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Vintage video game convention sparks fun for all ages

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Collegian | Trin Bonner
CU, CSU, fight, Rivalry, games, video game, graphic, design, illustration

Vincon is a vintage video game conference wherein people of all ages can find nostalgic video games from their childhood. The event was hosted by Games Ahoy! and happened Oct. 14-15 at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, Colorado.

Owner and event organizer of Games Ahoy! Adam Ray has been hosting the event since 2015. The Vincon experience is unlike any other: The detail and care put into the planning make the convention a special place to be.

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Ray spent around eight months planning this event so that all participants could find something that appealed to them. Ray listed some of the factors he must juggle to make Vincon possible.

“I also design the carnival games personally — theme them after video games,” Ray said. “We have to hire music artists for both days, usually like seven or eight bands. We have to gather volunteers. I also have 20 employees to schedule, and we have to do advertising — both physical media and digital media multiple times over the course of several months.”

Ray explained the reason vintage video games stick out to him so much is that almost everybody has a video game they remember playing back in the day. Nostalgia is what grabs the attention of an older demographic, but the promise of fun still intrigues the youth.

The front of the convention was dedicated to shopping vendors, all eager to have a conversation about their artwork or their collections. The second half of the space was filled with tables and consoles, kids playing carnival games, live music and classic arcade games lining the walls.

Peter Honiotes, a private seller at the event, touched on why he appreciates Vincon so much.

“I guess normally I’m a buyer, and I like seeing some of the rare, harder-to-find stuff that you don’t normally see,” Honiotes said.

There is something special about the community at Vincon. The collective effervescence of being around so many like-minded people is what makes people so passionate about this kind of event.

Paul Westerfield and Aedan Barr, students at the University of Northern Colorado and Metropolitan State University of Denver, respectively, both gave examples in their lives of how this event has brought them closer to their friends and has given them a means to share their passion.

“Since going to UNC, I of course don’t have as much time to see my friends because many of them are from out of town in general,” Westerfield said. “This past weekend, especially yesterday, was such an opportunity to see them again and that really helped me overall. I have not gotten to see them in a long while, and having an event like this means that I not only get to spend more time with them, but we get to spend time doing something we are both passionate about, and it really helps my mental health overall.”

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Barr also said that video games open up opportunities for longstanding relationships on virtual platforms where even friends who are not geographically close can still spend time together.

Vintage video games hold a special spot in so many hearts. Vincon provided an opportunity to connect with those feelings and to be a part of a passionate community committed to having fun.

Reach Jack Fillweber at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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About the Contributor
Trin Bonner, Illustration Editor
Trin Bonner is the illustration editor for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration editor, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

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