly the same thing* with it.

OVGE 2012
More Trek gaming swag, advertising the 1982 Star Trek arcade game.

OVGE 2012
Vintage 1982 pins and buttons, again advertising the arcade game. I have entertained the notion more than once of doing a Star Trek game display, and have backed off every time I see Brandon’s display. Now if we collaborated one year? That might just be a showstopper.

OVGE 2012
Brandon Staggs also does these retrogaming T-shirts. They are awesome. Inevitably, as the day wears on at each year’s OVGE, you find people have bought one of these and then changed into it before roaming the floor again. The just-about-official threads of OVGE.

OVGE 2012
More of the Staggs family’s excellent (and shiny) Star Trek setup: these were various vintage Star Trek games set up to play, including the Vectrex Star Trek: The Motion Picture game, the 2600 version of the Star Trek arcade game, Starfleet Academy on SNES, and the never-released Star Trek V game for the NES.

OVGE 2012
Close ups of the Trek gaming gear.

OVGE 2012
More close ups of the Trek gaming gear.

OVGE 2012
Last year, I took home one of the red ghost monster hats for my son. It’s reversible into a “scared” ghost monster. He still wears it. You can too: visit their Etsy shop to see these and their other goodies. They also had Portal companion cube plushies. Just too cute. I have to be very careful at their booth, or I wind up spending a lot of money.

OVGE 2012
Game Xchange was a presence at OVGE this year, and did pretty well. They were next door to my table. I thought I had my marketing act together with my VWORP! t-shirt and artwork print, but what I really need is a rug.

OVGE 2012
Some of Game Xchange’s offerings included a CD-i (with some educational games for it), quite a few NES and PS1 games, and a mouth-watering but rather expensive Turbo Duo.

OVGE 2012
Part of Holt Slack’s massive setup. Just about any system you can think of was represented here in his sale items.

OVGE 2012
More of Holt Slack’s sales table.

OVGE 2012
But the part of Holt’s stuff that I was really eyeballing was this jaw-dropping collection of original Firefly promo items, props, cast/crew shirts and jackets, and other goodies.

OVGE 2012
For one thing, I was glad to not be the only one showing off seemingly out-of-place sci-fi goodies at a gaming convention, and for another… you just do not get to see this stuff every day, period. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s all worth – Holt was a fan of the show from day one, and collected a lot of the promo material while it was still running on Fox.

OVGE 2012
Drew Stone’s awesome arcade marquee light boxes. I need to book him to design a floor-to-ceiling enclosure for my marquees at home. I know I’ve figured out a well-documented way to backlight my marquees on a budget, but these are classy.

OVGE 2012
Rob O’Hara has a knack for doing the most eye-catching table at OVGE, in any given year. It seems like the most obvious thing in the world, and yet why was no one else showing off vintage video and computer basketball games?

OVGE 2012
You could almost hear a rumble of Thunder at Rob’s table…

Intermission: Tweet Tweet
I live-tweeted intermittently throughout the show, chronicling moments both wonderful and weird from behind the scenes. (The oldest tweets are at the bottom, for those not familiar with Twitter.)

OVGE 2012

I’ve never live-tweeted anything before (in fact, I’m still not sure if Twitter and my long-winded tendencies are compatible). How’d I do?

OVGE 2012
Also at Rob’s table were Robb Sherwin and copies of Robb’s original text adventure, Cryptozookeeper.

OVGE 2012
Deann Stone had these hand-painted Christmas ornaments for sale. Little E doesn’t know it yet, but Q*Bert’s going to be hanging on our tree this year…

OVGE 2012
An original Infocom Suspended game at Ed Martin’s table. Finding one of these intact is about as hard as beating the game that’s inside the box.

OVGE 2012
Original animation cels from the Pac-Man Christmas special “Christmas Comes To Pac-Land” at Drew Stone’s table.

OVGE 2012
An original Don Bluth Dragon’s Lair II production sketch, also at Drew’s table.

OVGE 2012
Original animation cel from a Donkey Kong cereal commercial at Drew’s table.

OVGE 2012
One more cel from Drew’s table: this one’s from the Donkey Kong Jr. cartoon that was part of the CBS “Saturday Supercade” cartoon block in 1983.

OVGE 2012
Arcade action. These were packed all day long.

OVGE 2012
Do. not. tell. my. kid.

OVGE 2012
Nifty original video game-inspired art by Megan Swartslander.

OVGE 2012
Very few of Megan Swartslander’s artwork pieces were still up for grabs by the end of the day.

OVGE 2012
Pesky ghost monsters guarding the wares at Game Over Games.

OVGE 2012
Boxed Atari game heaven at Game Over Games.

OVGE 2012
Just a few rare titles at the Game Over booth…

OVGE 2012
Just for the record, the robot takeover began at Jeff Cooper’s tables. I, for one, welcome our new discounted plastic overlords.

OVGE 2012
Talk about a chronological spread. I know which one I’d choose. This was at Jordan Hamilton’s tables.

OVGE 2012
Trade ‘n’ Games had a few treasures just for show and not for sale… like Cubicolor and an Atari 2600 Air Raid cart, an ultra-rare game that fetches into the thousands of dollars any time it shows its face on eBay.

OVGE 2012
My single-table setup was modest this year – books, DVDs, and quite a few games. I unloaded two boxed systems, and half of the White Bucket games lived to fight another day! But the really cool oddity was over at the far left, supplied by my friend and frequent OVGE cohort Kent Sutton…

OVGE 2012
…an exceedingly hard-to-find Dimension 68000 computer. Built around a Z80 / CP/M core, the Dimension had hardware cards that could emulate an IBM PC XT or an Apple II+ – quite a coup back in the ’80s. This is the first time one has shown up in working order at any of the retrogaming events.

OVGE 2012
Much to my surprise, an LCD projector was popping up this wall-sized ad for my book, in the middle of the usual rotating sponsor and general info messages throughout the course of the day.

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