06 June 1997

Electronicon is Coming!: Would I Con You? (originally for Suite 101)

If you're a comic book, role-playing game, Star Trek, Star Wars, or other fan, you're probably familiar with conventions or "cons." These events attract anywhere from dozens to thousands of people to one place to discuss their hobby and buy, sell, and trade items. Since collecting classic video games is a fairly new hobby, there have been few conventions, although local collectors do sometimes organize small gatherings. In fact, there has only been one actual convention so far, which was RGVC-Con held in Dayton, Ohio, USA last year. Scott Crawford, however, has taken it upon himself to organize a large convention later this month, called Electronicon. Rather than have me mess things up, I've gotten Scott to write this month's article to tell us all about it. Take it away, Scott!

Electronicon is a weekend-long classic video game fan convention, scheduled for June 27-29, 1997, at the Philadelphia Airport Hilton, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The convention begins at 5 p.m. Friday, the 27th, and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday, the 29th. There will be things happening at all times between those hours, provided that someone at the convention is awake. =) Coincidentally, the event's opening date of June 27th also marks the 25th anniversary of Atari's date of incorporation.

Electronicon aims to provide the video gamers of the world with a great place to meet, play, trade, and celebrate all aspects of video gaming, with a focus on the golden years of home video games, often referred to as the "classic" era of the 1970s and early- to mid-1980s. Every other hobby of this magnitude has dozens, if not hundreds of conventions a year, all over the world, but until very recently, it seems that convention activity in classic video game fandom was either small (confined to smatterings of regional "collector's meetings") or didn't exist at all. Electronicon will give classic video game fans everywhere a convention-level atmosphere in which to meet; in other words, giving a huge, wonderful hobby the treatment it has for years so richly deserved.

Events at Electronicon include a guest speaking appearance by Howard Warshaw, programmer of the Atari 2600 games "Yars' Revenge," "E.T.," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," as well as classic video game tournaments sanctioned by Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Arcade Scoreboard (keepers of video game world records since the 1980s), live video game auctions, and various demonstrations and presentations, including talks on foreign video games and showings of ultra-rare games!

Electronicon will also coincide with the Videotopia exhibit's stay at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. For the uninitiated, Videotopia is a traveling museum detailing the history of video games, and is a must see, with over 50 playable arcade games included in the exhibit!

For more information on Electronicon, which promises to be an event to remember, check out our home on the World Wide Web or contact me via e-mail at electronicon@hotmail.com.

-- Scott Crawford

Lee here again. I deeply regret that I am going to be unable to attend Electronicon. I hope, however, that I will be able to get someone who does attend to write a post-convention article for me. (Boy, I've gotten lazy! 8) ) Scott has already talked about one person who might be able to. If any Suite 101 members are planning to attend and would like to take a crack at summarizing the events, send me a note at [e-mail address redacted].

Copyright 1997 i5ive communications inc. Used with permission.

[April 27, 2013: As best I recall, Electronicon was a one-time convention, at least under that name.]