The Video Gaming track at Dragon Con included a lot of different activities. While many events were solely about video gaming the track also included an 8 –Bit Bash 80’s and 90’s dance, A Heroes and Villains Ball and many other activities to allow video gamers to let go of the controllers while still celebrating what they love.
Dragon Con also featured a free gaming room for all participants. Some of the games included Dance Dance Revolution, A Star Wars Flight Simulator and classic video such as Dig Dug and Ms. Pac Man. This was open 24 hours and allowed con goers to kick back while having fun. Video game tournaments and demos were also held during the event.
One of my favorite panels from the track was The Video Game History and Preservation panel hosted by Ken Horowitz, Ed.D, and Sega historian. I learned that there is more to the process of historic documentation of video games and video game culture than at first glance. Horowitz is the author of two books: Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games and The Sega Arcade Revolution: A History in 62 Games. He used the panel to explain how and why he collected information on video games to write the books.
Because the history of video games is so young, there is a lot of work to be done in the preservation of the field. We are collectively passionate about video games as consumers/players. Recently we saw where the Nintendo NES (a new version of the classic Nintendo game) out-sold the Nintendo Switch, the Xbox One, and the PS4. It might be profitable for companies to retain such information for future generations to embrace and enjoy.
Horowitz gleefully admitted that his daughter enjoys playing the Super Mario Bros game for the NES Classic. He says it endures if something is good, it will continue to be enjoyed because people will share it with the next generation. With video games, the act of sharing an original or even interacting with an original may prove to be a bit difficult as systems change, but it can be done.
Another reason we should start documenting and organizing the story of the development of video games is that these decision will continue to influence games in the future. Horowitz recollected a few instances of interviews, including that of Michael Knox, founder of Park Place Productions which created the Joe Montana Football and John Madden series, Joe Miller, Sega of America’s Senior VP of Product Development, and Tom Petit, former executive at Atari Inc., Nintendo of America, and former president of Sega. All of whom have since passed away, and with them, their access to their stories from their time with these companies and beyond.
Overall the Video Gaming Track at Dragon Con was a great combination of learning about video gaming and also letting participants show their love of video games in other ways. More about the track can be learned here: https://www.facebook.com/DragonConVG/