Loveland VinCon brings old games into new light

Graham Shapley

In video games, the constant improvement of hardware means that today’s consoles are a steep upgrade from the consoles that started it all in the 1970s. In an industry that is constantly outdoing itself, it’s easy to get left behind.

A Mario balloon looms over the crowd at VinCon 2018 (Graham Shapley | Collegian)

At VinCon Colorado, the vintage video game convention, old tech had a chance to shine. More than half of the convention floor, flooded with video game fans of all ages, was taken up by dozens of televisions and video game consoles from years past.


From the very earliest home consoles with the simplest graphics to the most recently released generation, representatives from the nearly fifty-year history of video games strutted their stuff and brought old games to the modern day.

Set in the southern hall of the Ranch Events Center in Loveland, VinCon felt crowded despite its relatively small attendance compared to larger conventions.

“I really love going to smaller cons like this because I get to interact with people a little more personally,” said Cassie O’Gorman, a vendor with Dragon Wyck Embroidery. “At a smaller con, I get to find what makes people the happiest. It’s a lot harder to get that at a big con.”

O’Gorman travels to cons around the country to sell Dragon Wyck’s wares, embroidered bags, banners and custom license plates made to order at the con.

“(At big conventions) everything is going so fast,” O’Gorman said. “Big cons are interesting, there’s a lot of stuff going on. I love small conventions, though, because the community is what really matters.”

Walking in, the first thing that attendees were treated to was an enormous inflatable visage of one of gaming’s most famous mascots, Mario. His grin loomed over the tournament area and in one instance was knocked over by an overenthusiastic child looking to hug the shoe of his hero.

Attendees were also given several tokens to participate in video game themed carnival games for prizes. Throughout the day, the con held several tournaments and live video-game-styled chiptune music by local artists played over speakers.

Over 30 console and arcade tournaments and vendors selling video games, art and many other types of collectibles were scattered around the ballroom, as proof of the growth of this event since its start in 2015.

Graham Shapley can be reached at and on Twitter @shapleygraham.