The Retro Gaming Expo in Portland (PRGE) had its debut in 2006, and has been an annual, and sometimes twice annual, event ever since. It is a three day, not-for-profit convention, and is run by a co-operative of like minded people – all dedicated fans of classic video and arcade games. Their goal is to educate people about the contribution that these games have made to popular culture, and to preserve them for future generations; some of the games are decades old and in danger of disappearing, to only exist in the fond memories of the older generation.
Unusually for a retro gaming expo, the PRGE brings a multitude of gaming and game designing disciplines together; art, physics, and mathematics all play a role, and are just as important in modern and future games, as they were in the original.
The PRGE makes a big yearly charity contribution; the Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center of Cowlitz County in Washington, and the Springwater Environmental Sciences School have both benefitted from ticket sales and so forth.
There are plenty of scheduled activities going on, from trivia quizzes, competitions, guest speakers and panels, to auctions and live concerts. PRGE even has a museum of games, a Tetris tournament, and a cosplay contest.
Displaying an great sense of humor, the organizers place the outdated consoles and retro games in their natural habitat – an Atari 2600 felt right at home with a shag pile carpet, a couch covered in a horrendous floral fabric, and lots of wood grain laminated chipboard.
This is fantastic event for all the family; there’s so much going on, so many activities and fun things to do and see, and the organizers really care about their subject, readily giving back to the community through their charity donations. All in all, the PRGE is definitely one to put in your diary.